After the Boston Red Sox took Game 1 last night with an 8-4 win over the LA Dodgers the World Series moves on to Game 2 tonight at Fenway Park. Ben Steele previews the game...
"Look for runs to be scored early and with a couple of vaunted batting lineups on display I would take the overs in the run market."
Dodgers @ Red Sox
World Series Game 2
Thursday 01:05 BST
Live on BT Sport 1
Playoff woes will worry both pitchers
Red Sox pitcher David Price comes in to his first World Series start having finally removed one of baseball's most famous millstones from around his neck. The 33-year-old had never won a playoff game as a starter until his win over the Houston Astros in the Championship series this year. He will face Hyun-Jin Ryu who has built a reputation as a big game player with LA, but has struggled when starting on the road this month.
Ryu's 8.59 ERA in away games is a full 7.5 points higher than his ERA when he has played at home and that will certainly concern the Dodgers as they look to avoid falling to 0-2. With both pitcher's problems well publicised I would expect their managers to turn to their bullpens at any sign of trouble. Look for runs to be scored early and with a couple of vaunted batting lineups on display I would take the overs in the run market.
Controversial Machado key for LA
Shortstop Manny Machado has been one of the most talked about players this October. Whether he is making himself public enemy number one in Milwaukee or driving in more runs than any other player in the league, Machado has been at the centre of almost every storyline. Last night's 8-4 defeat was no different, Machado was booed every time he stepped up to the plate but ignored the Red Sox fans and knocked in three of LA's runs himself. Machado has had some success against Price in the past and will hope to continue his fine form with a home run tonight.
Stuttering Betts needs to add consistency
Mookie Betts built himself a strong case for the American League MVP award during the regular season and was expected to be the driving force behind a Red Sox World Series push but that hasn't materialised. Betts has a batting average of just .209 in October and while he has seemed to pop up at crucial moments for Alex Cora's side a level of consistency is expected from the star.
With J.D. Martinez picking up a slight ankle injury in Game 1 that could potentially limit the Red Sox slugger Betts will need to step up again, he is yet to hit a homer in the playoffs but having hit 32 during the regular season it is only a matter of time before he provides a playoff souvenir for a fan.