A look at the potential Red Sox-Dodgers World Series pitching matchups
Game 1: Clayton Kershaw vs Chris Sale
Clayton Kershaw was used to close out the Brewers in Game 7 of the NLCS, and chances are the Dodgers will use their ace to open up the World Series in Boston. The future Hall-of-Famer has had his fair share of postseason woes in his career, but recently he's put the "Kershaw can't perform in the playoffs" narrative to rest. Kershaw went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA during the 2018 regular season. Want to know just how good Kershaw is? His 2.73 ERA marked the highest of his career since 2010. When that's considered a "down season," you're doing something right.
On the other side is Chris Sale. Health is the big concern with the Red Sox southpaw heading into Game 1. Sale was hospitalized with a stomach ailment the day after his ALCS Game 1 start and hasn't pitched since. He also missed time toward the end of the regular season with shoulder inflammation. Assuming he's back to full strength or anything close to it, there is no reason to expect anything less than excellence from the ace when he takes the mound for Game 1 at Fenway Park.
Game 2: Rich Hill vs David Price
Remember Rich Hill? The 38-year-old had three stints with the Red Sox (2010-12, 2014, 2015) and is still chugging along and enjoying success with the Dodgers. The left-hander, who was born and raised in Milton, MA, had an 11-5 record and 3.66 ERA during the regular season. Hill definitely isn't going to blow anyone away with his velocity, but look for him to give Red Sox hitters some trouble with his knee-buckling curveball. There's a chance he goes Game 3, but given his experience on the big stage, Hill could be slated to start Game 2 on a familiar Fenway mound.
As for David Price, the redemption story isn't over yet. The lefty (yes, there are a lot of left-handed pitchers in this series) pitched a gem to finish off the Astros in the ALCS, but this will be unquestionably the biggest start of his 11-year career as he looks to further exercise his playoff demons. Price said he "found something" during a bullpen session in the last series, so Red Sox fans will hope that finding will pay dividends when it matters most.
Game 3: Walker Buehler vs Nathan Eovaldi
Walker Buehler certainly hasn't looked like a 24-year-old rookie this postseason. The hard-throwing right-hander was trusted to perform in a winner takes all Game 7 vs the Brewers, and he delivered with a solid outing allowing only one run in 4.2 innings pitched. It makes sense for L.A. to start him Game 3 at Dodger Stadium where he had a 1.93 ERA for the year.
Nathan Eovaldi has been a godsend for Boston. Like Buehler, Eovaldi is a hard-throwing right-hander who has been counted on in some big spots this postseason. The Red Sox' trade deadline acquisition pitched gems in his starts against both the Yankees and the Astros, and then topped it off with a spectacular relief outing in the eighth inning of Game 5. Eovaldi was sensational at both Yankee Stadium and Minute Maid Park, so there's no reason to believe things won't be the same at Dodger Stadium.
Game 4: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Rick Porcello
Hyun-Jin Ryu was hit hard by the Brewers in Game 6 of the NLCS, but the 31-year-old right-hander otherwise has been excellent for the Dodgers all season when healthy, posting a 7-3 record and 1.97 ERA.
Rick Porcello had an up-and-down 2018 campaign, but he's been reliable both as a starter and out of the bullpen for the Red Sox this postseason. Game 4 makes the most sense for Porcello to start as there's a high likelihood of him being needed out of the 'pen in one or more of the first three games in the series. He'll look to be more effective than he was in Game 4 of the ALCS in Houston, when he let up four runs and seven hits in four innings pitched.