Two of the most likely World Series finalists, the Yankees and Dodgers, go toe-to-toe on Friday night.
They have not met since September 14 2016 – a series that Los Angeles won 2-1- but historically, these are two teams that have a long World Series rivalry against each other; meeting in 11 of them across 1941 up until the last one in 1981. New York have taken the majority of these, being crowned as champions eight of those 11 times.
At this stage of the season, nothing separates them apart from what league they’re in. In the first time they met each other in a World Series in 1941 (LA Dodgers were still Brooklyn obviously), both teams had tallied up at least 100 wins but the Yankees took the final.
They’re both predicted to make the 100 club this year too, but who will end up with the most wins?
Los Angeles Dodgers - 83-44
19 games ahead of their closest rivals in the NL West, an 83-44 record and the highest run differential of +223 runs, it’s no wonder that the LA Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series.
There are a few holes to pick at (but I’m digging here), when you start to split their record into home and away. At Dodger Stadium they boast an impressive 49 wins and 16 losses, but on the road it’s a lot closer at 34-28. They have an extra three games to play away from home and out of the 16 games at Dodger Stadium, half of those teams are above .500. It won’t be easy.
What will hope in their quest for finishing with 100 wins is how many pitcher friendly ball parks they visit. Petco Park, Chase Field and Oracle Park are all in the higher tier of being pitcher friendly* and will suit the likes of NL Cy Young candidates of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler.
With three of those teams at those ballparks and an added series of the Baltimore Orioles, who are just plan bad, out of the 19 away games I can them coming out with a victory in at least 9 of them.
Looking back in LA, they’ve just decimated Toronto 16-3 and I’m going to put it out there that the sweep will happen. Both the Rockies series’ are more than winnable but the Rays I think that’ll end up split as it’s a two-gamer and the Giants series, is actually difficult to call. I’m going for 10 wins out of the 16.
Predicted finish: 102 - 60
*Correct as of August 19 2019, ESPN
New York Yankees – 83-44
Over in the American League, the Yankees have dominated the East despite their injury-hit roster this season. They lead their division by ten games and have 49 victories and 20 defeats at Yankee stadium compared to 34-24 on the road despite having played four less games on the road than the Dodgers.
Taking those four games extra into account- their record is pretty similar to their NL counterparts but with extra victories, and several away trips where their opponents have nothing to play for, could swing (no pun intended) things their way.
Their current trip to Oakland will however be a hard one, and no one knows quite what to expect from their upcoming Dodgers series (I personally think it will go to the Yankees) but the Mariners, Tigers and Blue Jays are winnable series, especially the latter two as they both have horrendous records. Their last rivalry series against Boston could be interesting but one, I think the Red Sox have already messed up getting into the postseason and two, as Fenway is batter friendly, New York could dominate them there. So around 14-15 wins from the last 23 road games look possible. As for the remaining home games- shouldn’t be a problem. Around 8 victories out of the 12 for that.
Predicted finish: 105 – 57
Now looking back on this, I do realise it’s a high number, the last time New York went over 105 was back in 1998, where they went 114 during the regular season (a rare feat, even though three years later this was bettered by Seattle with 116 wins). They went onto win the World Series and ended up with 125 wins throughout- an MLB record.
My prediction is that Dodgers will make a fast start to these last five weeks of games, but the Yankees will over take them to break that 100 record first and end up with more wins.
This is no way an indicator of who is more likely to win a final however; New York made 101 wins in 2004 but lost the ALCS. The year before that, they made the same amount of wins but lost the World Series. So be careful basing your postseason judgements on regular season records.
By Jasmine Baba