With two games down, the World Series has been a rollercoaster between the Dodgers and Red Sox. But while the series is far from over, the series MVP race has already begun taking shape. Last year it was UConn product George Springer. Who’s next? The DC Sports staff discusses.
Jorge Eckardt, Campus Correspondent
Well first off, the Red Sox are going to win the World Series, there’s no doubt about that. They are simply just the better team. However, the World Series MVP race is going to be much closer, but I am going to give it to J.D. Martinez, who will just barely beat out Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi. Martinez is a beast, and has been one all year. In the first game, he went 2-3 with two RBIs, the most out of all starters (Núñez is not going to keep it up). J.D. will though, he has all year. He led the league in RBIs and was second in both home runs and batting average. He’s the best player on the field, and, ultimately, it’s going to help him bring home the hardware.
Bryan Lambert, Staff Writer
Because I’m writing this before Game 2, my prediction could look terrible by the time this is in print; but I’ve had my pick’s back the last couple years and I’m not going to stop now. I think David Price is going to win World Series MVP. He has a favorable matchup against Ryu and is going to be on the bump for a potential series-clinching Game 6. With Sale struggling in Game 1 and Cora’s willingness to use starting pitchers out of the bullpen, I think Price could end as the most influential pitcher in this series. Price got the postseason monkey off his back against Houston and this is the series he cements himself as a great pitcher, regardless of the time of year.
Matt Barresi, Staff Writer
I’ll just play the odds here and go with Eduardo Nunez. His clutch and surprising three-run blast in Game 1 sealed the game for the Sox. It was a clutch moment that is going to be unforgettable for viewers. If the series ended right now, Benny baseball has a good case, but Nunez heroics probably carry the day. He has a leg up and now all he needs is to be consistent and come up big one or two more times. The narrative at that point would be quite strong. Of course, if Nunez regresses, as he often does, the award is still ripe for plucking. A real dominant pitching performance in conjunction with a solid one could seal the deal for a starting pitcher. Eovaldi has an inning in his bag, but, dare I say it, David Price anyone?
Sean Janos, Campus Correspondent
Well, if I really can’t pick George Springer for World Series MVP, then I guess I’ll go with David Freese. Show me anyone else on either roster that has done it before. You can’t. I know Freese isn’t necessarily an everyday starter, but with Chris Sale and David Price starting a possible five games this series, he should see plenty of time against left handed pitching. Freese went 2-3 in Game 1 before he was pulled by manager Dave Roberts in favor of the switch hitting Yasmani Grandal, so he statistically has a solid foundation to build up from. The odds are stacked against Freese, who is 35 years old and seven years removed from his World Series MVP with the Cardinals. But the clutch gene doesn’t just go away over time. Just ask Red Sox fans about Big Papi, who was a month away from 38 when he won the World Series MVP in 2013, six years after his previous World Series trip. Plus, Freese is going to be out for revenge against Boston, who beat his Cardinals in that very same 2013 World Series. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the narrative.
Danny Barletta, Campus Correspondent
Before Game 1, I tweeted my prediction for the series: Sox in five and Andrew Benintendi as the MVP. So far, my prediction is looking good, as Benintendi went 4-for-5 in the first game with an RBI and three runs scored. I think he will continue to have a terrific series at the plate and even mix in a couple of highlight reel defensive plays like we saw in the ALCS against Houston. Overall, I believe Benny Teddy will finish the series with above a .500 batting average, at least two home runs, around eight RBIs and a stolen base. Oh, and I almost forgot, he may be bunting too (shoutout Steve from Weymouth). The Red Sox will win the World Series in five games and Andrew Benintendi will have a series for the ages.
Jordan Noto, Campus Correspondent
As much as I hate to say it, after last night’s showing the Red Sox appear to be the superior team. All the media hoopla about how they can’t hit left-handed pitching is malarkey. In the last two years they have hit left-handed pitching really well, posting an above average WRC+ of 114. J.D. Martinez has hit lefties as well as anyone throughout his career. I think his at bats will stand out more than the other guys’ in the lineup, especially if Betts has to play second. His 2018 postseason OPS is 1.016. He has hit two home runs with 11 RBIs, and he has a .343 batting average. He has the best numbers on the team. I do not see him slowing down. He will be standing on the podium hoisting the MVP trophy over his head at the end of this year’s World Series.