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World Series Game 1: Lineups, bullpens, FAQs

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Two of baseball's most historic teams -- the Red Sox and Dodgers -- are set to meet in what should be a thrilling World Series. The fun starts tonight at Fenway Park, with a classic pitching matchup on tap for Game 1.

Clayton Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and seven-time All-Star, takes the ball for the Dodgers. The Red Sox counter with Chris Sale, who is also a seven-time All-Star and finished in the top five in the American League Cy Young Award voting the last five seasons. Kershaw and Sale are widely considered to the best lefties in their respective leagues for the last several years. Can it get any better than that to start a World Series?

View Full Game Coverage

Two of baseball's most historic teams -- the Red Sox and Dodgers -- are set to meet in what should be a thrilling World Series. The fun starts tonight at Fenway Park, with a classic pitching matchup on tap for Game 1.

Clayton Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and seven-time All-Star, takes the ball for the Dodgers. The Red Sox counter with Chris Sale, who is also a seven-time All-Star and finished in the top five in the American League Cy Young Award voting the last five seasons. Kershaw and Sale are widely considered to the best lefties in their respective leagues for the last several years. Can it get any better than that to start a World Series?

View Full Game Coverage

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

:: World Series schedule and results ::

"Chris is a very good pitcher," said Kershaw, who beat the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series last year. "He was dominant this year. He's been dominant for a long time. I enjoy watching him compete. I have nothing but good things to say about him and the way he competes and the way he's pitched the last few years. I don't take much [stock] in the fact about the matchup, I don't really care too much, other than I'd like him to not be as good so we have a better chance of winning, for sure."

In another intriguing subplot, managers Alex Cora and Dave Roberts are good friends and former teammates. In fact, both Cora and Roberts played for the Red Sox and Dodgers. Look for Roberts to get a nice ovation when he is introduced at Fenway prior to Game 1. His stolen base in Game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series against the Yankees will never be forgotten.

Here is a primer to get you ready for a Fall Classic that features two star-studded rosters and solid role players on both sides.

What might the starting lineups look like?
Dodgers: Roberts used a different leadoff hitter in each of the last four games in the NLCS. He confirmed on Monday that David Freese will start and Matt Kemp will be the designated hitter. Yasiel Puig generally doesn't start against left-handed pitching, but he's coming off three hits, including a three-run homer, during a Game 7 clincher and the other right-field candidate, Enrique Hernandez, was 1-for-14 in the NLCS. Brian Dozier has four doubles and three homers in his career against Sale. Austin Barnes is expected to catch again after starting the final four games of the NLCS. Whether all of those right-handed hitters can avoid the temptation of trying to pull Sale pitches over the Green Monster is one of the keys for the slug-happy Dodgers.

1. Chris Taylor, LF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. David Freese, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Matt Kemp, DH
6. Brian Dozier, 2B
7. Cody Bellinger, CF
8. Yasiel Puig, RF
9. Austin Barnes, C

Video: WS2018 Gm1: Dodgers on facing Sox in World Series

Red Sox: The most balanced lineup in MLB takes its act to the World Series with the clear mission of continuing to set the tone. The Sox are 7-0 this postseason when they score first and 0-2 when they don't. It was also a trend in the regular season, when Boston was 74-15 when scoring first. With Kershaw starting for the Dodgers in Game 1, Cora will likely stack the deck with right-handed hitters, as he's done against other lefties this postseason. This means that Steve Pearce will start at first base instead of Mitch Moreland, and Eduardo Nunez could be at third base instead of Rafael Devers, who belted a three-run homer in the clinching Game 5 of the ALCS against the Astros. Though Cora has more or less turned the catching reins over to Christian Vazquez of late, the slumping Sandy Leon caught Sale the majority of the time this season and will do so again in the World Series opener.

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. J.D. Martinez, DH
4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Steve Pearce, 1B
6. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
7. Ian Kinsler, 2B
8. Sandy Leon, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Video: WS2018 Gm1: Cora, Red Sox on Game 1 of World Series

Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Kershaw makes his first Fenway Park start in Game 1 after convincing management he didn't need extra rest in the wake of throwing the final 15 pitches on Saturday night in Milwaukee. Kershaw lost his Game 1 start in the NLCS, lasting only three-plus innings, but won Game 5 with a masterful seven innings then closed out the clincher. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and Rich Hill will follow Kershaw in Games 2-4, respectively.

Video: Debating which team has the pitching advantage in WS

Red Sox: Sale, who has a lot of adrenaline even for starts in Spring Training, will be extra fired up for his World Series debut. He did have issues down the stretch, pitching just 17 innings from July 28 through the end of the regular season due to left shoulder inflammation. After Sale had an impressive showing against the Yankees in Game 1 of the AL Division Series, his velocity and command were lacking in his no-decision in Game 1 in the next round against the Astros. Sale had a stomach virus right after that start against Houston and will be on nine days' rest when the World Series starts. Extra rest has generally been a good thing for Sale. He made 11 starts on five or more days' rest during the regular season, going 6-2 with a 1.41 ERA. Sale doesn't have much history with the Dodgers. He last faced them on June 15, 2012, taking a no-decision at Dodger Stadium. Sale's only other appearance against them was in relief in 2011.

Video: ALCS Gm1: Sale strikes out 5 over 4 innings in Game 1

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: The Dodgers' bullpen had a 1.45 ERA in the NLCS. Not only is Kenley Jansen back, Pedro Baez remains unexpectedly dominant and Ryan Madson is the calm in a storm. Kenta Maeda hasn't been the impact setup man as expected, but with Dylan Floro, Caleb Ferguson and Alex Wood, Los Angeles' bullpen is deep and versatile. Of course, the Dodgers thought they had a superb relief corps going into last year's World Series, when Jansen and Brandon Morrow appeared to wilt under a heavy workload.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Madson K's 2 over 1 2/3, earns Game 7 win

Red Sox: Boston's bullpen, much-maligned despite finishing fourth in the AL in ERA this season, had a strong showing in the ALCS. Pitchers have found their roles, and Cora has gained confidence in them. Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier are the two relievers Cora trusts the most in the setup role. In the postseason, Barnes, Brasier, Heath Hembree and Joe Kelly have a combined 0.81 ERA and a .122 opponent's batting average over 22 1/3 innings.

Closer Craig Kimbrel had struggled in this postseason until the Game 5 clincher against Houston, when he fixed an issue of tipping pitches that former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne pointed out to him, and he was dominant in closing out the Astros. The potential addition of Steven Wright, who missed the first two rounds of the postseason due to a right knee injury, could be a big boost for Cora and lessen the need for him to use his starters in relief. The Red Sox will wait until Tuesday morning to announce whether Wright is on the roster.

• Wright making case to be on Sox's WS roster

Video: ALCS Gm5: Red Sox win the American League pennant

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: No.

Red Sox: Everyone is available, assuming Wright is placed on the roster.

Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: None known. Joc Pederson started Game 7 after being hit by a 96-mph fastball on the right wrist in Game 6 but had only one at-bat, a groundout, before he was replaced after a pitcher change. But on Monday, he said he was fine.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Pederson stays in after getting hit on hand

Red Sox: Nunez has been bothered by right ankle issues since the regular-season finale, so the rest between rounds will likely do him some good. Moreland injured his right hamstring in Game 2 of the ALDS and has only started once since then. He still isn't running at full speed but will probably start against right-handed starters in the World Series.

Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: Taylor hit a quiet .364 against the Brewers and Puig hit .333, including his crucial three-run home run in Game 7. But even in the clincher, the Dodgers went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, so there are still chinks in the offensive armor, but the one hit was Puig's blast. Max Muncy and Hernandez really struggled in the NLCS, Muncy with 13 strikeouts in 22 at-bats and Hernandez going 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts. The bullpen has been nearly untouchable, but the starting rotation unpredictable.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Puig smashes 3-run homer to center in 6th

Red Sox: Considering Bradley hit .200 in the ALCS, it's hard to classify him as hot. But he has made his hits count. The three he had against the Astros added up to nine RBIs and led to the center fielder earning ALCS MVP honors. Betts has shown flashes of brilliance in the postseason, but he hasn't gotten hot yet. This probably means he will. In 39 postseason at-bats, Betts is hitting .205 with no homers and three RBIs. The Dodgers have a rotation that is lefty-dominant, so it will be interesting to see how Cora deploys left-handed hitters Devers and Moreland, who have both swung the bat well when they've played this postseason. In fact, Devers is one of four players in postseason history to hit three-plus homers before the age of 22. The others? Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera and Bryce Harper, who have four each. Leon continues to be close to an automatic out. Since Aug. 25, the switch-hitter has two hits in 52 at-bats and a .149 OPS.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Bradley Jr. named MVP of the ALCS

Anything else fans might want to know?
• There's some rain in the forecast in Boston on Tuesday night, but it is expected to clear before the game. The temperature is expected to be in the mid to high 40s.

• The distance between Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium (approximately 2,588 miles) is the longest between World Series opponents.

• Fenway Park, which opened in 1912, is easily the oldest venue in the Major Leagues. Dodger Stadium is the third oldest, opening in 1962.

• This is the first time the Dodgers have played at Fenway Park since 2010. The last time the teams met was 2016, when Los Angeles took two out of three.

• These iconic franchises have met just once in the World Series, in 1916, when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn and known as the Robins. The Red Sox won in five games for the second of three World Series titles won from 1915-18 prior to a drought that lasted until Boston again won the World Series in 2004.

• The Red Sox hope to continue their dominance against NL opponents. During the regular season, the Sox went 16-4 in Interleague Play. In their last three World Series appearances, Boston combined to go 12-2 against the Cardinals (2004 and '13) and Rockies ('07).

• Cora is the third rookie manager in the expansion era (1961-present) to lead his team to the World Series. The others were Ralph Houk (1961 Yankees) and Bob Brenly (2001 D-backs). Houk and Brenly both went on to win the Fall Classic.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bogaerts owns leadership role in return to WS

Shortstop eager to experience feeling of winning another title
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Five years ago wasn't so long ago. Yet in the world of the Red Sox, nearly everything has changed since the last time they were in the World Series.

When the players are introduced at Fenway Park prior to Game 1 of the World Series, you won't see David Ortiz. You aren't going to see Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes or any of those other bearded, "Boston Strong" wonders either.

BOSTON -- Five years ago wasn't so long ago. Yet in the world of the Red Sox, nearly everything has changed since the last time they were in the World Series.

When the players are introduced at Fenway Park prior to Game 1 of the World Series, you won't see David Ortiz. You aren't going to see Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes or any of those other bearded, "Boston Strong" wonders either.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on FOX

:: World Series schedule and results ::

But you will see Xander Bogaerts -- the one constant between the 2013 World Series champions and the group that is trying to win it all again.

Aside from second baseman Dustin Pedroia (who only played three games this season due to a left knee injury) and low-leverage reliever Brandon Workman (iffy to make the roster), Bogaerts is the lone link to the past glory.

The 26-year-old veteran and resident RBI machine is embracing his second go-around on baseball's biggest stage.

"That was one of the best years I had, playing with all the veteran guys in the World Series," Bogaerts said. "David Ortiz being right next to my locker. I remember in St. Louis, he's like, 'Let's go, me and you, let's go get 'em.' I'm like, 'I'm 21, I don't want go to get anything. I'm just trying to play the game of baseball.' But it was fun -- it was real fun."

Five years ago, at the age of 21, Bogaerts was just trying to give the Red Sox a jolt at third base because the bat of Will Middlebrooks had gone quiet. Bogaerts sparked a crucial rally in clinching Game 6 of that 2013 American League Championship Series against the Tigers with a double high off the Monster against Max Scherzer. And in Game 3 of the World Series, Bogaerts tripled off of current teammate Joe Kelly and tied the game in the eighth by smashing a 100-mph fastball from Cards closer Trevor Rosenthal for an RBI single.

In 34 plate appearances in the '13 postseason, Bogaerts had an impressive line of .296/.412/.481.

Back then, Bogaerts was wearing No. 72, serving as a reminder that he was a glorified September callup that season, though he was actually promoted in late August.

"I saw one of those highlights the other day," said Bogaerts, who now wears No. 2. "I don't remember what I was doing, but I looked at the TV, I saw myself getting the base hit to tie the game off of Rosenthal, and I looked at my face, I looked kind of like [Rafael Devers] last year. Because Devers now, he looks much more mature. I could see myself, how young I was and just trying to help the team. It was amazing."

The way Bogaerts looks at it, he actually knows what he's doing this time around.

"And all that pressure, it's a fun pressure," Bogaerts said. "I think right now, I really enjoy the pressure as opposed to back then, my first few years. Back then, I was trying not to mess it up."

When Bogaerts was asked five years ago about what it would take to win a World Series, he really had no insight. How could he?

Video: Bogaerts flashes talent in 2013 Fall Classic debut

Now, when posed that same question, he sounds like a sage veteran.

"We should just play the baseball we've been playing -- quality baseball," Bogaerts said. "I think good defense, good pitching. Obviously, we know we have a lot of good hitters on our team. Just securing the baseball and taking it one pitch at a time is what's important for us."

Though Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are the AL MVP Award candidates from the Red Sox, the club couldn't have won 108 games in the regular season and rolled through the first two rounds of the postseason without its shortstop. Bogaerts set career highs this season in homers (23) and RBIs, while posting a sturdy .883 OPS. He provides protection in the cleanup spot behind Martinez.

"This guy is the real deal, and ever since I saw him in the playoffs in 2013 until now ... he was great then, and he's only gotten better," Red Sox righty Rick Porcello said. "I can't say enough good things about him. He's really matured in my mind into the top two, three shortstops in the league if not the best."

Pedroia is proud of the way his double-play partner has evolved.

"He's more comfortable offensively and defensively," Pedroia said. "He's trying to stay with his strengths. He knows his weaknesses. That's the thing, as a young guy, we all have weaknesses. I have mine. Instead of fighting it, trying to fix it, you try to stick with your strengths and stay away with your weaknesses, and he's one of the best at doing that. There's a reason why he's one of the best shortstops in baseball."

Video: ACLS Gm 5: Bogaerts on closing out the ALCS

Bogaerts just hopes this World Series ends for Boston like the last one.

"After a couple of years, we didn't make it past the first round, but this year, with this team, the manager and the coaches we have guiding this team, it's been a really special year," Bogaerts said. "Looking forward to four more wins so we can go home and have that parade."

And if anyone wants to know the route of that parade, Bogaerts will one of the few who knows.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts

Betts prepping for 2B shift; Cora weighs options

Leon will catch Sale in Game 1; Wright could make WS roster
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Though Mookie Betts is generally considered to be the best right fielder in MLB, he continues to prepare for the possibility of being moved to second base when the World Series shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3-5.

"Obviously, I'm going to do whatever I can if the opportunity presents itself to make sure I take care of everything," said Betts. "I think safety is the most important thing."

BOSTON -- Though Mookie Betts is generally considered to be the best right fielder in MLB, he continues to prepare for the possibility of being moved to second base when the World Series shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3-5.

"Obviously, I'm going to do whatever I can if the opportunity presents itself to make sure I take care of everything," said Betts. "I think safety is the most important thing."

• World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on FOX

Red Sox manager Alex Cora is still weighing the pros and cons with his analytics department of shifting Betts to a position he played regularly in the Minors. At Dodger Stadium, without the designated hitter, Cora has said he will start star slugger J.D. Martinez in the outfield for all three games.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

The unflappable Betts has worked out at second base during team workouts the last three days, in addition to his regular work in the outfield.

"I think I won't worry about that until the situation comes," Betts said. "Right now, I just have to take care of playing right field, catching the ball there and scoring some runs for the guys behind me. If that situation comes, it comes. If not, I'm not going to worry about it."

• Dress for the Fall Classic: Shop AL Champs gear

Another wrinkle for Cora to consider is that the Dodgers will start right-hander Walker Buehler in Game 3. It was believed Los Angeles would start lefties Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw in the series' three games at Dodger Stadium, which would have given Cora the option of sitting the left-handed-hitting Jackie Bradley Jr., while keeping the right-handed-hitting Ian Kinsler at second base. In that scenario, Andrew Benintendi (LF), Betts (CF) and Martinez (RF) would comprise the starting outfield. Betts made 13 starts in center field during the regular season.

But with Buehler going in Game 3 in L.A., Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has essentially forced Cora's hand: If he wants Betts in the lineup, it makes the most sense to start him at second base and leave the left-handed-hitting Bradley in center field. 

Though Bradley is slashing just .177/.255/.290 with two homers and eight RBIs in 137 plate appearances against lefties this season, he has been in the lineup all three times Boston has faced a southpaw starter in this postseason.

• World Series Game 1: Lineups, bullpens, FAQs

Cora loves the athleticism that Betts, Benintendi and Bradley display on all sides of the ball, and he tries to keep them all in the lineup when possible.

"I read something before, that in the playoffs that when the three are together, our record is like unreal. We're playing .750 baseball," Cora said. "Obviously, they're not going to be together in L.A., at least to start the game. It's always good to have them."

Video: Cora on defensive alignment, Betts at second base

In the regular season and postseason combined, the Red Sox are 72-25 when Benintendi, Bradley and Betts started in the outfield together.

Betts did play six innings at second base after Kinsler was injured on Aug. 3 against the Yankees. Aside from that, the Red Sox have used him exclusively in the outfield the last four seasons.

Video: NYY@BOS: Betts takes over at 2B after Kinsler injury

If Cora does move him, it wouldn't be the most radical move a manager has ever made in this regard during a World Series.

A player getting a World Series start at a position he doesn't play is rare, but it's not unprecedented. The Indians were in a similar situation in 2016, when they wanted to get Carlos Santana's bat in the lineup against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Santana, who was the Indians' primary DH that year, got two World Series starts in left field. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first player since Jake Flowers in 1931 to start a World Series game at a position where he had never previously started. Flowers was primarily a middle infielder, but he started four games of the Fall Classic at third that year for the Cardinals.

Leon will stick with Sale
Christian Vazquez has emerged into Boston's primary catcher during the postseason, but the heavily slumping Sandy Leon has continued to start every game that ace Chris Sale has. That trend will continue in Game 1 of the World Series, Cora confirmed.

Including the postseason, Leon has caught 20 of Sale's 29 starts this season.

"I think just throwing to him, it's easy," said Sale. "He's very levelheaded. He studies hard. He works hard. Obviously, throwing out runners, he's good at that. And even just coming out for mound visits, there's never any panic. There's no sense of urgency. He's just coming out there either calming me down or going over a game plan.

"And for me, personally, I rely on my catcher for basically everything -- for scouting report, for pitch calling. And it's easier when you have guys like that back there that you can trust in and just kind of go out and follow their game plan, and we'll be good to go."

Video: 2018 WS Gm1: Cora on Chris Sale starting Game 1

The Red Sox are again expected to carry three catchers on the roster, including Blake Swihart, so Cora can be aggressive about pinch-hitting for Leon, who has two hits in his last 52 at-bats.

Roster decision still looms
The main roster decision for the Red Sox revolves around knuckleballer Steven Wright. The right-hander was on the initial American League Division Series roster but was taken off after one day due to his problematic right knee, which will require arthroscopic surgery during the offseason.

Wright had a strong showing in Sunday's workout, going through fielding drills and throwing to hitters. Rosters are due on Tuesday morning.

"He was OK. He's moving well," said Cora. "We're going to meet after the workout today to make the decision and to see where we're at roster-wise. And we'll announce it tomorrow."

• Wright making case to be on Sox's WS roster

If Wright makes the roster, one of Brandon Workman or Heath Hembree will likely be taken off the roster. Workman got rocked for four runs in one-third of an inning the last time he pitched, which was Game 1 of the AL Championship Series. Hembree hasn't given up a run the three times he's pitched in the postseason, though he also hasn't been used since Game 1 of the ALCS.

Bittersweet World Series for Pedroia
Though Dustin Pedroia, proud owner of two World Series rings, has been reduced to spectator status for this Fall Classic, he continues to be a positive force around his teammates.

Pedroia, who hasn't played since May due to complications from a right knee injury, is doing what he can do lend his experience. On Sunday, that included working with Betts on turning double plays.

"It's hard not playing, but that's it," Pedroia said. "Just watching how the guys go about everything, that part is actually fun.

"It's all right. Seeing how these guys play, I'm proud of every single one of them. I bring some energy."

Fashion police
Sale's sarcastic assertion that his stomach illness during the ALCS was caused by a belly-button ring continues to be a humorous topic around the Red Sox.

Brock Holt went so far as to say he would get a belly-button ring and a nipple ring if the Red Sox win the World Series. What does Sale think about setting fashion trends for the Red Sox?

"Hey, that's what I do," quipped Sale. "Fashionista, I guess."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon, Chris Sale, Steven Wright

Price gets World Series Game 2 nod

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- David Price at last had his postseason breakthrough when he fired six brilliant innings (three hits, no runs, no walks, nine strikeouts) to lead the Red Sox to a clinching win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series last Thursday in Houston.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on FOX

BOSTON -- David Price at last had his postseason breakthrough when he fired six brilliant innings (three hits, no runs, no walks, nine strikeouts) to lead the Red Sox to a clinching win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series last Thursday in Houston.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET on FOX

:: World Series schedule and results ::

And now, the lefty will get the nod in Wednesday's Game 2 of the World Series against the Dodgers, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced on Monday.

Price's impressive performance against the Astros lifted the burden he carried for never winning a postseason start. In 12 career starts in the playoffs, Price is now 1-9 with a 5.63 ERA. The Red Sox won the last two games he started, marking the first two times Price's team had been victorious in any of his October starts.

"That's cool. That's awesome. I don't have to prepare myself for that [question] in Spring Training, February 20th or when September rolls around and I've still got five regular-season starts [left]. I don't have to answer that question any more, so that feels good," Price said after winning Game 5 of the ALCS.

This is the second trip to the World Series for Price, who went with the Rays in 2008 after being called up in September of that season. In the '08 Fall Classic, Price was used strictly as a reliever, notching a 2.70 ERA in two outings. The Phillies won in five games.

Just as he did in the last two rounds, Cora will keep his options open for Games 3 and 4.

Video: Price on postseason outings, importance of starters

Cora has used starters Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi out of the bullpen this postseason, and that trend could continue in the first two games of the World Series.

In the first two rounds, Eovaldi started Game 3 and Porcello got the nod in Game 4. Eovaldi has been electric this postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in three appearances.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox, David Price

Former teammates make history as WS skippers

114th World Series is first to feature two minority managers
MLB.com @castrovince

BOSTON -- Alex Cora and Dave Roberts share a history. The two-and-a-half seasons they spent together with the Dodgers in the early 2000s formed a friendship that has lasted to and will last through this World Series, whatever the result.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

BOSTON -- Alex Cora and Dave Roberts share a history. The two-and-a-half seasons they spent together with the Dodgers in the early 2000s formed a friendship that has lasted to and will last through this World Series, whatever the result.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

And as the Red Sox and Dodgers begin the Fall Classic on Tuesday night at Fenway Park, these two friends are making history, too.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

The 114th edition of the World Series is the first to feature two minority managers -- a fact that is not lost on the Puerto Rican-born Cora or on Roberts, who is half-Japanese and half-black.

"It's special," Roberts said. "And it's not about myself or Alex. It's just to see minorities get opportunities and perform and do well, I think that gives opportunities for others. So there's responsibility, that I know that Alex shares, to do things the right way and to be good leaders. Up to this point, I think we've done a pretty good job."

For Cora, becoming the first World Series manager born in Puerto Rico takes on an added level of resonance after last year's devastating hurricanes.

"I'm proud to be here," Cora said. "I'm proud representing not only all the Puerto Ricans that live on the island but Puerto Ricans all around the world. We know what happened last year. It was a tough one. And Maria kicked our ass, you know. As a country, we've done an outstanding job fighting. We're standing up on our own two feet."

So this Series -- which begins on a street recently renamed from Yawkey Way to Jersey Street because of the alleged racist past of Tom Yawkey -- has historic value attached to it even before the first pitch is thrown and as the national pastime continues its broader efforts to ensure rosters, coaching staffs and front offices more accurately and justly represent the country in which it resides.

With the number of black players on the rise, with diversity-focused development camps like the Dream Series and the Baseball and Softball Breakthrough Series offered by MLB, and with the Diversity Pipeline Program fostering more opportunities for women and racial minorities, the sport is doing what it can to remove barriers for entry.

Roberts', Cora's best moments playing for their WS opponents

The backgrounds of this year's pennant-winning skippers are one small part of the bigger picture.

"It's great," Red Sox starter David Price said. "I know what A.C. has meant to us all year long, ever since he's been here. And Mr. Roberts over there, I see how well he's had the Dodgers play ever since he's been there. Two fairly new managers, two guys who I feel command respect in their locker rooms -- from their players and coaches -- it's good to see."

Video: Sale discusses Cora's consistency, composure

The two skippers' shared background is meaningful, too. Something must have been gleaned from their many baseball conversations back in the day, because today Cora and Roberts are similarly valued and respected for the communication and relationship-building that makes their mixing-and-matching lineup strategies work so well.

All Roberts has done in three seasons with the Dodgers is win three division titles and two National League pennants. And all Cora has done in his rookie year is win 115 games, counting the American League Division Series and AL Championship Series triumphs.

These are, in other words, two successful men. And neither man is surprised by the success of the other.

Cora remembered seeing a confident quote from Roberts about the Dodgers' division chances when they were still in the midst of the early-season spiral that would put them 10 games under .500.

Video: MLB Tonight talks World Series managers' connections

"I still remember D.R. saying something like, 'We will win the West,'" Cora said. "I read it and I was like, 'D.R. is crazy.' But that's who he is. He's very positive, he has a great pulse of that clubhouse and team."

When Roberts was first interviewing for the Dodgers' gig, he tried to talk Cora into potentially joining his staff, but Cora, who was enjoying a lighter schedule with ESPN and the ability to be a regular part of his daughter's life in Puerto Rico, was not yet interested in taking that plunge. But Roberts was obviously on to something.

Video: Roberts discusses Cora, minority managers

"He has a crazy passion for the game of baseball," Roberts said of Cora. "Very detail-oriented, always curious about strategies and the why. He has that ability to really focus for three hours. And lastly, he connected people. He was always a leader. So he checks a lot of boxes. So to see him in this position, no surprise."

Both Roberts and Cora have come a long way from that day in July 2004, when Roberts got the news that he had been traded to the Red Sox and was devastated. It was Cora who tried to perk him up, reminding him that he was going to a place where people live and breathe baseball and that an enormous opportunity awaited. And when Roberts notched that stolen base in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees that is so meaningful to people here that it might as well have been included in the Book of Genesis, it was Cora who texted him and told him, "I don't know what's going to happen here, but, if this happens [and the Red Sox end the 'Curse of the Bambino'], you're going to be a hero."

Video: Alex Cora on playing with Dave Roberts in '04

Roberts and the Red Sox made history that year, and now Roberts and Cora are making history on this year's Fall Classic stage. It's but a small subplot of this World Series, but for two men who have great respect for each other and great understanding of what the game does and can represent, it's a substantial one.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers

Sox, LA rely on starters in age of 'bullpenning'

MLB.com @castrovince

BOSTON -- For the Dodgers and Red Sox, the best chance to win this World Series is a formula that has been followed for many, many years: Get the absolute most and best you can from your starting pitcher, and then figure out the rest.

• World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

BOSTON -- For the Dodgers and Red Sox, the best chance to win this World Series is a formula that has been followed for many, many years: Get the absolute most and best you can from your starting pitcher, and then figure out the rest.

• World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

Clayton Kershaw is a Hall of Fame-caliber ace, and Walker Buehler a developing one. David Price and Rick Porcello are former American League Cy Young Award winners, while Chris Sale has come close a time or six. Toss in Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Nathan Eovaldi -- all of whom have had moments of greatness in this 2018 run -- and there's an awful lot of starting-pitching pedigree that will be on display during this year's Fall Classic.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

"Both teams have four good starters that they can call upon," Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. "They have to do their job so that the 'pens are not overexposed. We're getting ready to play five games in six days, so you have to be conscious of how you use the bullpen and how many times they're going to be called upon. So the starters are still a little traditionalist as far as that goes."

• World Series gear: Dodgers | Red Sox

But the mid-game moment will inevitably arise when it's time to go to the bullpen. And if we know anything at all about this 2018 postseason and the way it's played out -- especially with "bullpenning" being all the rage -- that's when things will get really interesting.

• World Series Game 1: Lineups, bullpens, FAQs

For the Red Sox, "bullpenning" is not the method of the moment. You could almost say "startering" is.

Rookie manager Alex Cora called upon Porcello to be his eighth-inning setup man in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Yankees and again in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series against Houston. He used Sale in the same role in the Game 4 clincher in the first round against the Yankees, and Eovaldi in relief during the Game 5 clincher in the ALCS. Cora also had Price warming in the bullpen when Andrew Benintendi made that epic catch to end Game 4 in Houston.

It is, therefore, not unreasonable to suspect we might see a similar setup situation evolve in Games 1 or 2 at Fenway Park.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Porcello K's 2 during a perfect 8th inning

Cora has not committed to a pitching plan beyond Sale as his Game 1 starter and Price in Game 2, because the possibility that Porcello sees another early setup opportunity is very much on the table. The trust Cora has in his starters to get him key late-inning outs in a pinch is implicit.

"I think it boils down to knowing personality and knowing players," Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly said. "All of our guys have done it before, so it's not anything new. Sale came up as a reliever, Price did it in the bullpen last year, Eovaldi's done it, Rick's done it in Detroit. Alex knows all of that stuff, and, if a guy's ready, Alex has confidence in him."

• 7 pitches to look for in the World Series

Contrary to what the "starter as a setup guy" formula might suggest, the traditional bullpen -- you know, the actual relievers -- has given Cora reason to be confident, too, even though there was much hand-wringing in Red Sox Nation when the team did not reel in a relief prize at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and then when things looked really hairy going into October.

Kelly (one earned run in 5 1/3 innings), Matt Barnes (one earned run in 6 1/3 innings) and Ryan Brasier (no earned runs over seven innings) have been fantastic this postseason. The relief corps has stranded all 14 inherited runners over the last eight games. Actually, Boston's shakiest reliever right now is its best: Craig Kimbrel, who hasn't commanded his curveball well. Though even with Kimbrel, there is confidence that he ironed out a pitch-tipping issue after a terrific outing in the ALCS clincher.

Video: Cora on confidence in Kimbrel

But the Dodgers appear to be in an even better spot with their bullpen going into this World Series. Their relievers have faced questions this year, as well, with closer Kenley Jansen battling an irregular heartbeat and an inflated home-run rate in the regular season.

In the postseason, however, Jansen has been his old, lights-out self (6 2/3 scoreless innings with a .091 average against), and the rest of the 'pen has followed suit. Ryan Madson, Caleb Ferguson, Pedro Baez and lefties Dylan Floro and Julio Urias have combined for two earned runs allowed in 24 innings. The biggest hangup has been converted starter Kenta Maeda, who has not been the same lockdown option this October that he was on the run to last year's World Series.

• Who has the edge? WS position by position

Video: NLCS Gm7: Madson K's 2 over 1 2/3, earns Game 7 win

Los Angeles' predominantly left-handed rotation (Kershaw, Hill and Ryu) could set up well against a Red Sox lineup that posted a regular-season OPS roughly 100 points lower against lefties (.719) than righties (.817). The challenge will be knowing who to trust when the starter fades, especially against a Boston lineup that had baseball's best team OPS (.940) the third time through the order by 51 points.

"We still need Kenta," Honeycutt said. "Our lefties [in the bullpen], instead of handling full innings, can probably just [handle] individual matchups. But the right-handers are going to be tested by this lineup, for sure."

Video: NLCS Gm1: Maeda catches Kratz looking in the 8th

The Dodgers know too well how quickly confidence in a bullpen can evolve. They went into last year's World Series having set a record with 23 consecutive scoreless innings from the bullpen. But when the 'pen broke late in Game 2, the series was irrevocably changed. It became a seven-game set in which no lead was safe.

"I do think that with us last year there was a little bit of overexposure with our 'pen with the Astros," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

So as good as these two clubs might feel about the state of their relief situations, the oldest formula is still the preferred one here. We don't know how long the starters will last in these games, and we don't know how long they'll last in this industry. But for now, for this moment, for this Fall Classic, startering is still a thing.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers

Who's the best Dodgers/Red Sox player?

It's official: The Red Sox and Dodgers will square off in the World Series starting on Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. ET at Fenway Park. It's the first time the two historic franchises have played each other in the Fall Classic in 102 years.

In that time, many players have donned both the Dodger Blue and Boston "B" -- but which one's the best? Help us choose below.

Series aces hope to show starters still go deep

Price, Kershaw, Sale fighting against personal narratives and 'bullpenning' trend
MLB.com @alysonfooter

BOSTON -- For all of the talk about "bullpenning," and a team's relievers absorbing the majority of innings during the postseason, the clubs in the World Series have a more traditional look, hearkening back to the days when starters pitched a lot of innings, and relievers did not.

But this isn't some kind of nostalgic look back to the good old days of five years ago, when it was generally assumed that overtaxing a bullpen throughout the course of a regular season and into the playoffs would eventually take a toll sometime after the halfway point in October.

BOSTON -- For all of the talk about "bullpenning," and a team's relievers absorbing the majority of innings during the postseason, the clubs in the World Series have a more traditional look, hearkening back to the days when starters pitched a lot of innings, and relievers did not.

But this isn't some kind of nostalgic look back to the good old days of five years ago, when it was generally assumed that overtaxing a bullpen throughout the course of a regular season and into the playoffs would eventually take a toll sometime after the halfway point in October.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tonight, 8:09 ET/5:09 PT on FOX

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Instead, it would be prudent to peer into the plights of a handful of starting pitchers who have helped to push the phrase "bullpenning" to the side, briefly. The World Series is hardly lacking big names who have had success on the biggest stages, but now the question is: How likely are they to still be standing on that mound when the sixth or seventh inning rolls around?

The names David Price, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale normally define pitchers who can be counted on to go deep into games. But their results, in recent history, have been mixed. And that may force their managers to make difficult, and early, decisions.

The talent level is unquestioned, and they've had longer outings this postseason -- at times. But they've also had their moments this month that remind us why calling on the relievers early in games continues to be a thing.

"Starting pitching, to me, is still the key," Price said. "I understand starters are on very short leashes and this and that. But I feel like teams really are going to go as far as their starters will allow them to go, especially in a seven-game series."

Video: Price on postseason outings, importance of starters

Price, who will start Game 2 for the Red Sox on Wednesday, has every reason to be brimming with confidence. In the Game 5 clincher against the Astros in the American League Championship Series, the lefty found a feel for a changeup that most Houston hitters labeled as unhittable. He enters the World Series as a possible double weapon for the Red Sox. He could build on that six-inning, nine-strikeout performance against the Astros, while also allowing manager Alex Cora to pace his bullpen for a possible seven-game showdown with the Dodgers.

"Knowing in the back of your mind that if you give up a couple of runs early, your day could be over ... it might lock you in just a little bit more knowing that you have to be just a little bit better to get to that point that you expect to get to," Price said. "I think you can take it out there, go pitch by pitch, continue to move forward and deal what whatever happens out on that field. Just stay ready."

On the Dodgers' side, for all that Kershaw has accomplished -- if he retired tomorrow, he'd be a first-ballot Hall of Famer -- it seems odd to talk about the left-hander somehow heading into his World Series Game 1 start needing to redeem himself in the postseason. But his postseason results have been mixed.

Video: Kershaw on pitching at Fenway for the 1st time

Kershaw had a terrific outing in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Braves, throwing eight shutout innings with three strikeouts, but in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Brewers, he allowed five runs (four earned) over three innings. He bounced back in Game 5, holding Milwaukee to one run over seven frames.

In the regular season, Kershaw has a career ERA of 2.39. In the postseason, his ERA is 4.09, with a 4.02 mark in the World Series. Some of that is due to him having to go longer than he probably should have in past postseasons, due to, yes, a taxed bullpen. But fairly or not, until Kershaw has that dominant, Series-clinching outing, skepticism about his postseason body of work will continue.

After Dodgers manager Dave Roberts rattled off the first three starters who will comprise his World Series rotation -- Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler -- he acknowledged the importance of being able to count pitchers who don't require a lot of strategizing ahead of time.

"I think that's a lot more comforting than to kind of premeditated get six to nine outs and then try to patch things together, especially when you're talking about a seven-game series, the last series of the year, where guys have been used and workloads and things like that," Roberts said.

Video: WS2018 Gm1: Sale on pitching for home team at Fenway

Sale, Boston's Game 1 starter, would appear to serve that role for the Red Sox. He doesn't have as much postseason baggage as Price and Kershaw -- this postseason is only his second -- but he's produced a mixed bag of results. In the ALDS against the Yankees, Sale pitched well, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings. His second outing in the ALCS vs. the Astros didn't go so well. He lasted four innings, allowed two runs and later came down with a stomach ailment that landed him in the hospital.

Whether that bug was already in his system when he was pitching against the Astros is unclear, but Sale, who allowed nine earned runs over two ALDS outings last year against Houston in his only other postseason, is ready to put in a good old-fashioned long outing when he takes the mound for the World Series opener.

That's "opener" in a more traditional sense.

"As a starting pitcher your job is to ... answer the phone when it calls and go out there as long as you can," Sale said. "That's been our mindset since Day 1, and it doesn't change when we get to the postseason."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, David Price

This is the moment for which Boston got Sale

Red Sox ace, acquired from White Sox two years ago, primed for World Series Game 1 start
MLB.com @MikeLupica

This is the game -- Game 1 of the World Series -- that Chris Sale was brought to the Red Sox to pitch. This is why Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations for Boston, traded away as much young talent as he did to get Sale from Chicago. Sale has now pitched the opening game in four straight postseason series for the Red Sox, going back to last season. When he's healthy, he has been one of the true aces in baseball. Now Sale is asked to be as much of an ace as ever on Tuesday night against the Dodgers.

"He's been our guy since Day One," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Sunday.

This is the game -- Game 1 of the World Series -- that Chris Sale was brought to the Red Sox to pitch. This is why Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations for Boston, traded away as much young talent as he did to get Sale from Chicago. Sale has now pitched the opening game in four straight postseason series for the Red Sox, going back to last season. When he's healthy, he has been one of the true aces in baseball. Now Sale is asked to be as much of an ace as ever on Tuesday night against the Dodgers.

"He's been our guy since Day One," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Sunday.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

Cora and the Red Sox have limited Sale's innings since he pitched just six innings in the opening game of this season, against the Rays in St. Petersburg. Sale is a Lakeland, Fla., kid. His uncle had taken him to see the Rays play on the day Tropicana Field opened in 1998, when Sale was nine years old and the two of them sat down the right-field line. Now he had gotten the ball on Opening Day in 2018 at The Trop, and allowed the Rays just one hit that day, leaving with a lead that the Boston relievers gave away. The Red Sox lost, but won 17 of the next 18 games, and were off.

World Series Game 1: Lineups, bullpens, FAQs

Boston did monitor Sale's innings after that, even during the stretch when he was at his very best, striking out the world and looking as much a dominant starter as Jacob deGrom was in the National League for the Mets. The reason was simple: Sale was clearly tired by the end of the 2017 season. Gassed. The Astros lit him up in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, and even though Sale came out of the bullpen in Game 4 and pitched brilliantly before being left in that game too long, it was clear that he was not the same pitcher he had been over the summer.

But even with limiting his pitch count in 2018, Sale still ended up on the disabled list after his left shoulder started barking at him. He pitched hardly at all in September. He has made three postseason appearances so far:

Sale started Game 1 of Boston's ALDS against the Yankees, pitching 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, and allowing up five hits and two earned runs as the Red Sox hung on to beat the Yankees, 5-4.

Video: NYY@BOS Gm1: Sale K's 8 over 5 1/3 frames vs. Yankees

Sale came out of the bullpen for the bottom of the eighth on the night when the Red Sox closed out the Yankees in Game 4, and pitched an absolutely filthy 1-2-3 inning. He looked to be at his very best. Finally, he started Game 1 against the Astros in the ALCS, pitching four innings of one-hit ball, giving up a couple more runs and striking out five.

Video: BOS@NYY Gm4: Sale K's Hicks to complete a 1-2-3 8th

Sale's 2018 postseason totals going into Game 1 of the World Series are 10 1/3 innings, with 13 strikeouts against six walks and six hits. He has allowed four runs.

The Red Sox wanted Sale to have a lot left for October. They will get a glimpse on Tuesday night. Dombrowski didn't trade away prospects like Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada -- and two other talented young players -- just to have Sale pitch the Red Sox back into the Series for the first time since 2013. He made this trade so that Boston could win its fourth World Series in the past 15 years.

So far Sale, who was hospitalized with a stomach ailment after the first two games of the ALCS against the Astros, has been everything Dombrowski and Red Sox ownership could have hoped for, even with the shoulder problems this season. His regular-season record since the trade is 29-12. He has made 59 starts, pitched 372 1/3 innings and has struck out -- wait for it -- 545 batters over that period. He has been one of the great Red Sox left-handers of all time.

When healthy, Sale has absolutely been in the conversation with other true aces in the sport, like deGrom, like Justin Verlander, like Max Scherzer, though he doesn't look like them, with that three-quarters arm angle, a frame as skinny as a swizzle stick and a fastball that doesn't get up to 100 mph. There have been games Sale has pitched where he has looked as dazzling and dominant for Boston as Pedro Martinez once was.

The Red Sox gave up a lot to get him, but they have gotten a lot back. Now Sale pitches the game the Red Sox really acquired him for. His manager says he's been their guy since Day 1. Well, Chris Sale is about to start Game 1 of the World Series. Sometimes in sports, you end up exactly where you're supposed to be -- a long way and a long time from Section 144 at Tropicana Field.

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale

Roberts, Cora's best moments with WS foes

After guiding their respective teams to the World Series, managers Dave Roberts and Alex Cora are pretty well-loved in Los Angeles and Boston, respectively. Not so long ago, though, the situations were reversed: Cora played the first seven years of his career with the Dodgers, while Roberts spent a pretty famous few months as a Red Sox. 

So before the two skippers face off in the Fall Classic, we thought we'd go full Freaky Friday -- and revisit some of their best moments with the team they'll be facing in Game 1 on Tuesday night. 

How'd LA, Boston build their teams? Like this ...

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

A year ago, the World Series pitted the best team in the American League, the Houston Astros, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The cast has changed a bit this time around, but it's once again the Dodgers facing the best the AL has to offer -- this time, the Boston Red Sox.

For the second year in a row, the AL team with the highest cumulative WAR among the players on its postseason roster is playing for a World Series ring. The Red Sox's 56.3 WAR ranked just ahead of the Astros (56.1), the team they just beat in the ALCS. In 2017, the Dodgers ranked second among NL playoff teams in WAR. This time around, they were easily No. 1, at 54.7, with the just-dispatched Brewers second at 45.0.

A year ago, the World Series pitted the best team in the American League, the Houston Astros, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The cast has changed a bit this time around, but it's once again the Dodgers facing the best the AL has to offer -- this time, the Boston Red Sox.

For the second year in a row, the AL team with the highest cumulative WAR among the players on its postseason roster is playing for a World Series ring. The Red Sox's 56.3 WAR ranked just ahead of the Astros (56.1), the team they just beat in the ALCS. In 2017, the Dodgers ranked second among NL playoff teams in WAR. This time around, they were easily No. 1, at 54.7, with the just-dispatched Brewers second at 45.0.


(Click here to view a full-size version of this infographic)

In many ways, these two World Series rosters mirror each other, not only in how they were constructed, but in where the value has come from. Both World Series participants have used trades more than any other avenue to build their potential championship squads, with some of the smaller deals being as, if not more, impactful than any blockbusters.

Both teams have a fair amount of homegrown talent, with the Dodgers having the edge there. The Red Sox have played more actively on the free-agent market, while the Dodgers have had some under-the-radar signings pay huge dividends.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 p.m. PT on FOX

Here's a closer look at how these organizations used the Draft, international signings, the free-agent market and trades to build their teams, with each category broken down by the number of players on the team's postseason roster and the value each player had over the course of the season, as calculated by Baseball-Reference's Wins Above Replacement measurement.

HOMEGROWN (Draft + international)

Red Sox: 9 players, 21.6 WAR
Dodgers: 11 players, 21.6 WAR

DRAFT

Red Sox: 7 players, 17.8 WAR
Matt Barnes (1.1), Andrew Benintendi (3.9), Mookie Betts (10.9), Jackie Bradley Jr. (2.1), Blake Swihart (-0.3), Christian Vazquez (-0.8), Brandon Workman (0.9)

The 2011 Draft has proven to be very fruitful for the Red Sox, even if it's taken some time. Barnes was the team's first pick at No. 19 overall, and while it took him some time to find his niche, he's become an integral part of the bullpen. Seven picks later, Swihart was taken from the New Mexico high school ranks, while the organization got Bradley Jr. coming off of a subpar junior season at the University of South Carolina at No. 40. Of course the steal of the Draft was getting Betts, the MVP candidate, in the fifth round. For most of the year, he, Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi (No. 7 overall pick in 2015) have made up an all-homegrown outfield.

Dodgers: 5 players, 14.3 WAR
Cody Bellinger (4.2), Walker Buehler (3.5), Caleb Ferguson (0.3), Clayton Kershaw (4.0), Joc Pederson (2.3)

While the Dodgers tend to be known for big trades and big free-agent acquisitions, they had as many homegrown players on their postseason roster as any team in this year's playoffs. They didn't miss when given a top 10 pick (Kershaw, No. 7 in 2006) or when they were picking toward the end of the first round (Buehler, No. 24, 2015), but they also did well in identifying talent in later rounds and going over slot to sign them, nabbing Bellinger in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft and Pederson in the 11th round back in 2010.

:: World Series schedule and results ::

INTERNATIONAL

Red Sox: 2 players, 3.8 WAR
Xander Bogaerts (3.8), Rafael Devers (0.0)

Devers had an uneven regular season but is coming off of a big ALCS (.385 with a homer and six RBIs) while Bogaerts has settled in at shortstop quite nicely.

Dodgers: 6 players, 7.3 WAR
Julio Urias (0.3), Pedro Baez (0.7), Kenley Jansen (0.6), Kenta Maeda (0.4), Yasiel Puig (2.7), Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.6)

No team has more international presence than Los Angeles, and the Dodgers have paid handsomely to do it, giving seven figures and then some for Maeda, Puig and Ryu.

FREE AGENTS

Red Sox: 4 players, 13.2 WAR
Dodgers: 2 players, 8.7 WAR 

Red Sox: Ryan Brasier (1.5), J.D. Martinez (6.4), Mitch Moreland (0.9), David Price (4.4)

The Red Sox are looking into manipulating their defensive alignment to get Martinez, whose five-year contract this offseason drew criticism from some, into the lineup in the NL park. Price is coming off perhaps the best postseason outing of his career in Game 5 of the ALCS. But with those big names, it might be Brasier who is the most interesting free-agent signing, and a Minor League one at that. Beginning the year in the Minors after pitching in Japan in 2017, Brasier has become indispensable out of the pen, pitching in seven postseason games and posting seven shutout innings.

Dodgers: Max Muncy (4.2), Justin Turner (4.5)

They may have been small and quiet at the time -- both were Minor League deals -- but it's hard to imagine this Dodgers team being where they are without either of these free-agent signings. Turner's impact has been long-standing, as he's been a top 10 MVP vote-getter twice and an All-Star since signing in 2014. The '17 NLCS MVP has helped the Dodgers reach the postseason every year since he came to Los Angeles. Muncy started the year as a utility type, then settled in at first base, with his 35 homers tying for fifth in the NL this season.

TRADES

Red Sox: 12 players, 22.7 WAR
Dodgers: 12 players, 24.4 WAR

Red Sox: Nathan Eovaldi (1.5), Heath Hembree (1.7), Brock Holt (1.3), Joe Kelly (0.5), Craig Kimbrel (2.3), Ian Kinsler (2.4), Sandy Leon (-0.5), Eduardo Nunez (-1.1), Steve Pearce (1.4), Rick Porcello (3.3), Eduardo Rodriguez (3.0), Chris Sale (6.9)

Boston's postseason pitching staff has largely been built via trades. Five wins and five saves (all from Kimbrel) came from trade acquisitions this postseason. Kinsler was their big Deadline deal, and he's helped solidify second base with Dustin Pedroia hurt, though getting Eovaldi from the Rays may have made more of an impact, as he's been one of the most consistent arms on the staff. They've also found value in smaller deals, like the one in June for Pearce, who has become the regular first baseman on this squad.

Dodgers: Austin Barnes (0.5), Brian Dozier (1.0), Ryan Madson (-0.6), Dylan Floro (1.8), David Freese (2.1), Yasmani Grandal (3.3), Enrique Hernandez (2.8), Rich Hill (1.3), Matt Kemp (1.1), Manny Machado (5.7), Alex Wood (1.3), Chris Taylor (4.1)

As little credit as the Dodgers get for their homegrown-ness, the assessment that they can, and do, go out and make trades to help get them this far is completely on point. Sometimes it's smaller trades, like for Taylor or Hill, that have a larger impact than anticipated. But for two years in a row, they've gone out and made big deals at the Deadline for the postseason. Last year, it was Yu Darvish; this year, obviously, it was Machado, who is coming off a contentious NLCS, but one in which he hit .296 (8-for-27) with a double, a homer and three RBIs.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers