The Boston Red Sox finished with a franchise-record 108 wins this season and dominated the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros on their way to an American League pennant.
The only thing standing in the way of their first World Series title since 2013 is the National League champions the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This is the best hitting team in baseball against the best pitching team in the National League.
And that is the problem for the Dodgers and among our three reasons why the Red Sox will win the World Series.
1. The best hitting team often wins
In the 1986 film 'Hoosiers', Rade Butcher tells coach Norman Dale in anger, "We can't win unless we score." It is a simple and obvious statement, but there is no more truer declaration.
Teams cannot win unless they score runs and no team in baseball scored more runs, had a better batting average, on-base percentage or on-base plus slugging than the Red Sox. That matters a lot.
The team with the better season-long OPS has won each of the last five World Series and eight of the last 11. Boston dismantled the best pitching team MLB has seen in years in the Astros in the ALCS.
The team can hit anyone and will hit the Dodgers, especially considering...
2. Boston dominate finesse pitchers
A good hitting team are of course going to have good numbers, but the Red Sox love to hit finesse pitchers. Boston batted .283 against finesse pitchers with 121 of the team's 208 homers coming against them in 2018.
Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all finesse guys and, while Los Angeles have power arms in their bullpen, Boston not only jump on teams early - the team led MLB in OBP at the top of the lineup - they hit bullpens very well.
The Red Sox will almost be guaranteed to hit three of the Dodgers' four starters and the game will only get worse once they get to the bullpen.
Dodgers pitchers will have no escape in this series, even when they are in their pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium.
3. There is no home-field advantage for Los Angeles in this series
As good as Boston are at home - with the best home record in MLB at 57-24 - there is little drop-off on the road as the team went 51-30 away from Fenway Park.
The Red Sox had similar numbers at the plate at home as they did on the road. In fact, they hit more home runs and posted a better slugging percentage away from Fenway.
The Dodgers also had a worse record at Dodger Stadium than on the road and gave up more home runs, extra-base hits, a better batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage at home.
Red Sox pitching is also incredibly consistent as they posted almost identical numbers at home as on the road. Boston see no drop-off wherever they play. Los Angeles will get no respite from heading back to California after Game 2.
|Lowry retains Abu Dhabi lead|
|Djokovic battles past Tsonga, young guns flourish|
|Louisville airport to be renamed in Muhammad Ali´s honour|
|Emery not thinking about Ozil speculation|
|Sri Lanka hopeful over Kusal Mendis finger injury|
|Oman 3 Turkmenistan 1: Last-gasp Al-Musallami guarantees progression|
|Emery wants Cech to end career ´in a good moment´|
|Japan 2 Uzbekistan 1: Shiotani stunner seals comeback and top spot|
|Calhanoglu deal ´financially impossible´ for Leipzig|
|Not seen at Aus Open since Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in 2009 – ´Next Gen´ make move|
|Martial: Solskjaer lets me express myself|
|Djokovic sees off Tsonga to reach third round|
|Returning Cousins calls Warriors ´the most hated team in sports´|
|Halep injury ´nothing dangerous´|
|Warner picks up elbow injury in Bangladesh|
|Mkhitaryan returning to Arsenal training next week|
|Leeds United pounce for Real Madrid goalkeeper Casilla|
|Watson lights up Gabba before power cut forces abandonment|
|Superb Serena blows Bouchard away|
|Tevez, Hulk, Oscar, Lavezzi - how the CSL stars Dembele is following to China fared|
|Thiem retires from Australian Open|
|Osaka ´not telling´ when it comes to injury niggle|
|Fabinho enjoying Klopp´s management style|
|Halep battles past Kenin in Melbourne|
|Hartley to miss England´s Six Nations opener|
|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|