Dodgers attempt to come back, but odds are against them

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The Red Sox and the Dodgers resume World Series play in Los Angeles tonight, with Boston up 2-0. In light of that, how are the Dodgers’ chances?

Not great!

  • A team has taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series 54 times. Those teams have gone on to win the Series 43 of those times, including in each of the last 10 World Series in which that has occurred;
  • 31 of the past 38 teams that have won the first two games at home, as Boston has, have gone on to win it;
  • Overall, 21 of the 54 teams that went up 2-0 have gone on to sweep the Series. 

The last time a team came back from an 0-2 hole and won the World Series was 1996, when the Yankees did it to the Braves. The last time a team came back from the Dodgers’ specific situation —  down 0-2 heading home — was in 1981, when the Dodgers did it to the Yankees.

If it makes L.A. fans feel any better, the Dodgers themselves have come back from an 0-2 hole three times: 1981, 1965 and 1955. Maybe, for good luck, they should get Fernando Valenzuela, Sandy Koufax and, I dunno, Carl Erskine to throw out the first pitches tonight.

World Series Game 3

Red Sox vs. Dodgers
Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: FOX
Pitchers: Rick Porcello vs. Walker Buehler
Breakdown:

The Red Sox finally throw a righty at the Dodgers, which means that the Dodgers will finally start their top home run-hitters, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger. Overall, L.A. batters have hit righty pitching better this year so between that, some home cooking and some warmer weather, maybe the Dodgers bats will break out of their funk.

Porcello has made four appearances in this postseason, two of which were starts. One was pretty good: he gave up one run in five innings to the Yankees in the ALDS. One was not so great, as he allowed four runs over four innings to the Astros in the ALCS. Boston won both of those games, however, because they’re pretty good at beating the tar out of opposing pitchers and their bullpen, despite worries about it heading into the postseason, has been great. The Dodgers know that pretty darn well, having gone hitless against Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldiand Craig Kimbrell in Game 2 and managing just one run on three hits over five innings against the Boston bullpen in Game 1.

Buehler allowed a combined nine runs in his first two playoff outings but pitched much better against the Brewers in Game 7 of the NLDS. They’ll certainly need that Buehler tonight. And then some, actually, as he left Game 7 in the fifth inning and so far this series the Dodgers have not done all that well going to the bullpen in the fifth inning. Perhaps not giving the ball to Ryan Madson tonight would be a good plan? Yes, that would be a good plan.

The only question about the Red Sox lineup tonight is whether or not J.D. Martinez will play and where. It’d be a major enough move as it is to put Martinez in right field, moving Mookie Betts . . . someplace. It’d be an even more major move now that Martinez’s ankle is a bit questionable following a base running mishap in Game 1. Could he DH? Sure. With no DH in the NL park, can he run around and chase down fly balls? Eh, I wouldn’t chance it.

We’ll see what Alex Cora does when the lineups come out this afternoon.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
AP Images
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.