The World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the L.A. Dodgers kicks off TONIGHT.
Here are 10 interesting facts to suck down . . .
1. Boston and L.A. aren’t exactly cities that are STARVING for championships, but this is the first time that the Red Sox and Dodgers have faced off in the World Series since 1916, over 100 years ago.
Back then, the Dodgers were the Brooklyn Robins, and the Red Sox beat them in five games.
2. The Dodgers have won the National League pennant 23 times.
The Red Sox have been kings of the American League 14 times.
The Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988.
The Red Sox were champs in 2013, and also in 2007 and 2004. But before that, they had an 86-year drought.
3. Since the Red Sox and Dodgers are in different leagues, they didn’t play each other between that 1916 World Series and 2002. Interleague play was introduced in 1997, but 2002 was when they first got each other on the schedule.
The Dodgers swept the Red Sox at Dodger Stadium that year, and they’ve only played each other 12 times since then. In fact . . . this might sound crazy . . . but the Dodgers have only won ONCE at Fenway Park since it opened in 1912.
4. To get here, Boston won a franchise-record 108 games to claim their third straight AL East title. Then they beat two 100-win teams, the wild-card New York Yankees in the Division Series (3-1), and the defending world champion Houston Astros in the ALCS (4-1).
5. To take their division for the SIXTH consecutive year, the Dodgers had to win a one game play-off against the Colorado Rockies. Then, they knocked off the Braves in the NLDS (3-1), and the Brewers in the NLCS (4-3).
Los Angeles is making its second straight trip to the World Series. Last year, they lost to the Astros in seven games.
6. This is the first World Series where both teams’ managers Alex Cora (Boston) and Dave Roberts (L.A.) played for BOTH teams. And Roberts played for both in one SEASON. Midway through 2004, the Dodgers traded him to the Red Sox. He played for Boston that postseason, but wasn’t on their World Series roster.
Cora was on the Red Sox when they won in 2007, and was a coach for the Astros when they won last year.
7. Both teams led their league in runs scored this year. And the Dodgers had SEVEN players reach 20-plus home runs. They ranked second to the Yankees in total home runs, hitting a franchise-record 235, which is tied for the third-highest total in NL history.
8. The Red Sox led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, with Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez leading the way.
9. The Red Sox won 16 more games than the Dodgers, which is tied for the third-biggest win differential in World Series history. The Red Sox won 108 and had the best record in baseball, while the Dodgers won ‘only’ 92 games.
But of the 23 World Series winners in the Wild-Card era, only five had the best regular-season record, although two of those were the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox.
10. The opening Vegas odds have Boston as SLIGHT favorites.
The Red Sox are at -135 (roughly 57%) and the Dodgers at +115 (roughly 46%). That means if you bet $100 on the Red Sox you’d win $74, and if you bet $100 on the Dodgers you’d win $115. (Here’s an odds converter to help you do the math.)
(MLB, Newsday, ESPN, ESPN)
(By the way, here’s a ranking of all the players in this year’s match-up, and here’s your annual story about how crazy the ticket prices are.)