Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (Oct. 22, 2018 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
One down, three to go. The Boston Red Sox kicked off the World Series on a good note, taking an 8-4 victory in Game One. While this game was obviously encouraging, the Red Sox still have three more wins to go before earning their ultimate prize. It all starts on Wednesday night in the World Series Game Two preview.
Boston Red Sox vs Los Angeles Dodgers: World Series Game Two Preview
First Pitch: 8:09 PM
Television: TBS (check local listings)
Radio: WEEI (check local station)
Your Starting Ace: David Price
David Price takes the mound in Game Two coming off of the best start of his postseason career. Price put his storied postseason struggles behind him, tossing six scoreless innings while striking out nine en route to clinching the Red Sox World Series birth.
The $31 million question is if Price can do it again. Price has limited familiarity with the majority of the Dodgers lineup and has never made a World Series start in his career. The Dodgers have feasted on lefty pitching all season long, posting a .733 OPS against left-handed pitching. In Game One, the Dodgers put up three runs in 4+ innings against Chris Sale.
Price will have his hands full against a stacked Dodgers lineup, but he has the skill to mow them down. We’ll have to wait until first pitch to find out if he can put together his second consecutive dominant start.
Know Your Enemy: Hyun-Jin Ryu
Hyun-Jin Ryu will match David Price on the mound and should pose a major challenge for the Red Sox offense. While he only pitched 82.1 regular season innings, Ryu was nothing but dominant whenever he took the mound. In 2018, Ryu posted a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts. While his 3.00 FIP suggests he got a little lucky, his 9.73 K/9 and 1.64 BB/9 show that Ryu is not to be taken lightly.
While Ryu got lucky in the regular season, his luck has started to normalize in the postseason. Ryu has made three postseason starts so far, tossing 14.1 innings to the tune of a 4.40 ERA. However, he has a 2.39 FIP over that same time period. Hopefully, Ryu’s bad luck can continue for one or two more starts.
Player to Watch: Manny Machado
Back in July, Red Sox fans assumed that they wouldn’t have to see Manny Machado for the remainder of 2017 when the Orioles traded him away to the Dodgers. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Machado’s Dodgers made the World Series, and they’ll have to deal with him for at least three more games.
Machado did his share of damage in Game One, making several big defensive plays while going 1-3 and driving in three runs at the plate. Machado has faced Price 41 times in his career, posting a .293/.341/.683 slash line with five homers. In a lineup stacked with talent, Machado’s performance could be the difference between victory and defeat.
The Red Sox are on fire and David Price has officially cleared the mental hurdle of earning his first postseason win as a starter. They won Game One despite Chris Sale only going four innings while allowing three runs. This team keeps finding ways to win, and that won’t change in Game Two.
It may take an inning or two, but the Red Sox bats will come alive against Ryu and the Dodgers bullpen. Price probably won’t pitch as well as he did against the Astros (how could he?) but it will still be good enough for the win. The bullpen has been mostly lights-out all postseason and should be able to close the door against the Dodgers.
Final Score: Red Sox 6, Dodgers 3