Pasadena Area Coaches, Players Split on World Series Predictions; Dodgers, Red Sox Begin Fall Classic

Published : Monday, October 22, 2018 | 10:05 PM

As the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox kicks off tonight (Tuesday) at 5, we reached out to current and former Pasadena area baseball players and coaches for their predictions.

We let them know we weren’t as interested in who they wanted to win, as much as the reasons they believe either the Dodgers or Red Sox will be the 2018 World Series champions, and where they think each franchise has an advantage over the other.

The Boston Red Sox earned the home-field advantage thanks to their MLB-best 108 regular-season victories.

Los Angeles’ 92 wins in 2018 was third best in the National League (behind Chicago and Milwaukee) and sixth best among all MLB clubs.

The schedule format is 2-3-2, meaning the Red Sox will host the first two games and then the series heads west for three consecutive, if necessary.

If it’s pushed to a sixth or seventh game, the Red Sox will have their crowd and their unique ballpark to their advantage.

As many coaches and players will tell you, though, of the big four sports (football, basketball, baseball and hockey) a home field in baseball tends to be less of a factor on the visiting team than the other three in the postseason, and for a number of reasons.

Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA) will be on the mound tonight for LAD, and the Red Sox counter with Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11) in a game-one battle of lefties.

Kershaw is 9-8 in his postseason career with a 4.09 ERA, and Sale is 1-2 in his limited playoff experience, including a 5.85 ERA.

The Boston-LA, east versus west coast match up is a huge win for MLB in terms of interest. and while the Red Sox are slight favorites in Las Vegas, baseball experts feel this is a series that could go either way.

Boston has won three World Series titles since 2004 alone, while Los Angeles hasn’t hoisted the world championship trophy since they defeated Oakland 30 years ago in the famous Kirk Gibson series against the Oakland A’s.

Instead of making predictions, we’re leaving that to the Pasadena area’s players and coaches.

Coaches-Players’ Predictions & Keys to Victory:

St. Francis coach Aaron Dorlarque:
Winner: Boston wins in 4 games.
Why: Boston has advantages in hitting, defense, and pitching. If Manny Machado lives up to expectations, the Dodgers might win one game. The Red Sox are a better team in every facet of the game.

La Salle coach Eddie McKiernan:
Winner: Boston in 6.
Why: Dodgers don’t hit lefties well. Boston will hit, so if pitching holds up, it might be a tough series for the boys in blue. Justin Turner will be the Dodgers x-factor if the win, and if Boston wins, they will feed off Mookie Betts.

Maranatha coach Matt Shupper:
Winner: LAD in 6.
Why: The advantage the Dodgers have is their experience and their bullpen. For the Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Cody Bellinger,Clayton Kershaw and (reliever) Julio Urias are key to winning the championship. For Boston, Jackie Bradley Junior is coming off one of the best ALCS series of all-time.

PCC baseball coach Pat McGee:
Winner: Boston in 6
Why: Boston is the more complete team and the depth of their lineup and starting rotation is better. If David Price can continue to be effective as a starter, it’s a huge advantage for the Red Sox. For the Dodgers, they have an advantage offensively, because they are able to use a DH at Boston and at home, their pitchers have plate appearances all season, while Boston has not.

Pasadena assistant Chris Rucker:
Winner: LAD in 6.
Why: Dodgers will be more relaxed after last year’s World Series loss to the Houston Astros. Going 7 games versus the Astros in 2017 will help this year. Yasiel Puig is the x-factor for LAD. Boston’s advantage is their hitting.

Maranatha pitcher Dawson Netz:
Winner: LAD in 6.
Why: LAD is a more complete team, and they have better starting pitchers. Boston is a better hitting team. If LAD wins, David Freese will be their x-factor because of his track record in the postseason. If Boston wins, Nathan Eovaldi will be key with his clutch pitching performances. LAD has the upper hand in this series, because of the chip on their shoulder and motivation.

Poly pitcher Franco Alonso:
Winner: Boston in 6.
Why: LAD has an advantage in the depth of their hitting, because they have a bunch of guys who can get the job done. Boston has an advantage in almost every other category, though, including their starting pitching and bullpen.

Former La Salle shortstop Ethan Patrick:
Winner: Boston in 5.
Why: While the Dodgers have more experience & consistent playoff starters than Boston, the Red Sox have a buzz saw of a lineup. They wear opposing pitchers out and force teams to go to their bullpen. Puig is an x-factor for LAD if he’s able to come up big in the WS. David Price is key for Boston. Can he turn in one or two dominant outings? The Red Sox lineup is just too deep.

Maranatha second baseman Max Blessinger:
Winner: LAD in 7
Why: The Dodgers have the better bullpen and they have a lot of players that will be driven from last year’s (World Series) loss (to the Astros). The Red Sox have a much deeper hitting lineup and more talented starting pitchers. Andrew Benentendi will be big if Boston wins and David Freese will be huge for LAD, and someone I consider as one of the most clutch playoff hitters of all time. LAD has experience from last year’s WS and won’t fold.

Arcadia pitcher Chris Wilson:
Winner: LAD in 6.
Why: I think LAD has an advantage in the pen because most of their guys are throwing well right now. The Red Sox hitters, however, are going to be tough, because they just knocked around the Yankees and Astros’ pitching. The x-factors are the starting pitchers and how late they’re able to go in games. Being able to use a DH in Boston makes LAD’s lineup even scarier.

St. Francis pitcher-outfielder Tanner Tomko:
Winner: LAD in 5.
Why: I think the Dodgers’ bullpen and not having won a title since 1988 gives them an advantage, and Boston, it’s their hitting. If the Dodgers win, I think Jansen will be key and if Boston wins, it will be Mookie Betts’ hitting. The Dodgers will win because their starters will pitch well and their closers will do the job. LAD’s hitters will put the ball in play.

Maranatha shortstop Nick Iverson:
Winner: LAD in 5.
Why: Boston had an advantage with both their starting and relief pitchers. LAD has more depth in their lineup. Machado will be key if the Dodgers win and he needs to produce like an all-star. Boston will need Chris Sale and David Price to dominate on the mound. The Dodgers will win, because their bats will come to life.

Former St. Francis third baseman-pitcher Aaron Treloar:
Winner: Boston in 6.
Why: While LAD has the edge in starting pitching, the Red Sox hitting gives them an advantage. They have a lot of guys who get the job done at the right time. The Dodgers tend to rely on the long ball far too often. JD Martinez and Mookie Betts will be big for Boston and Kershaw, Hill and Buehler for LAD. I think it comes down to the bullpen, and the winning manager will be the one that saves his pen as much as possible and uses them sparingly. Boston will win, because their pitching will keep them in games, and their offense will overcome the tough Dodgers’ rotation and pen.

Maranatha catcher Ethan Firestone:
Winner: LAD in 5
Why: The Dodgers have a better all-around team, including the bullpen. Walker Buehler is the key for LAD and Mookie Betts is for Boston. The Dodgers need Max Muncie and Yasiel Puig’s bats to come to life.

Former Pasadena catcher Adrian DePasquale:
Winner: Boston in 6
Why: The Dodgers have been too much of a long-ball team and they’re getting exposed for it, and almost fell to the Brewers. Bellinger is key for LAD and they need Turner and Machado to be consistent. Overall, though, Boston is a better and more consistent team.

World Series Schedule (Best of 7):
Game 1: Tuesday: LAD at Boston at 5
Game 2: Wednesday: LAD at Boston at 5
Game 3: Friday: Boston at LAD at 5
Game 4: Saturday: Boston at LAD at 5
Game 5: Sunday (Oct. 28): Boston at LAD at 5 (if necessary)
Game 6: Tuesday: (Oct 30): LAD at Boston at 5 (if necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday Oct. 31: LAD at Boston at 5 (if necessary)

Pitching Probables:
Game 1: Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA) vs. LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11)
Game 2: Hyun-jin Ryu (7-3, 1.97) vs. David Price (16-7, 3.58)
Game 3: Nathan Eovaldi or Rick Porcello) vs. Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62)
Game 4: (Nathan Eovaldi or Rick Porcello) vs. TBA
Game 5 (if necessary): TBA vs. TBA
Game 6 (if necessary): TBA vs. TBA
Game 7 (if necessary): TBA vs. TBA

Playoff Results:

Divisional Round:

LAD defeated Atlanta, 3-1
Boston defeated NYY, 3-1

Championship Series:
NL: LAD defeated Milwuakee, 4-3
AL: Boston defeated Houston, 4-1

Most recent World Series titles:
Boston: 2013, 2007, 2004
LAD: 1988, 1981, 1965

Regular Season Wins:
Boston: 108
LAD: 91

Odds in Las Vegas to win World Series:
LAD: +125 (underdog)
Boston: -125 (favorite)