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We did a Sox-Dodgers draft, the No. 1 pick is ...

October 22, 2018

The fun of this World Series -- in addition to the gorgeous stadiums, historic franchises and rabid fan bases -- will be in its stars. This feels like one of those Fall Classics that we'll look back on in 30 years and marvel at how many legends played in it.::

The fun of this World Series -- in addition to the gorgeous stadiums, historic franchises and rabid fan bases -- will be in its stars. This feels like one of those Fall Classics that we'll look back on in 30 years and marvel at how many legends played in it.
:: World Series schedule and results ::
So we thought: If we had the opportunity to put together a team just picking the best players from both the Red Sox and the Dodgers, to win one game, how would we do it? Thus, we got together analyst Mike Petriello and national correspondent Will Leitch to make them face off against each other. They each get to pick any player from the World Series roster for this one game.
The parameters: Eight position players, one designated hitter, one starter and three relievers for 13 roster spots. Leitch got the first pick. Who has the better team? One thing is for certain: There are almost too many great players to go around.
1. Will Leitch: Mookie Betts, CF, BOS
The first pick strikes me as a reasonable spot to pick the best all-around player in the postseason. I might play Betts in center field or I might play him in right … but I won't be playing him at second base.
2. Mike Petriello: Justin Turner, 3B, LAD
The Dodgers had a .612 winning percentage this season with Turner in the lineup and .483 without him. We're now a half-decade into his tenure as one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.

3. Leitch: Chris Sale, SP, BOS
I know this is early, but Sale is the guy I want. Just don't get anything pierced, Chris.
4. Petriello: Manny Machado, SS, LAD
Including the postseason, Machado has 40 homers this year and seemingly as many controversies. He plays a better shortstop than you think he does, and along with Turner, I've locked down a huge advantage on the left side of the infield.
5. Leitch: J.D. Martinez, DH, BOS
This theoretical one-game playoff is at Fenway Park, so I don't have to hide Martinez in the field.

6. Petriello: Cody Bellinger, OF/1B, LAD
Perhaps a risky choice here given his postseason struggles and the fact that Will will start the lefty Sale, but the talent is undeniable. And besides, how many players do you know who regularly play first base and center field? Who does that?
7. Leitch: Player Page for Max Muncy, 1B, LAD
Roy Hobbs Muncy: Look out Fenway light poles.
8. Petriello: Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD
In what almost seemed like a "down year" given another disabled list trip and much discussion about his declining velocity, Kershaw still managed a 2.73 ERA and two outstanding postseason starts in three tries -- not to mention closing out Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

9. Leitch: Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS
We expected Bogaerts to be a superstar so quickly that we've totally slept on how quietly great he has become.
10. Petriello: Andrew Benintendi, LF, BOS
The familiarity with the Green Monster helps, but Benintendi mainly feels like he does everything well, if nothing particularly great.
11. Leitch: Yasiel Puig, RF, LAD
For some reason, it feels like I need to keep Puig and Sale on the same team. (And probably still separated.)

12. Petriello: Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD
We need three relievers apiece, so I'll start by grabbing the one who certainly looks like he's shaken off his season-long struggles to resemble his formerly great self again. In 19 games since Sept. 1, including the postseason, Jansen has a 1.89 ERA, a .152 batting average against and a 25:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That'll play.
13. Leitch: Rafael Devers, 3B, BOS
Devers turns 22 on Wednesday. He's going to be in this league so long it will someday seem impossible to imagine him this young.
14. Petriello: Craig Kimbrel, RP, BOS
Kimbrel and the Red Sox insist that he's fixed a pitch-tipping issue that led to some of his problems this month, and if that's true, then I have two of the best closers who ever lived at near full strength on my team.

15. Leitch: Yasmani Grandal, C, LAD
It has been a rough postseason so far … but the breakout is coming.
16. Petriello: Enrique Hernandez, UT, LAD
Hernandez is my second baseman almost by default -- Ian Kinsler hasn't hit in two years, James Dozier has been totally forgotten and Brock Holt won't play against lefties -- but that undersells him, since he can play all over and finally hit righties this year.
17. Leitch: Pedro Baez, RP, LAD
Probably time to start grabbing some relievers. You'll notice my pattern here: I like veterans.
18. Petriello: Jackie Bradley Jr., CF, BOS
With Bellinger, Benintendi and now Bradley, my outfield defense is outstanding, and Bradley has started to slug, too. He's hitting .260/.344/.489 since the All-Star break, postseason included.

19. Leitch: Matt Barnes, RP, BOS
Putting my faith here in the lifelong New Englander.
20. Petriello: Steve Pearce, DH/1B, BOS
Pearce has long been one of the better lefty-mashers in the game, which I like against Sale, and he's a perfectly capable first baseman, too.
21. Leitch: Eduardo Rodriguez, RP, BOS
Gotta have a lefty specialist … so I'll go with the qualified starter.

22. Petriello: Ryan Brasier, RP, BOS
Now I have a bullpen of Jansen, Kimbrel and the rookie who has allowed eight runs in 49 2/3 innings (postseason included) this year. Good luck with that.
23. Leitch: Joc Pederson, LF, LAD
Pederson may go 0-for-4 to start the game and then blast a three-run home run when I need it most.
24. Petriello: Chris Taylor, UT, LAD
Along with Hernandez and Bellinger, I now have the flexibility to cover any spot on the field, and Taylor can slug a bit as well. With Pearce likely playing DH in the American League park, I might end up with Hernandez at first and Taylor at second. It doesn't matter. No one stays put at one spot for long.

25. Leitch: Ian Kinsler, 2B, BOS
This is a seasoned vet who surely has one big postseason moment left in him.
26. Petriello: Austin Barnes, C, LAD
That's right, I picked the nominal "backup" Dodgers catcher instead of any Boston catcher, but that's because no Red Sox catcher can hit and I'm not convinced Grandal is actually going to start ahead of Barnes anyway.

Leitch's team
Catcher: Grandal
Infielders: Muncy, Kinsler, Bogaerts, Devers
Outfielders: Pederson, Betts, Puig
Designated hitter: Martinez
Starting pitcher: Sale
Relief pitchers: Baez, Rodriguez, Barnes
Petriello's team
Catcher: Barnes
Infielders: Machado, Turner, Taylor, Hernandez
Outfielders: Bellinger, Benintendi, Bradley
Designated hitter: Pearce
Starting pitcher: Kershaw
Relief pitchers: Jansen, Kimbrel, Brasier

Will Leitch is a columnist for

Mike Petriello is an analyst for and the host of the Statcast podcast.