Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Date and Time: Friday, October 26, 2018, at 8:09 p.m. ET
Location: Dodger Stadium
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Rick Porcello vs. Walker Buehler
Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Game 3 TV Coverage: FOX
The Los Angeles Dodgers need to win Game 3 as the series transitions to Dodger Stadium for the next three contests. Can the Boston Red Sox keep their momentum going with the scene change or will warmer, drier weather help the Dodgers’ bats heat up enough to beat Boston? The Sox won’t have one of their top lefties on the bump in this game which could give L.A. a chance. Can the Dodgers turn this back into a series or will the Sox continue to roll?
The Red Sox took advantage of their homefield advantage in this series, taking the first two games at home, putting the Dodgers in a must-win situation in Game 3.
There’s been only one team in baseball history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit in a seven-game series and that team is on the other side of this matchup as the Sox rallied to topple the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. That was magical and such a comeback is possible, but highly unlikely. The Dodgers need this game.
Boston has the momentum and confidence in this series, but the day off and transition to L.A. could spark the Dodgers. L.A. fans will help spark some momentum, too, particularly if the boys in blue can get something going early to fire them up early in the game.
The Dodgers have kept the Sox close in the first two games. The score in Game 1 doesn’t exactly back that up, but until the seventh the game was close. The Boston bullpen has just been better than the L.A. pen to this point despite the perception of each pen coming into this series.
Alex Cora seems to be pulling all the right strings at the right time while Dave Roberts hasn’t been so lucky. Ryan Madson was good in the first two postseason series but hasn’t been so reliable in the World Series. The options leading to Kenley Jansen haven’t gotten the job done. It’s as simple as that. L.A. could use a deep start to help simplify the pen choices and give less time for someone other than Jansen out of the pen.
Offensively, the Sox look much better than the Dodgers, at least in the first two games. L.A. is much to homer-dependent. The Sox can hit them out, but they can also manufacture runs with the best of them. In fact, they’ve been able to get the clutch hit this series, scoring nine of their 12 runs this series with 2-outs.
The Sox haven’t announced Porcello for this start, but with Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez both pitching in relief this series, Eovaldi twice, it’s likely Porcello gets Game 3 and Eovaldi gets an extra day of rest before going in Game 4.
Porcello will be the first right-hander starter sent to the mound for the Sox against a Dodgers’ team that’s proven to be better offensively against righties as opposed to southpaws.
Eovaldi has been better in his limited time with the Sox, but Porcello is still a solid arm. A former Cy Young Award winner, the veteran righty hasn’t been able to match his 22 wins and 3.15 ERA of 2016 but has been able to generally keep his team in the game. He went 17-7 in the regular season with a 4.28 ERA and 1.176 WHIP in his 191.1 innings of work.
In the postseason, he’s pitched as a starter and reliever in both the ALDS and ALCS. Against the Yankees in the division series, he went 5.2 combined innings, allowing only one run. In the championship series bout against the Astros, he allowed four runs in five combined innings.
It’s hard to say which Porcello we’ll see on Friday, but one thing is for sure: he won’t go deep in the game, so we’ll see plenty of the bullpen once again.
It can be easy to forget Buehler is a rookie, but the 24-year old right-hander has already been in some big spots for the Dodgers and shown he’s got ice in his veins.
The former top prospect got called up early in the year out of necessity but forced the team to keep him in The Show, pitching brilliantly. He ultimately threw 137.1 innings in the regular season with 23 starts and one relief appearance. In that time, he pitched to a 2.62 ERA and 0.961 WHIP with an 8-5 record. His numbers are better than Porcello and his stuff is as well. He just doesn’t have the experience. We’ll see how much that’s worth in this context.
Buehler was fantastic in his Game 163 start against the Colorado Rockies, securing the NL West title. While he struggled a bit in his ALDS start against the Atlanta Braves, he bounced back to pitch well in two starts against the Brewers in the ALCS, combining for 11.2 innings and five runs allowed. He did give up two home runs. That may be worth watching as the Dodgers led all the NL in homers in the regular season.
Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Game 3 Picks
The Dodgers need this win. With the way these teams have played so far, the Sox seem to be in control of this series and are on track to take home the trophy, but the Dodgers are a better team than they’ve shown thus far in the World Series. They’ll get a pick me up playing at home and could carry that to a win.
Buehler has been so good for the Dodgers this year and may be their most reliable arm now. He can go deeper in the game than Kershaw and Ryu. Look for him to go six strong, taking pressure off the bullpen and allowing Kenley Jansen to factor into Game 3. That’s a different look than the Sox have seen to this point.
Offensively, look for the Dodgers to take Porcello a couple times and carry some early game momentum to a win. The lineup should be more in line to what we’ve been used to seeing for L.A. with the lefty bats getting the starts. Maybe that can spark the L.A. offense. If L.A. can grab an early lead and hold it through the sixth, that will help the pen line up better to close out the game.
The Sox could get a bit complacent with a 2-0 series lead. They’ll try and knock the Dodgers out quickly, but the urgency will be there for the Dodgers. Dave Roberts will have to manage for today and while Alex Cora has done that to this point this postseason, he won’t have Porcello or Eovaldi to use out of the pen in this game.
Take the Dodgers to get back in the series at home.
Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Game 3 Pick: Dodgers at BookMaker.eu
Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Game 2 Score Prediction: Los Angeles 5, Red Sox 3