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One of the great joys in sports is watching a scrappy underdog come out of nowhere to shock the world. That specific joy is one that you will not get out of this World Series (which starts tonight). The Boston Red Sox and L.A. Dodgers are two of the richest and highest-spending baseball franchises, flush with recent-year success, superstars, and a long history of winning, which at least means you'll get to enjoy another great joy of sports: watching two incredibly stacked teams slug it out in a matchup that somebody has to lose. Here's what to watch for:
  • The Stars
    • Dodgers Pitchers: The Dodgers have one of the greatest pitchers of all time in Clayton Kershaw -- you know him from the above gif -- who's starting Game 1 tonight even though he pitched the last inning of a Game 7 on Saturday night (starting pitchers usually get five days off between games). The two flaws on his resume are his lack of a World Series title, and the fact that he's only pitched so-so in the playoffs. So this is his big chance at redemption, or, you know, at humiliating, demoralizing failure.
    • Dodgers Hitters: L.A. also has a balanced hitting attack. Matt Kemp was their one non-pitching All-Star this year, but the big story this year was Max Muncy, a scrappy underdog who came out of nowhere to shock the world (huh -- apparently there's always one!).
    • Red Sox Pitchers: The Sox don't have Clayton Kershaw, but their Game 1 starter, Chris Sale, is so good right now that the Dodgers are (according to the gambling lines in Las Vegas) underdogs in a game Kershaw is pitching for the first time since 2012(!).
    • Red Sox Hitters: And on the hitting side, my oh my, goodness gracious, and please excuse my dear aunt Sally, we've got a whale of a team here. The best of the best are J.D. Martinez -- who almost had a rare "Triple Crown" but had to settle for second in batting average and home runs while leading the league in RBI (runs batted in) -- and the guy who topped him in batting average, Mookie Betts.
  • The Streaks
    • Once upon a time, the Red Sox went 86 years without a championship. That legendary drought ended in 2004, and if the Sox win this year it'll be their fourth championship in 14 years.
    • The Dodgers actually have a pretty long drought by their standards. Despite winning six straight division titles, they haven't won the World Series since 1988. Last year they came agonizingly close, losing the Series in the maximum seven games, and this year they'll try to do one win better.
  • The Favorite: The Red Sox had one of the best regular seasons in history this year, so it's no surprise that they're the favorites to win. But it's close. As it should be.
"Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has a chance to finally cement his legacy with a World Series win, or go down as one of the biggest playoff chokers there ever was."
Basically every time the Dodgers are batting in a tense, late-game situation, they're gonna show this clip on TV, and for good reason: it's from the last World Series the Dodgers won (1988) and it's dramatic as hell. MVP winner Kirk Gibson wasn't supposed to play due to injuries in BOTH legs, but he still hit a pinch-hit, game-winning home run before limping around the bases.
Game 1 is tonight (that's Tuesday) at 8 PM ET on FOX -- the start time and channel for every game. They play almost every day right up until a potentially spooky Game 7 on that holiday where people dress up dogs as many things, but, most notably, popes.
The year referenced by this tweet is 1916. At this rate, they'll next play for the championship in the year 2120, at which point we can only assume that it will be referred to as the Galactic Series, and that the sport will be known as "spaceball."
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