Last night the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees to set the final spot in the league championship series. In the National League the Milwaukee Brewers will host the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the American League side the Boston Red Sox will host the Houston Astros.

The National League

The Brewers had the best record in the National League in 2018, winning 96 games. The Dodgers, like the Brewers, needed a 163rd game to win their division, and they won 92 games.  Milwaukee swept the Rockies 3-0 in their series, while Los Angeles needed four games to win theirs.

The Dodgers and Brewers both ranked highly on both offense and in pitching among the National League during the regular season. The Dodgers offense was the best in the league, while the Brewers were tied for second (in OPS+). On the mound the Dodgers had the 3rd best ERA+ in the league, while the Brewers finished 4th. It’s unsurprising given that they made the playoffs, that both teams were strong on both ends.

The Dodgers had what was easily the best offense in the league. Their 109 OPS+ was a full 10 points ahead of the next closest team. On the mound the Dodgers also held a 5 point edge in ERA+ over the Brewers. On paper, the Dodgers were the better team.

The Brewers have the best player. In fact, they may have the best two players with Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain. They may also have to two best relievers with Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress. But, the Dodgers simply are better top to bottom. Their lineup doesn’t have a single weakness in it. And their starting pitching is better, and while the bullpen doesn’t have the top two that the Brewers do, their overall bullpen may be better. Dodgers in six games.

The American League

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros finished with 108 and 103 wins respectively. The Red Sox won 108 games despite playing in a division with a 100-win Yankees squad and a 90-win Rays squad. Of course, they also had a 47-win Orioles team in the division. The Astros played in a division with a 97-win Athletics team and an 89-win Mariners team. The Angels also won 80 games. The two teams won a combined 211 games and were in absolutely stacked divisions. Side note: The AL Central is a joke.

These two teams, on paper, were far and away the best in the league. They finished 1-2 in both OPS+ and ERA+. The Red Sox has a 3 point edge in OPS+ on offense. The Astros had an incredible 13 point edge in ERA+, showing one of the best team ERA+ stats in the history of baseball.

These two teams are great. They are the best two teams in baseball, with all due respect to the teams in the National League. The Astros 1-2 at the top of their rotation with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole gives them an edge over the Red Sox with Chris Sale and whoever their #2 happens to be. What’s a bit surprising is that neither team has an elite bullpen. But, the Astros bullpen in the second half of the season was nearly a full run better in terms of ERA better than the Red Sox.

Offensively, things are pretty even. Neither team has a real weakness. The Red Sox have better top end hitters with Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, but they also have several below-average hitters at the bottom of their lineup, too. Which team has a true edge here, I don’t really know. But, I believe that the edge in pitching is big and that the Astros have it. I will take the Astros in seven games, on the back of their pitching.

8 Responses

  1. Joe

    Astros all the way! I think in 10years when we look back it’ll b amazing what th Astros will have accomplished. I’ll say 5rings jus to be on the safe side

    • Doug Gray

      It’s kind of crazy when you look at the Astros the last 2 seasons. You can make the argument that in 2017 the Houston Astros had the best offense of all time. In 2018 you can make the argument that the Houston Astros had the best pitching staff of all time.

      • Joe

        And the way they have put it together and farm system is still flooded with grade A talent! I’m beyond jealous as a reds fan. Looking back just wow on the Garrett cole trade

      • redlegs4ever

        Right Joe, I know several Pirates fans and their front office has taken a lot of flack over the years, not all deserved IMO, but in the span of 6 months they traded 2 years of Gerrit Cole for an Aroldis Chapman-esque package and then sold the farm for 3 1/2 years of Chris Archer. Not Good…

  2. AirborneJayJay

    Brewers in 6 games. Astros in 7 games.
    Astros in 6 games in the World Series.

  3. redlegs4ever

    I feel pretty confident in a World Series rematch, so go put your money down on Red Sox-Brewers boys lol.

    • Joe

      Yea I’ve always liked cole more than archer as well.I think Shane Baz will be right up thr with trea turner as one of the best ptbnl I’ve seen