Diner Question: Who's your pick to win the World Series? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dubroff’s Diner

Diner Question: Who’s your pick to win the World Series?

Manny Machado was the talk at the Diner last week, and I think he’s going to continue to be a hot topic. Machado’s Los Angeles Dodgers are facing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series that begins tonight.

When the postseason began three weeks ago, I thought the World Series would be a rematch of the Dodgers and Houston Astros. After the Astros won the first game of the American League Championship Series, I was even more convinced.

Then Boston won four in a row. It wasn’t that the Astros played poorly, the Red Sox were just better. And they’ll enter the Series as a favorite.

But let’s give the Dodgers a closer look. Many of you are familiar with the Red Sox because they’re a division opponent of the Orioles, and you watched the Dodgers-Brewers in the NLCS because of the Machado dynamic.

There wasn’t much of Jonathan Schoop on display for Milwaukee, but there was plenty of Machado, who became a villain after a play at first on which he appeared to intentionally drag his left leg to collide with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar.

He’ll return to Fenway Park, where he’ll be booed again after a couple of controversial slides into second, including one on which he caught Dustin Pedroia on the leg with his cleats. Red Sox pitchers seemed to throw at Machado on just about every at-bat for the rest of that series.

Fenway hasn’t been one of Machado’s favorite places to hit, although he handled the heat well in 2017. His .278 average in 49 games is slightly below his career average.

Machado and another former Oriole, Justin Turner are the only Dodgers who can be counted on to play every day at the same position.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about L.A. is their depth. Matt Kemp, a National League All-Star in July, played in 146 regular-season games but has just 15 postseason plate appearances.


Brian Dozier, who hit 76 home runs for Minnesota the past two seasons, was acquired at the July trading deadline and has come to bat only 14 times in the postseason.

Chase Utley, a possible Hall-of-Famer who is ending his career, has a brilliant postseason resume with 68 games and 10 home runs, but he hasn’t been on the roster for any of the three series this month.

Seven Dodgers played at least 130 games, and Cody Bellinger, who always plays, sometimes starts at first base and other times plays center.

Manager Dave Roberts is brilliant in moving his players around, and he’s able to deal with some complex personalities. He’ll be helped by being able to use a designated hitter for up to four games in the Series while the Red Sox will have to decide what to do with J.D. Martinez when the games are played at Dodger Stadium.

Alex Cora has had a masterful first year in Boston, a most difficult place to manage.

Mookie Betts, who could win the American League Most Valuable Player award, may play at second base in Los Angeles to make room in the outfield for Martinez, who is also an MVP contender.

Cora hopes Chris Sale is healthy again, but he got a big boost when David Price delivered his best postseason start in Game 5 against the Astros.

Clayton Kershaw will try to win the World Series for the first time, and he’ll be followed by Hin-Jin Ryu for Game 2 and Walker Buehler for Game 3.

Craig Kimbrel has had a shaky postseason, but Cora won’t be afraid to use starters Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello in the first two games to help get to Kimbrel.

Kenley Jansen, Ryan Madson and Julio Urias are keys to the L.A. bullpen, but the unheralded Dylan Florio threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings during the NLCS.

This is a hard series to pick. Had Milwaukee won the seventh game, I would have picked the Red Sox to win handily. After watching Boston dismantle Houston, which I thought was the most complete team in the game, I thought I was convinced.

But L.A.’s depth has convinced me. Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are big-time players for Boston, but the Dodgers have so many of them. I think it will be a wonderful World Series, and my only hope is that all the games don’t last past midnight.

My pick: Dodgers in 7

This Week’s Diner Question: Who’s your pick to win the World Series?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 23, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Kershaw is the key. The only way the Dodgers have ANY kind of chance to win this thing is if Kershaw is the Kershaw of old, and dominates in both his starts. (why can’t he start 3 ?) And even at that, LA still had to find a way to win another 2, which I don’t see happening.

    Other than those 2 games, the Sox should have no problem. They seem to be a team of destiny. But then again … I can remember ’69.

    Red Sox in 5.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Boog, I will be disappointed if it’s not a great World Series . I hemmed and hawed before making my pick, and that’s not like me.

    • Jbigle1

      October 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Walker Buehler is pretty good too. He might be young but his stuff is electric. They’ll have to win all of Kershaw and buehler’s starts though because I can’t see ryu/rich hill or Alex wood keeping these Boston bats at bay.. The Sox rotation isn’t a lock to throw gems either. Price finally made a good postseason start but he’s only had about 10 clunkers before that. Sale hasn’t been his dominant 7-8 inning self recently either. It should be intriguing. Neither bullpen is dominant. I expect to see lots of runs scorer in this series. Let’s go dodgers in 7. I’d rather not see Boston win another but this one could go either way.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Jbigle, we agree!

  2. SpinMaster

    October 23, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Rich: As much as it hurts an Oriole fan to route for the Red Sox, that is my pick to win the series. It is more that I just don’t like the Dodgers (and all the celebrity aura that surrounds them) then I like the Sox. Since the Red Sox are in our division, I can route for them just to justify how difficult it is to compete in this division. I really do like Mookie Betts and the way he plays the game. Sox in 6

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Spin, I think many Orioles fans agree with you. I know one Orioles season ticket holder who’s going to Games 1 and 2, and she’ll be rooting for the Red Sox, too.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 23, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Picking the Sox is one thing, but an Oriole fan actually ROOTING for the Sox is plain old blasphemy! Will we be rooting for the Yankees next year? C’mon guys … the Sox…really? Arrrrrrgggghhhhh Say it ain’t so!

  3. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    October 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

    I think Manny has a big series. He hits the Red Sox pitching extremely well and could win the Series MVP if things fall the Dodgers way. A big performance would push his anticipated free agent dollars even higher. However, I think the Red Sox win in 7 games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      Grand Strand, this is such a hard Series to predict. I just hope it’s as exciting as I think it will be.

  4. Orial

    October 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    MLB and FOX got what they wanted. No matter how much MLB may deny it Manny’s antics have them drooling with pleasure. An unhinged Manny vs Sale an the Red Sox!?—A viewers delight. I’m not gonna let Manny’s immaturity get in the way of rational thinking. I do and always will despise the Red Sox BUT can’t see them losing. So after a deep breath and much agony I’ll say Red Sox in 6. Now I feel awful.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Machado is good for baseball. So is Bryce Harper. I want players who show some emotion, whether you like it or not. The game needs characters that people want to root for–or against.

  5. boss61

    October 23, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Front Row Amy.

    Well, if we can’t have her, how about this time Eddie’s long fly ball in the bottom of the 8th actually gets over the wall, Omar Moreno wife loses her whistle, Kiko Garcia is the series MVP and Willie Stargell is a footnote of western Pennsylania history. Send me backward around the sun, and thus back in time.

    Sox in 5. Even without Front Row Amy.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Mark, hard as it is to imagine, 39 years have passed since the 1979 World Series.

  6. willmiranda

    October 23, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Red Sox sweep. The Hot Hand over Depth in a short series.

  7. Jack Gibbons

    October 23, 2018 at 10:55 am

    I agree with Boog, Kershaw has to be dominant, but I’m thinking he will be. The Red Sox dominated a very good Astros team, which makes me think they can’t lose. However, the Dodgers are more than glitter — they have depth, talent and some players who also thrive in the clutch. I’m expecting a big series from Manny and a Dodgers victory.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Jack, so far you and I are the only ones who like the Dodgers!

  8. PA Bird Lover

    October 23, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Boston in 6

  9. garyintheloo

    October 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Dodgers in six. Time to break another drought. Reports this morning indicate that Gaston will sign with the Rays. So do you count the Oriole three player losing streak to end 2018 or to start 2019?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Gary, we’ll be talking Gaston tomorrow morning. Glad to have someone else on the Dodgers bandwagon.

    • Orial

      October 23, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      gary THAT is funny!

  10. DevoTion

    October 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Dodgers in 7. I would rather be wrong and lose money then ever pick the Red Sox

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Devo, you and I agree on something!

  11. BirdsCaps

    October 23, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I am rooting for Rich to be right and the Dodgers winning it in 7. However, the depth of the Sox is just too great. I just see the rotation, pen and lineup being in favor of the Sox. I concur with other commenters that argue that Kershaw cold be a difference make. The only problem is that this year he’s been good, but not great and that will not be enough to put the Dodgers over the top. The only potential problem that the Sox face is the absence of the DH, but I think they’ll overcome that. As much as I hate the Sox, I see them winning it in 5 (but I wouldn’t be surprised at a sweep)

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      You have two chances to be right, BirdsCap.

      • BirdsCaps

        October 23, 2018 at 8:35 pm

        Hey you’re right, This doubles my chances of being able to say I told you so!!!!!!!!

  12. Olney Ogre

    October 23, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Steve Pearce will hit 5 home Runs and be World Series MVP and Red Sox will win WD

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 23, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      That would interesting, ogre.

    • Olney Ogre

      October 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      Yeah Steve Pearce , 2018 WS MVP. 3 homers, 8 RBI; he crushed Dodger pitching . American League wins again.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 2, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Congratulations, Olney Ogre! Next meal at the Diner is on me.

    • Olney Ogre

      November 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      I’ll choose steamed crabs and National Boh , Utz Potato Chips, and Tastykakes


    October 24, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    I will take the Red Sox in five, could even be four games. The Red Sox are clearly the best team in baseball. They won 108 games in the regular season and beat a pair of 100-win teams to reach the World Series. That has never been done before.
    They have been unbeaten on the road in the playoffs and have a 7-2 record despite patching together the pitching staff.
    If the Dodgers pull this off, it will rival their 1988 championship when they upset the Mets and the A’s to win it all.
    Like it or not (and I don’t), the Red Sox are going to win it all this season.

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