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Dodger Blues

It's November 2nd, 2017. I wake up depressed and angry. I feel like I have ran a marathon and my exhaustion levels are the same as I currently have now as I raise a 3 year old daughter and a 1 week old baby girl. Except all these feelings, a mere year ago are from my favorite baseball team. The Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2017 World Series was an absolute roller coaster ride filled with loads of home runs, extremely late nights, and one massive depressing ending.

I love sports. No, like, I LOVE sports. My world revolves around them (besides my wife and little girls of course). Yet when you look at my list of favorite teams, its flat out mind boggling how I can be such a die hard sports fan. There is no team in this world that I love more than the Dallas Cowboys, and oh boy they do not love me back. 23 straight years now of trash and mediocrity, yet every Sunday I am glued to the television. The Philadelphia Flyers, now over 40 years without hoisting the cup, and without a goalie it seems. Never in my 31 years of life have I had the joy of watching my favorite hockey team lift the most coveted trophy in all of sports. The Oklahoma City Thunder. This one you must really be scratching your head on, but it was because I was a Sonics fan growing up, and when they up and left, I went with them. Again, another team I have never seen win a championship in my lifetime. Then lastly, the Los Angeles Dodgers. 1988. One of the most historic franchises in sports history is now sitting at 30 years without winning the World Series. I was a year and one month old when a young Orel Hershiser shocked the mighty A's and rode the momentum from Kirk Gibson in Game 1 to win it all. Does that even really count for me? I clearly do not remember it.

Fast forward May 16th this year. The defending NLCS champion Dodgers are 10 games under .500 and appear to have a massive World Series hangover. Hell, if I still do, they must, right? There is no Cory Seager this year. Kershaw again down and out with a back injury. Cody Bellinger's sophomore slump is real. Justin Turner missed the first 40 games with a broken wrist. Then they start scratching and clawing. Max Muncy burst onto the scene and cannot stop hitting homers. Matt Kemp rides a first half wave all the way to the All Star game. 10 games under .500 to a half a game up in the NL West at the break. Reinforcements come. Manny Machado, Brian Dozier, and Ryan Madson. Fast forward again to October. 162 games was not enough and the Dodgers need one more to decide the division and turn to rookie flamethrower Walker Buehler to get them to their sixth straight title. And they do it. They dispel the Braves in 4 games then head to Milwaukee to face a Brewers team who were winners of 11 straight. They push it to 12 with a Game 1 win. Again, for the umpteenth time this year, it appears it is not the Dodgers year, but again they scratch and claw and while they bat .220 through the NLCS, Clayton Kershaw throws strike 3 on a late October night sending the Dodgers back to the Fall Classic for the second straight year.

So here we are. The only thing standing between the Dodgers ending their 30 year World Series drought and lifting the Commissioner's Trophy is a 108 win Boston Red Sox team. Oh have I mentioned there is no team I despise more in sports than the Boston Red Sox? Yay...

You all clearly know about your team. Most wins in franchise history. Two legitimate MVP Candidates. A Cy Young candidate. And a rookie manager knowing what it takes to win it all freshly in his mind. But what do you know about the Los Angeles Dodgers?
  • The Dodgers and Red Sox have never faced off in the Fall Classic. Hard to fathom with these teams being so historic. However Boston did face off with Brooklyn back in 1916, except back then the Dodgers were still known as the Brooklyn Robins.
  • Dodgers set a team record, launching 228 home runs in 2018. A staggering number considering the pitchers park that is Dodger Stadium.
  • The Dodgers are not good against left handed pitching. They batted only .240 against southpaws and only 67 of their 228 long balls came against left handed pitching.
  • The Dodgers are a good road team, better than they were at home, getting 2 more wins away from Chavez Ravine then when there.
  • The Dodger bats this October have been colder than the New England nights. Somehow LA has found its way back into the World Series while batting only a measly .218.
  • As bad as their hitting as been, their pitching has been good. The Dodgers have compounded a 111/31 strikeout to walk ratio and hold a 2.79 ERA
  • Their bullpen is the real strength this October. 1.45 ERA and batters only hit .180 off the pen.
So who wins the series and why? You know where my heart is. My heart bleeds blue and the stress and emotion I will go through during this series while living an hour south of Boston will take years off my life. But I ALWAYS pick with my head, not my heart. The Dodgers woes against lefties is less than ideal when the first two guys lined up to pitch for Boston are lefties (Sale and Price.) The Red Sox offense is relentless while the Dodgers rely on the long ball a little too much. I may be worrying about this too much, but I HATE a warm weather Pacific time zone team needing to fly to the East Coast and play in 40 degree weather. I do think it has an effect. The only area the Dodgers, in my opinion, are better than the Red Sox in, is the bullpen. Because of that the Dodgers do get a win somewhere. But, gulp, I do think that is it. From the moment the Red Sox won the AL pennant I said if the Dodgers returned to the World Series, they would lose in 5. I have not wavered and I still say Sox in 5.

Just promise me, if I am right, to take it easy on me, because this may be my final sports straw.


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