|2018 World Series|
|Venue||Fenway Park (Boston)|
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)
|MVP||Steve Pearce (Boston)|
|Umpires||Ted Barrett (crew chief), Fieldin Culbreth (Games 3–5), Kerwin Danley, Chad Fairchild, Jeff Nelson, Jim Reynolds, Tim Timmons (Games 1–2)|
|Television||Fox (United States – English)|
Fox Deportes (United States – Spanish)
MLB International (International - English)
|TV announcers||Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci (Fox)|
Rolando Nichols, Carlos Álvarez and Edgar Gonzalez (Fox Deportes)
Matt Vasgersian and Buck Martinez (MLB International)
ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
WEEI-FM (BOS – English)
WCCM (BOS – Spanish)
KLAC (LAD – English)
KTNQ (LAD – Spanish)
KMPC (LAD – Korean)
|Radio announcers||Dan Shulman (Games 1–4), Jon Sciambi (Game 5), Chris Singleton and Buster Olney (ESPN)|
Eduardo Ortega and Orlando Hernández (ESPN Deportes)
Joe Castiglione, Tim Neverett and Lou Merloni (WEEI)
Uri Berenguer (WCCM)
Charley Steiner and Rick Monday (KLAC)
Jaime Jarrín and Jorge Jarrín (KTNQ)
Richard Choi and Chong Ho Yim (KMPC)
|ALCS||Boston Red Sox over Houston Astros (4–1)|
|NLCS||Los Angeles Dodgers over Milwaukee Brewers (4–3)|
|World Series Program|
The 2018 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's 2018 season. The 114th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox and the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox defeated the Dodgers in five games to win their fourth World Series title in 15 years dating back to 2004, and their ninth in franchise history. This was the second World Series matchup between the two franchises, after the Red Sox defeated the Brooklyn Robins (later known as the Dodgers) in five games in 1916. The series was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2018 World Series presented by YouTube TV.
The Series was televised in the United States on Fox. Steve Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, while Alex Cora became the fifth first-season manager and first manager from Puerto Rico to win the World Series. The Series was notable for its third game which lasted 18 innings, a World Series record.
The 2018 World Series was the first since 2000 to feature two teams which had also reached the postseason in the prior year. Additionally, the Red Sox became the first team to win two World Series exactly one century apart, as they had defeated the Chicago Cubs in 1918, while the Dodgers were the first team since the 2011 Texas Rangers, and the first NL team since the 1992 Atlanta Braves, to lose consecutive World Series.
See also: 2018 MLB Postseason
The Boston Red Sox' most recent World Series appearance was their 2013 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who last won a World Series in 1988 over the Oakland Athletics, made their second consecutive appearance, after losing to the Houston Astros in 2017. The two franchises faced each other in the 1916 World Series; the Red Sox won the series in five games against the then-Brooklyn Robins.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts were teammates on the Dodgers in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Although they did not play together on the Red Sox, both managers played and won a World Series championship with Boston—Roberts in 2004 and Cora in 2007. This was the first World Series with two managers of color; additionally, both managers were born outside the contiguous United States, as Cora was born in Puerto Rico and Roberts in Japan.
While this was a rare match-up, with the Dodgers-Red Sox having only met 20 times ever, the Dodgers trade deadline acquisition Manny Machado had a long history with the Red Sox. In a game in April 2017, Machado, then with the Baltimore Orioles, aggressively slid over the second base bag and spiked Dustin Pedroia in the knee. Pedroia missed 56 of the remaining 145 games, twice going on the injured list. The Red Sox responded by throwing at Machado throughout the 2017 season, feeling that the slide was a dirty play. Setbacks to his recovery left Pedroia out of the lineup for all but 11 at-bats during the 2018 season. Before the World Series, Pedrioa told WEEI’s Rob Bradford about the slide. “I think about it all the time.” And when Bradford asked if there’s been any contact with Machado since then, Pedroia had a terse response, “no.” In the 2018 World Series, Machado was booed heavily at Fenway Park. By the time of his retirement in 2021, Pedroia said he had forgiven Machado and he was "at peace with the play."
Main article: 2018 Boston Red Sox season
The Red Sox finished with a 108–54 (.667) record, winning the American League East division title for the third consecutive season, eight games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees, and were the first team to clinch a berth in the 2018 postseason. The Red Sox surpassed the 100-win mark for the first time since 1946, broke the franchise record of 105 wins that had been set in 1912, and won the most games of any MLB team since the 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116. The 2018 Red Sox were highlighted by All-Stars Mookie Betts, Craig Kimbrel, J. D. Martinez, and Chris Sale. Betts led baseball in batting average and slugging percentage, while Martinez led in runs batted in. Sale tossed only 158 innings due to a shoulder injury late in the year, but was otherwise superb, posting a 2.11 earned run average to go along with 237 strikeouts. Kimbrel saved 42 games and struck out 96 batters in 62.1 innings.
The Red Sox entered the postseason as the top seed in the American League, and defeated the Yankees in four games in the Division Series. Next, they defeated the defending champion Houston Astros in five games in the League Championship Series. Including their 2004 win that ended the Curse of the Bambino, this was the fourth World Series appearance by the Red Sox in 15 years and their 13th appearance all-time.
Main article: 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers season
Despite a 16–26 (.381) start to the season and nine losses in an 11-game stretch in mid-August, the Dodgers made the playoffs for the sixth straight year by winning the division in a one-game tiebreaker over the Rockies. At the July trade deadline, the team traded for All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Orioles to replace injured shortstop Corey Seager and a former All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier from the Twins. In August, the Dodgers acquired former World Series MVP David Freese from the Pirates. For the second year in a row, the Dodgers broke their franchise record for most team home runs in a season. With a 92–71 (.564) record, the team entered the playoffs as a second seed and went on to beat the Atlanta Braves in four games in the 2018 National League Division Series and the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games in the 2018 National League Championship Series, becoming the first team in either league to win Game 7 of a League Championship Series on the road since the 2006 Cardinals.
The 2018 Dodgers were the first team to make the World Series by winning their tie-breaker game since the 2007 Colorado Rockies, who also faced and lost to Boston in that World Series. This was the Dodgers' fifth back-to-back World Series appearance (Two came in Brooklyn in 1952–1953 and 1955–1956, and two came in Los Angeles in 1965–1966 and 1977–1978), and the first time since the 2014-15 Kansas City Royals to win back-to-back League Championship Series. Overall, this was the Dodgers' 20th World Series appearance.
Boston won the series, 4–1.
|1||October 23||Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Boston Red Sox – 8||Fenway Park||3:52||38,454|
|2||October 24||Los Angeles Dodgers – 2, Boston Red Sox – 4||Fenway Park||3:12||38,644|
|3||October 26||Boston Red Sox – 2, Los Angeles Dodgers – 3 (18)||Dodger Stadium||7:20||53,114|
|4||October 27||Boston Red Sox − 9, Los Angeles Dodgers − 6||Dodger Stadium||3:57||54,400|
|5||October 28||Boston Red Sox – 5, Los Angeles Dodgers – 1||Dodger Stadium||3:00||54,367|
|WP: Matt Barnes (1–0) LP: Clayton Kershaw (0–1)|
LAD: Matt Kemp (1)
BOS: Eduardo Núñez (1)
The Red Sox started Chris Sale against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw became the first pitcher to start the first game of the World Series in back-to-back years since Cliff Lee did so in 2009 (for the Phillies) and 2010 (for the Rangers) and the first to do so for the same team since Dave Stewart pitched three consecutive Game 1s for the Oakland Athletics from 1988 to 1990. The Red Sox struck in the first inning when Mookie Betts singled, stole second and then scored on a hit by Andrew Benintendi, who subsequently scored on a single by J. D. Martinez. Boston benefited from Dodgers' first baseman David Freese missing a foul pop-up by Betts, and right fielder Yasiel Puig allowing Benintendi to advance to second base on a late throw to the plate. A homer by Matt Kemp in the second inning gave the Dodgers a run, and an RBI single by Manny Machado in the third inning tied the score, 2–2. In the bottom of the third, Steve Pearce grounded into a fielder's choice—which was called an inning-ending double play on the field, but overturned by video review—and the Red Sox regained the lead on an RBI double by Martinez in the following at-bat. In the top of the fifth, a groundout by Machado plated Brian Dozier to even the score, 3–3. Sale wound up pitching into the fifth inning, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, and scored the go-ahead run when Xander Bogaerts grounded into a fielder's choice. A single by Rafael Devers off reliever Ryan Madson in the next at-bat made it 5–3. Kershaw's final line was five runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in four-plus innings. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the seventh off reliever Ryan Brasier and scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Machado. Eduardo Núñez hit a pinch-hit three-run home run off Alex Wood in the bottom of the seventh to make it a four-run lead for the Red Sox, 8–4, with no further scoring in the game. Boston reliever Matt Barnes, who finished the fifth inning after relieving Sale, got the win, while Kershaw took the loss for Los Angeles.
|WP: David Price (1–0) LP: Hyun-jin Ryu (0–1) Sv: Craig Kimbrel (1)|
Game 2 featured another matchup of left-handed pitchers; Boston started David Price, who got the win in Game 5 of the 2018 American League Championship Series, while Los Angeles started Hyun-jin Ryu, who took the loss in Game 6 of the 2018 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox again scored first, this time in the second inning, when Xander Bogaerts doubled and then scored on a single by Ian Kinsler. The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fourth inning and David Freese scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp to tie the game; Yasiel Puig then singled to drive in Manny Machado with the go-ahead run. After the Red Sox loaded the bases against Ryu in the bottom of the fifth, reliever Ryan Madson walked in the tying run and J. D. Martinez drove in two more with a single. Ryu's final line was four runs allowed on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in 42⁄3 innings. Price only allowed two runs on three hits and three walks in six innings while striking out five. Both bullpens prevented more runs from scoring as the Red Sox won, 4–2, to take a two games to none lead. Ryu took the loss for the Dodgers, while Price earned the win for Boston with closer Craig Kimbrel getting his sixth save this postseason. It was also the 100th postseason victory in Red Sox franchise history.
|Game 3 Full replay on the MLB's official YouTube channel|
|WP: Alex Wood (1–0) LP: Nathan Eovaldi (0–1)|
BOS: Jackie Bradley Jr. (1)
LAD: Joc Pederson (1), Max Muncy (1)
After two games started by left-handed pitchers, both teams started right-handed pitchers for Game 3; Walker Buehler for the Dodgers and Rick Porcello for the Red Sox. With no designated hitter, J. D. Martinez started in left field for the Red Sox, in place of usual left fielder Andrew Benintendi. The Dodgers scored first, for the first time in the series, when Joc Pederson homered in the third inning. Porcello pitched 42⁄3 innings, allowing the one run on three hits and one walk while striking out five. Buehler pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a home run off Kenley Jansen with two outs in the eighth inning to tie the game. It was Jansen's first blown save in four opportunities this postseason.
No one scored in the ninth after Cody Bellinger was caught between bases to end the ninth and the game went into extra innings tied at one. In the top of the 10th inning, pinch-runner Ian Kinsler attempted to score from third on Rafael Devers's sacrifice fly, but a strong throw by center fielder Bellinger had Kinsler out at the plate. In the 13th inning, Brock Holt walked, advanced on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on an infield single by Eduardo Núñez and a throwing error by pitcher Scott Alexander. Then in the bottom of the inning, Max Muncy walked against Nathan Eovaldi, advanced to second on a pop out to Núñez in foul territory (Nuñez made a great catch and tumbled into the stands after making the catch, which allowed Muncy to advance) and then scored the tying run after an infield hit by Yasiel Puig and a throwing error by Ian Kinsler. In the bottom of the 15th, Muncy appeared to hit a walk-off home run down the right-field line but the ball hooked foul. Muncy hit a walk-off home run off Eovaldi in the 18th inning to win it for the Dodgers, 3–2, to cut their series deficit to 2–1. Eovaldi had just begun his seventh inning of relief.
At 18 innings and seven hours and 20 minutes, this contest became the longest World Series game by both innings and time, surpassing (in playing time) Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, which lasted 14 innings and five hours and 41 minutes, and breaking the record (in innings) first set in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series, when the Red Sox and Dodgers (then known as the Robins) played 14 innings. Muncy tied the record for latest (18th inning) walk-off hit in postseason history, equalling Chris Burke in Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series. It was also the Dodgers' first game-winning World Series home run since Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The game took longer to play than the entire 1939 World Series, which had seven hours and five minutes of total playing time over four games. Until Game 2 of the 2021 World Series, this was the last time a team won a World Series game in their home ballpark.
As of 2021, this is the last World Series game to go to extra innings.
|WP: Joe Kelly (1–0) LP: Dylan Floro (0–1)|
BOS: Mitch Moreland (1), Steve Pearce (1)
LAD: Yasiel Puig (1), Kiké Hernández (1)
Following the longest game in World Series history, the Dodgers started Rich Hill while Eduardo Rodríguez made his first start of the postseason for the Red Sox. At 38 years old, Hill was the oldest player to start a World Series game since 39-year-old Tim Hudson started two games for the San Francisco Giants in 2014 and the oldest for the Dodgers since Sal Maglie in 1956. As he had pitched in relief in Game 3, Rodríguez became just the sixth pitcher in history to start a World Series game with zero days rest, and the first since Firpo Marberry of the Washington Senators in the 1924 World Series. The Red Sox had intended to start Nathan Eovaldi, but he needed rest after throwing 97 pitches in relief in Game 3. With no designated hitter, the Red Sox started an outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and J. D. Martinez, with Jackie Bradley Jr. on the bench in place of Benintendi, who did not start the previous game.
The game was scoreless through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers loaded the bases against Rodríguez and scored the game's first run on a throwing error by catcher Christian Vázquez. The next batter, Yasiel Puig, hit a three-run home run to extend the lead to 4–0. In a fit of rage, Rodríguez slammed his glove down on the mound in frustration and was later pulled after pitching 52⁄3 innings, allowing the four runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. At that point, Red Sox ace Chris Sale made an angry speech that fired up his teammates in the dugout. In the top of the seventh, after striking out Eduardo Núñez with a runner on first, Hill was taken off the mound in favor of reliever Ryan Madson, a decision by Roberts which was criticized by several including then-current President Donald Trump. Mitch Moreland hit a three-run pinch-hit home run off of Madson to make it a one-run game. Hill was charged with one run in 6+1⁄3 innings on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts. Madson set a new World Series record by allowing seven inherited runners to score in the series. Steve Pearce hit a homer off Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning. This was the second straight day Jansen allowed a game-tying home run in that inning. Jansen became just the second pitcher in World Series history to allow game-tying home runs in back-to-back games (Byung-hyun Kim for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 was the other). In the top of the ninth, Brock Holt doubled off Dylan Floro and was driven in by a single by pinch hitter Rafael Devers to give Boston their first lead of the game. The Red Sox loaded the bases against Floro and Alex Wood and then Pearce doubled to right-center off Kenta Maeda, scoring all three base runners to put the Red Sox up, 8–4. They added another run when Xander Bogaerts drove in Pearce with a single. Kiké Hernández hit a two-run homer off of Craig Kimbrel in the ninth to cut the lead to three. Kimbrel was able to get the last three outs and the Red Sox took a three games to one lead.
|WP: David Price (2–0) LP: Clayton Kershaw (0–2)|
BOS: Steve Pearce 2 (3), Mookie Betts (1), J. D. Martinez (1)
LAD: David Freese (1)
On October 28, Los Angeles became the first city to host an MLB, NFL (Rams), NBA (Clippers), NHL (Kings), and MLS (Galaxy) game all on the same day. Clayton Kershaw started for the Dodgers, while David Price started for the Red Sox. Price became the first pitcher to start World Series games no more than four days apart while also pitching in relief between those games since Jack Billingham of the Cincinnati Reds did so in the 1972 World Series. Jackie Bradley Jr. again did not start in the outfield for Boston, but entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Both teams scored in the first inning. The Red Sox scored in the top of the inning after a one out single by Andrew Benintendi followed by a two-run home run by Steve Pearce. David Freese led off the bottom of the inning with a home run for the Dodgers. No one else scored until the sixth inning, when Mookie Betts hit a home run with one out and then J. D. Martinez hit a lead-off homer in the seventh to make it 4–1. Kershaw pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. In the eighth inning, Pearce hit another home run, this time off of Pedro Báez. Price pitched into the eighth, allowing only one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. He became just the fifth pitcher to pitch 6+ innings and allow three or fewer hits in three straight postseason starts. Joe Kelly and Chris Sale pitched the last two innings and both struck out the side, Sale getting Manny Machado to strike out for the last out, the Red Sox winning the game 5–1 and the title 4–1. Pearce won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.
2018 World Series (4–1): Boston Red Sox (AL) beat Los Angeles Dodgers (NL).
|Los Angeles Dodgers||16||34||1|
|Boston Red Sox||28||42||2|
LAD: David Freese (1), Kiké Hernández (1), Matt Kemp (1), Max Muncy (1), Joc Pederson (1), Yasiel Puig (1)
BOS: Steve Pearce (3), Mookie Betts (1), Jackie Bradley Jr. (1), J. D. Martinez (1), Mitch Moreland (1), Eduardo Núñez (1)
Total attendance: 238,979 Average attendance: 47,796
Winning player's share: $416,838.72 Losing player's share: $262,027.49
The World Series was televised nationally by Fox for the 19th straight year. Joe Buck was the play-by-play announcer, with John Smoltz as the color commentator. Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci were the field reporters. Fox Deportes offered a Spanish-language feed, with Rolando Nichols providing play-by-play and Carlos Álvarez and Edgar Gonzalez doing color commentary.
Outside of the United States, MLB International carried the series with play-by-play by Matt Vasgersian and color commentary by Buck Martinez.
Further information: World Series television ratings
ESPN Radio broadcast all the World Series games in English for the 21st straight year as part of Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio. Dan Shulman called the play-by-play, with Chris Singleton serving as color analyst and Buster Olney as field reporter. Marc Kestecher hosted the pre-game show with Olney and Tim Kurkjian reporting. Jon Sciambi called the play-by-play for Game 5 due to Shulman developing laryngitis.
ESPN Deportes Radio provided Spanish-language coverage of the Series. Eduardo Ortega called the play-by-play and Orlando Hernández, Renato Bermudez, and José Francisco Rivera served as analysts.
Locally, both teams' flagship radio stations broadcast the series with their regular announcers, which were simulcast over SiriusXM radio. In Los Angeles, the broadcast was on AM 570 LA Sports with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday in English, on Univision America 1020 with Jaime Jarrín and Jorge Jarrín in Spanish, and on Radio Korea 1540 AM in Korean. The Red Sox broadcast was on WEEI 93.7 FM in English with Joe Castiglione, Tim Neverett and Lou Merloni, and in Spanish on WCCM 1490 AM with Uri Berenguer.
The 2018 World Series was sponsored by YouTube TV, the second consecutive year that the service sponsored the series. This sponsorship included logo branding in-stadium and on official digital properties, on the field, as well as commercial inventory during Fox's telecasts of the games. As part of the agreement, YouTube TV would later sponsor the 2019 World Series.
On the morning of October 31, the Red Sox celebration parade began at Fenway Park and made its way downtown to its final destination on Staniford Street. During the celebration, the World Series trophy sustained minor damage from a beer can thrown by a spectator; it was subsequently repaired.
An 80-minute documentary, 2018 World Series: Damage Done, which was produced by MLB and narrated by Uzo Aduba, was released on December 4.
On December 3, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy announced that team accepted an invitation to visit the White House. Originally planned for February 15, 2019, the visit was postponed to May 9, 2019, due to the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown. Alex Cora announced that he would not attend, citing the administration's response to Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico. On May 9, various team members along with owner John W. Henry and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski visited the White House and met with President Trump.
During the 2018–2019 off-season, the Dodgers signed former Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly to a three-year deal. Kelly was marvelous in the World Series against the Dodgers, having struck out ten batters and not allowing a run in five games pitched. Kelly, an Angels fan who disliked the Dodgers growing up in Corona, became a fan favorite with Dodger fans throughout his tenure with the team.
Four months after the 2018 World Series, the Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, meaning the greater Boston area celebrated multiple championships for the 2018 MLB and NFL seasons. Greater Boston accomplished feat 14 years previously when the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, while the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years. Like the ‘18 Red Sox, the Patriots beat a Los Angeles team (the Rams) in the Championship Game.
The 2018 World Series would be the peak for the 2016–2018 Red Sox, who were the first Red Sox teams in franchise history to win the American League East for three straight seasons. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was fired on September 9, 2019, just 10 months after winning the 2018 World Series. On the field, Boston's top three starters in 2018 — Chris Sale, David Price, and Nathan Eovaldi — all missed significant time due to injury in 2019. Overall, the Red Sox would finish 19 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees in 2019.
Three significant events happened to the Red Sox before the start of the 2020 season:
The Red Sox would finish the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season 24–36 (.400 winning percentage), which was their worst season since 1965. The team would rebound in 2021 and make it all the way to the ALCS before eventually losing to the Houston Astros in six games.
Corey Seager returned to the Dodgers after being out for most of the 2018 season due to an elbow injury, while Manny Machado, who replaced him after the All-Star break, signed a record free agent contract with the San Diego Padres. The 2019 Dodgers broke the franchise record for wins at 106, but would experience October heartbreak once again by losing to eventual World Champion Washington Nationals in the NLDS in five games. The Dodgers became the second franchise to lose to the eventual World Series champions in four consecutive postseasons (the New York Yankees from 2001 to 2004 were the first).
The Dodgers traded for Mookie Betts during the 2019-2020 off-season and his addition made a great team even better. The Dodgers in 2020 would set the record for best winning percentage in franchise history (.717), win their 8th straight division title, and their first World Series in 32 years.