BlackJack: How I’m Handicapping Dodgers-Red Sox Game 1

BlackJack: How I’m Handicapping Dodgers-Red Sox Game 1 article feature image

Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw

Betting odds: Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox

  • Dodgers moneyline: +136 (Clayton Kershaw)
  • Red Sox moneyline: -151 (Chris Sale)
  • Over/Under: 7.5 (+105/-125)
  • First pitch: 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FOX

>> All odds as of 11:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

Game 1 of the World Series is upon us tonight, and we couldn’t have asked for a more scintillating matchup.

We have two major markets in Boston and Los Angeles. We have two storied franchises in the Dodgers and Red Sox. And we have superstar talent all over the field.

This has the makings of a great series, but it’s best to take it one game at a time because I think we’ll have a close series on our hands.

Let’s take a look at how I’m handicapping Tuesday’s Game 1 in Boston.

The Red Sox are the favorite here with Sale on the mound at Fenway — and they should be. Sale has been stellar at Fenway Park … when healthy

That’s the biggest question with Boston’s ace headed into this game: What’s Sale’s true status after spending time in the hospital last week, claiming an infection from a belly button ring?

There’s also the issue of value in this game. People like to make it sound as if Kershaw has been a disaster in the playoffs, and that simply isn’t true. Sure, he has occasionally bombed, but he’s also had his moments.

In these playoffs, Kershaw is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA, totaling 16 Ks and four walks. Compare that to Sale, who is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA, 14 Ks and six walks.

Looking at those numbers — and factoring in Sale’s health concerns, plus Kershaw’s World Series experience — I give the advantage to the LA lefty.

This is the first time since 2012 that Kershaw is an underdog — and he isn’t just a +105 pooch. You’re getting some good value at +130 or better around the market.

I think this will be a close game, and I like the way the Dodgers’ bullpen has pitched a little more than Boston’s, particularly at the back end where I’d take Kenley Jansen over Craig Kimbrel.

I’ll take a shot with the road dog tonight.

THE PICK: Dodgers ML +136