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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 12:00 AM




Here's the dollar-and-cents facts when it comes to this here-and-now 2018 World Series: The American League champion Boston Red Sox sport the highest payroll in all of baseball; the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers have the third-highest payroll in the sport ... so, should anyone really be that surprised that this is the matchup in this year's Fall Classic that starts tonight at iconic Fenway Park?

The real surprise is that these two teams have not slugged it out in a World Series in some 102 years - you all know by now the story of the 1916 World Series when the Red Sox beat the then-Brooklyn Robins in five games - but getting to this point has been quite different for both teams:

The Sox beat the New York Yankees (3 games to 1 in a best-of-five set in the Divisional Series) and the Houston Astros - 4 games to 1 in the Championship Series in a best-of-seven set - and note Boston went 4-and-oh in the games NOT started by lefthanders Chris Sale and David Price. Safe to say here that if RHP's Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello pitch big-time games in this World Series, major advantage to the favored (-150) Bosox, right?

On the flip side, the Dodgers can spin things any which way they wish but uber-star LHP Clayton Kershaw has to be an ace in both of his projected starts (see Game 1 and Game 5) and anytime he comes out of the bullpen. Kershaw's spotty post-season career can't be ignored and we're going on the premise that the Dodgers need this Game 1 with Kershaw pitching in chilly New England weather tonight.

As far as the key hitters in this series, count us among the folks that don't like the idea of Boston - potentially - moving RF Mookie Betts to second base for the games at Dodger Stadium so as to accommodate DH J.D. Martinez - sure, Boston manager Alex Cora (the far-and-away best manager this post-season) wants Martinez to get his at-bats but we don't fiddle with this wonderful Red Sox outfield defense. Stick Martinez at first and/or third base for a game each on the road and make the best of it while keeping Betts in RF.

Finally, on the Dodgers side, they'll win here if and only if they get significant contributions off the bench from the likes of Matt Kemp, Brian Dozier and Yasmani Grandal - simply put, if these guys can get some big eighth- and ninth-inning hits off Bosox closer Craig Kimbrel then the Series will shift in LA's favor.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have all the College Football, NFL Week 8, World Series and NBA winners each and every day - just call us at 1-800-323-4453 or get the winners right here online and keep on piling up the profits.


You saw it on Monday afternoon when the now-rebuilding Oakland Raiders traded away WR Amani Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2019 first-round draft pick (give the Raiders the trade advantage there, folks) and you can bet your bottom dollar that more NFL deals will be made between now and the Oct. 30th Trade Deadline ... here's some names we expect to be on the move:

PATRICK PETERSON, CB - The Arizona Cardinals' star wants out of the desert (and who can blame 'em) and odds are he'll land up in the Keystone State ... and we give Philadelphia a slight edge over Pittsburgh based on trading away a draft pick and a warm body.

TREVOR SIEMIAN, QB - The one-time starting slinger for the Denver Broncos is backing up moneybags QB Kirk Cousins in Minnesota but reports are the Vikings like third-stringer Kyle Sloter and so they'll deal Siemian to Jacksonville. Nope, the Jags won't be able to pry loose New York Giants' QB Eli Manning nor Oakland signal-caller DAVID CARR although we won't be shocked if Carr gets moved at the 11th hour with Miami said to be interested.

DAMON "SNACKS" HARRISON, NT - The Giants' 1-6 season may not have rock-bottomed out just yet even after that 23-20 loss-but-cover in Atlanta on Monday Night Football but the front office is looking ahead to 2019 and Harrison doesn't fit into the team's budget. Don't be shocked if he's traded to the New England Patriots for a couple of second/third-round draft picks.

In other NFL News & Notes ...
We head into NFL Week 8 play - it begins Thursday night with the Miami Dolphins at the 7.5-point favorite Houston Texans - with NFL Betting Favorites at 47-55-2 ATS (against the spread) for a .461 winning percentage. Note that NFL Favs and Dogs split in Week 7 play - going 7-7-0 overall - while NFL "Under" players shined last week en route to a 10-4 spread mark. For the year, NFL "Overs" are still - barely - ahead at 55-52-0 for a .514 winning percentage.

1 - Alabama
2 - Clemson
3 - Notre Dame
4 - LSU
5 - UCF
6 - Michigan
7 - LSU
8 - Florida
9 - Texas
10 - Oklahoma

NOTE: Plenty of College Football and NFL Week 8 Previews all this week right here at Jim Sez ... and don't forget to gobble up all the World Series winners at 1-800-323-4453.

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