Hollywood vs Beantown is Early World Series Preview
Don Mattingly has got this team cruising through the division and not looking back. The Dodgers are 45-10 since their loss to the Padres on June 21st and now are 75-52, good for second best in MLB. Yes, you read that correctly...45-10! They have only lost two games in a row once since then and that came this week. The emergence of young, superstar outfielder Yasiel Puig has taken this team to another level. They're a team that nobody wants to face come October and not just because of the bats of Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez, but because of their tremendous starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw is pitching at another level right now and is the clear cut favorite to take the NL Cy Young Award with a 13-7 record and a microscopic 1.72 ERA. Behind him is Zach Greinke, who has been lights out since returning from injury early in the season. People tend to forget about Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been a revelation this season going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA. This team has the two favorite NL Rookie of the Year candidates in Puig and Ryu. The Dodgers have the lineup, the pitching, the bullpen, the speed, the defense, and the coaching that can get them to a World Series and you better believe that they will represent the National League when the Fall Classic comes around.
The boys of Hollywood will take on the boys of Beantown this weekend, who have been the biggest surprise in the American League. The Boston Red Sox had a nightmare 2012 season under Bobby Valentine finishing in the cellar of the AL East with just 69 wins.
On August 23rd, they already have 75 wins and hold a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. What a turnaround it has been for this team. They dumped those huge contracts of Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford onto the Dodgers and had a terrific offseason turning this team back into the playoff contender they usually are. Their lineup has been arguably the best in MLB, leading the league in runs and OBP, and second in batting average. They have received significant contributions from guys like Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Their stars David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury have all played remarkably. John Lackey has finally lived up to the $80 million contract the Red Sox gave him. Felix Doubront has arguably been the most consistent pitcher on the team, allowing more than three earned runs just three times all season. The acquisition of Jake Peavy was an absolute steal at the trade deadline. Oh yeah, they have Clay Buchholz, who went 9-0 before getting hurt, coming back for the stretch run in September. This team is in terrific shape to win the AL East, but it won't be as easy as it will be for the Dodgers. The Red Sox belong in baseball's best division, with four teams battling for playoff spots, including the red hot New York Yankees. Come late October, the Boston Red Sox will be representing the AL in the World Series and they'll face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Get ready for a heck of a weekend series in Hollywood. The lights will be shining bright as they always do in L.A., and we will see the same battle two months from now when the two teams duke it out for a World Series title. This weekend's series is one you are NOT going to want to miss.