Two of the most dominant left-handers in all of baseball are set to square off in a pivotal opening game of the 2018 World Series on Tuesday night after both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox announced who their starting pitchers would be for the first of a best of seven Fall Classic.
Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale, two elite hurlers who have represented their respective leagues a combined 14 times at the MLB All-Star Game, were officially named the starters for Game One of the World Series tomorrow, and although there may not be much history between them, there is still much to look forward to.
Since the start of the 2010 season, no left-handers have been more valuable to their teams than these two aces.
Kershaw, in nine seasons with the Dodgers, has been worth 55.6 fWAR, while Sale, in nine seasons spent with the White Sox and Red Sox, has been worth 41.8 fWAR.
In terms of accolades and pitching in big game situations, Kershaw, a Texas native, has Sale, a native of Florida beat.
The recipient of three National League Cy Young Award crowns and one MVP award in 2014, Kershaw also has five ERA titles under his belt to go along with one Gold Glove in a pitching Triple Crown in 2011 when he led the NL in wins, ERA, and strikeouts.
Not only that, the 2006 first round pick has pitched in 28 postseason games (22 starts), with three of those coming in the 2017 World Series.
Over that span, Kershaw has posted a 4.09 ERA and a .210 BAA in 141 IP, all with a 9-8 record.
On the other side of things, Chris Sale has yet to receive any honors for the spectacular regular seasons he has put together and has only appeared in five postseason games, but keep in mind the quality of team each of these aces has pitched for.
Since he exceeded his rookie limits during the 2008 season, the worst record a Clayton Kershaw Dodger team has finished with was 80-82 in 2010.
Meanwhile, before he was traded to the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season, the worst record a Chris Sale White Sox team finished with was 63-99 in 2013.
Game One will be Clayton Kershaw’s first ever time pitching at Fenway Park, while Sale has ony made one career start at Dodger Stadium.
Both were drafted early in their respective drafts, both were elite prospects at one point in their minor league careers, both have started All-Star Games, and both have been in the running for Cy Young Awards.
Now, both have the chance to give their club an early 1-0 advantage in the 2018 Fall Classic at Fenway Park.
It should be a blast. First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 PM ET Tuesday on FOX.