The Dodgers will head into game two knowing what the stakes are. They will either be knotted up heading back to LA or in a big 2-0 series deficit.
The Dodgers enter Tuesday knowing what is at stake. Teams that lead the World Series 2-0 have gone on to win nearly eighty percent of the series. In the NLCS, the Dodgers faced a similar scenario and were able to head back to LA tied thanks to more heroics from Justin Turner. Tonight they will need similar heroics if they want any shot of winning the World Series.
The Dodgers did not face David Price this season but they do have two players who have seen Price. Brian Dozier has had 39 at-bats against Price and Manny Machado has faced David Price for 41 at-bats. Dozier has only hit .231 against Price but he does have two home runs and five runs batted in.
Manny Machado, on the other hand, has absolutely owned David Price. Machado has hit .293 with five home runs and a .683 slugging percentage. If the Dodgers are going to win game two they are going to need Manny Machado to continue being the villain and deliver a big hit against David Price.
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The rest of the Dodger lineup has not had more than four at-bats against David Price. Justin Turner does have a home run off Price in three plate appearances. Turner mashed left-handed pitching this season hitting .336 against southpaws so he and Machado have to deliver big base hits tonight.
The one caveat facing the Dodgers is that they have struggled with lefties that throw cutters. Wade Miley pitched well in the NLCS against LA and like Price, he features a cutter that will get up on right-handed hitters. Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, and Matt Kemp all hit .130 or worse against left-handed cutters in the regular season.
The other story behind tonight’s game is that David Price has been a terrible playoff pitcher. Price carries a 3-9 record and an ERA over five for his career in the postseason. Just one of those three wins came as a starter and that was in his last start against the Houston Astros. For all the narratives about Clayton Kershaw and his postseason record, Price has been far worse.
The Dodgers are essentially facing a must-win game tonight in Boston. If they lose tonight they will need to win four out of five games to win the World Series and against a team that won 108 games, that is asking for a lot. If the Dodgers are able to scrape out a win in game two they will be back in the driver’s seat to win the World Series with the next three games at home against a Red Sox lineup without the designated hitter.