Team-by-Team Championship Series Preview

Four remain. Here’s a quick look at each team and their task of becoming World Series champs.
 
Boston Red Sox
The team to beat. The Boston Red Sox entered the postseason with 108 wins and cruised past the Yankees in four to advance. Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Brock Holt have been monsters from the plate as of late. Lefty Chris Sale will get the nod in Game 1 against Houston. Sale is 12-4 on the season with a 2.11 ERA, and he’ll face a familiar foe from last year’s postseason on the other side.
 
Houston Astros
No surprise here. The ‘Stros will give the ball to Justin Verlander on Saturday. Verlander is 16-9 on the year with 290 Ks. He got the win in a duel with Sale in Game 1 of the 2017 ALDS a year ago. The returning champs outscored the Indians 21-6 over a three-game sweep. They’re rested and ready to make a run at a repeat. 
 
Milwaukee Brewers
You can't get much hotter than the Brewers right now. Milwaukee comes into Friday having won 11-straight games, including a sweep of the Rockies in the NLDS where they held Colorado to just two runs and kept them scoreless in 27-of-28 innings. Christian Yelich should be a lock to win MVP. They’ll start Gio Gonzales on the mound in Game 1 on Friday. Gonzales is just 10-11 on the season but 3-1 in his last seven starts.
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
It’s been mid-season acquisitions who have carried the Dodgers offense in the postseason. The addition of Manny Machado has been in a slam dunk in L.A. while calling up Max Muncy has proven to be a move that’s paid off. Clayton Kershaw was pegged to start in Game 5 of the NLCS if needed, but he’ll lead off Game 1 in Milwaukee on adequate rest after the Dodgers completed the sweep.

MLBJeff Yoder