LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1of the World Series today at Boston's Fenway Park, seeking the first of four victories needed for their first World Series championship since 1988.
The winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the Series 70 of 113 times, 61.9 percent, including 12 of the past 15.
An exception came last year, when the Dodgers won Game 1, but the Houston Astros went on the win the World Series in seven games.
The Red Sox have home field advantage, thanks to having baseball's best regular-season record in 2018, 108-54. The team with home field advantage has won 24 of the last 32 Series, 75 percent, with 2017 again being an exception.
Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers, three days after pitching the ninth inning of the Dodgers 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
Fellow left-hander Chris Sale will start for Boston.
Kershaw has had two brilliant starts during the 2018 postseason along with one terrible one.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called Kershaw's first 2018 postseason start one of his “best outings that I've seen,” as he limited the Atlanta Braves to two hits and one other baserunner over eight innings in a 3-0 victory Oct. 5 that gave the Dodgers a two games to none lead in a National League Division Series.
The next time Kershaw took the mound, he had his shortest postseason start, three innings, allowing five runs, four earned, and six hits in a 6-5 loss to the Brewers in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Kershaw then rebounded to limit Milwaukee to one run and three hits over seven innings, retiring the final 13 batters he faced in a 5-2 victory in Game 5 Wednesday.
Sale had been scheduled to start Game 5 of the American League Championship Series Thursday, but was scratched from the start after being briefly hospitalized early last week because of a stomach illness.
Sale would have started Game 6 of the ALCS if there had been one.
“He's excited to pitch Game 1,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He's been our guy since Day 1. We map it out through September. This was the plan all along. Happy that he's going to be able to go out there and perform.”
Sale most recently pitched on Oct. 13, allowing two runs and one hit in four innings, receiving a no decision in Boston's 7-2 loss to Houston in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Sale is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in three appearances during the 2018 postseason. He was 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA during the regular season, winning his final seven decisions. He was last charged with a loss on June 8.
Sale had Major League Baseball's longest scoreless streak in 2018, 35 innings, and its longest streak for not allowing a home run, 74 innings.
Opponents hit .181 against Sale in 2018, the second-lowest figure for a Red Sox pitcher who threw at least 150 innings, behind Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. Opponents hit .167 against Martinez in 2000.
The temperature at the start of the game -- 8:09 p.m. EDT -- will be around 50 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. It will drop to the mid-40s at the end of the game.
A strong, northwest wind will blow into Fenway Park, according to the weather service.
Boston is seeking its first World Series championship since 2013.
The Dodgers have faced the Red Sox in the World Series once before -- 1916 -- when they were known as the Brooklyn Robins, and lost four games to one.
Babe Ruth was Boston's pitcher in Game 2, pitching all 14 innings in a 2-1 victory, allowing six hits, striking out four, walking three and driving in its first run with a third-inning ground out.
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