BOSTON (AFP) – A classic showdown between two of Major League Baseball’s oldest clubs opens Tuesday when the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers meet to open the 114th World Series.
Boston will try to cap a team-record 108-win season with a championship trophy and capture a fourth in 15 seasons and ninth overall starting Tuesday at historic Fenway Park.
“It’s huge to be able to continue the trend of winning,’’ Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr, said. ‘’You want to be part of something great. Obviously we want to win it all. And we’ve got to win four more.’’
The Dodgers chase their first crown in 30 years and seventh overall after losing to Houston in last year’s World Series, one win shy of a title.
“We’ve got a tough series against the Red Sox coming up,’’ said Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger. “We know how hard it is to make the World Series. To do it two years in a row is really special.’’
Red Sox star left-hander Chris Sale will pitch the opener despite being hospitalized a week ago with a stomach ailment. Sale went 12-4 with a 2.11 earned-run average this season.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw, hoping to shatter a history of underperforming in big games, is expected to pitch the opener despite throwing Saturday’s last inning in a playoff win at Milwaukee.
It’s baseball’s first version of the Boston-LA rivalry made famous in NBA Lakers-Celtics 1980s title showdowns and it comes in Fenway Park, the oldest venue in the major leagues dating to 1912, half a century before Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers, whose history dates to the 1880s and includes a move from Brooklyn to California 60 years ago, and Red Sox, in their 118th campaign, met in the 1916 World Series, which Boston won thanks in part to 13 scoreless innings pitched by legend Babe Ruth in a 2-1 Red Sox victory.
“I think it’s great for baseball,’’ Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ‘’Two storied franchises going head-to-head. It’s going to be a great series.’’