The 2018 World Series is here.
The Boston Red Sox, favourites in the American League all season, easily topped the Houston Astros in the ALCS to advance. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in a seven-game NLCS to reach their second straight World Series.
On Tuesday, the teams will meet in the opening game at Fenway Park. Here are three storylines to follow:
Can Kershaw, Price change the narrative?
Clayton Kershaw and David Price have long been two of baseball’s best pitchers. While they have each had high points during October, both have been mediocre in the playoffs throughout their careers. They could change that narrative in the World Series.
Kershaw entered this postseason with a 7-6 record and a 4.35 ERA. He threw eight shutout innings in the NLDS and seven innings of one-run ball in the Dodgers’ Game 5 NLCS win over the Brewers. He also pitched a scoreless ninth inning in their Game 7 victory. However, Kershaw did surrender four earned runs as he took the loss in the series opener.
On the other hand, Price - who has a 3-9 career postseason record - was tagged for seven total earned runs in his first two 2018 playoff starts before he threw a six-inning, three-hit gem in Boston's ALCS-clinching Game 5 win over the Astros.
The pair have combined for four Cy Young awards and 12 All-Star appearances, but only one will get to add a championship to their resume at the end of this series.
Will Chris Sale be himself?
Boston starter Chris Sale was limited to just one appearance in the ALCS as he was hospitalised with an illness, which he said was caused by irritation from a belly button ring.
Sale is set to start Game 1, yet the illness still forced him into an extended layoff. He will go 10 days without taking the mound.
Sale tallied a 12-4 record with a 2.11 ERA in the regular season and made his seventh consecutive All-Star team. The Red Sox will need their ace to be in top form if they want to win the ninth World Series title in franchise history.
In or out?
The Red Sox will have to make some crucial lineup decisions when they play at Dodger Stadium.
Boston will not have the benefit of the designated hitter in the National League park, meaning it will have to take one of its big bats out of the lineup.
J.D. Martinez, an American League MVP candidate, typically serves as Boston's DH but manager Alex Cora said he will move to the outfield for road games in this series. That means the Red Sox will either have to bench Jackie Bradley Jr. - the ALCS MVP - or Andrew Benintendi, who went .290/.366/.485 in 148 regular-season games.
The Red Sox are also considering using star Mookie Betts at second base, a position he played in the minors.
Nope, nothing to see here. pic.twitter.com/iYB3Ctkfwe— MLB (@MLB) October 21, 2018
|BREAKING NEWS: Dembele departs Spurs for Guangzhou R&F|
|Nacho convinced Isco remains important to Real Madrid|
|Warriors star Curry sets NBA record|
|Raonic survives four-hour marathon against Wawrinka|
|Osaka powers through to Aus Open third round|
|Irving dominates in Celtics´ win over Raptors|
|Irving called LeBron this week to apologise|
|Ajax star De Jong wants to resolve future ´quickly´|
|Payton on Rams CB Peters: I have great respect for him|
|Rockets star Harden matches Chamberlain with historic performances|
|Nishikori survives Karlovic test in Melbourne|
|Vieira reunion felt really weird - Henry|
|´#BetAgainstUs´ - Edelman and Pats embracing underdog status|
|Van der Vaart: Isco the best player in the world|
|I haven´t seen Guardiola or Klopp do that – Lampard unhappy with Bielsa|
|Real Madrid always play to win, insists Casemiro|
|Royals pitcher Skoglund suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs|
|Ronaldo and Juve celebrate Supercoppa Italiana title with Mayweather|
|We are not going to talk about Morata - Simeone reluctant to discuss striker|
|Madrid weak in Leganes loss, says Solari|
|Bologna and Banvit seal Champions League play-off spots|
|LeBron James to miss Thunder & Rockets games but nearing practice return|
|Leganes 1 Real Madrid 0 (1-3 agg): Isco starts as Solari´s side go through despite defeat|
|NFL playoffs 2019: X-factor for each NFC team|
|Mahomes: Chiefs must not repeat mistakes against Patriots|
|Higuain´s Supercoppa benching due to virus, says Milan boss Gattuso|
|Brown fires back at Arians over ´diva´ comments|
|Stone heading home from West Indies tour with back injury|
|Shazier will continue rehab with intention of playing again|
|That´s why we signed him! Allegri hails Supercoppa match-winner Ronaldo|
|Monaco on worst home run in club´s history after Nice draw|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Girona 3 (4-4 agg): Simeone´s side out on away goals|
|Gregg Williams is Jets´ new defensive coordinator|
|Ronaldo: Supercoppa triumph just the start for Juve|
|Monaco confirm Batshuayi talks|
|You know more than me! Bielsa´s Barcelona research surprised Guardiola|
|Juventus 1 AC Milan 0: Ronaldo heads Bianconeri to Supercoppa glory|
|Kane injury cannot be excuse for Tottenham – Pochettino|
|Woods to open 2019 schedule at Torrey Pines|
|Reported Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical|
|Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history|
|MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta|
|WBC set deadline for Wilder-Fury rematch|
|Iran 0 Iraq 0: Team Melli top Group D after dull draw|
|Vietnam 2 Yemen 0: Quang Hai shines to give Golden Dragons hope|
|Bielsa admits to spying on all Leeds´ opponents|
|Valverde open to arrivals amid De Jong tug-of-war|
|Sexton named in Ireland squad for Six Nations openers|
|Higuain benched for Supercoppa Italiana amid Chelsea links|
|De Grandhomme, Latham and Santner back in Black Caps squad|
|Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to ´score as many as possible´|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Cuper not distracted by potential last-16 opponents|
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|
|Nadal and Federer march on as rising stars prosper|
|Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay|
|Inter forward Keita suffers thigh injury|
|Nadal races into third round with easy Ebden win|
|Kimmich ´perfect´ for Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades´ rout of Sixers|