Ryan Braun

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Brewers, Dodgers will play Game 7 for right to be annihilated by Red Sox in World Series

John Tomase
October 20, 2018 - 1:34 am

The Red Sox need to wait one more day to learn their opponent in the World Series.

On Friday night, the Brewers beat the Dodgers, 7-2, to force a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series. The two teams will square off again on Saturday night, with the winner advancing to Boston to open the World Series on Tuesday.

Couple of observations:

-- The Red Sox should handle either of these teams. The Brewers turned to left-hander Wade Miley for the potential elimination game, and he pitched into the fifth inning.

One of the ill-fated members of the "we have five aces" Red Sox rotation of 2015, Miley was a a train wreck with the Orioles last year, going 8-15 with a 5.61 ERA in 32 starts. He made seven starts at Double-A this year and missed roughly half the season after signing with Milwaukee in February, but he was somehow really good in the 16 starts he did make, going 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA.

The two runs he allowed on Friday were his first of the postseason in 14 2/3 innings.

It's worth repeating that American League Wade Miley hadn't been useful ever, but National League Wade Miley can start a Game 6 and do his part to contribute to a win. The Red Sox should be licking their chops.

-- Neither lineup, from a depth perspective, can compete with Boston's. The Brewers boast three legit offensive players in Lorenzo Cain, probable MVP Christian Yelich, and slugging first baseman Jesus Aguilar, with old friend Travis Shaw and former MVP Ryan Braun decent, but pitchable.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are hitting .210 in the series, and that feels about right. They've got one of those weird NL lineups where half the roster is hitting .254 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs. They led the NL in homers with 235, but outside of former AL East foe Manny Machado and perennial postseason standout Justin Turner, no one really scares you.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora should have a much easier time matching up against either roster than he did New York and Houston in the first two rounds.

-- If Milwaukee has one advantage, it's the bullpen. Brewers relievers throw gas, and manager Craig Counsell isn't afraid to use all of them. All-Star closer Josh Hader hasn't allowed a run in the series, striking out eight in 4 2/3 innings. He didn't have to pitch in Game 6, which means he'll be fresh for Game 7. It feels like every Brewers reliever throws 97.

-- It's hard to imagine either team competing with the Red Sox in Boston. NL rosters generally aren't constructed to include a DH type, but when the playoffs role around, it feels like an oversight. While the Red Sox will start J.D. Martinez at DH, the Dodgers may counter with someone like veteran Matt Kemp, who has been limited to 10 plate appearances in the NLCS. Milwaukee's regular DH during interleague play, Ji-Man Choi, isn't even in the organization anymore. The Brewers traded him to Tampa in June.

-- I doubt the Red Sox will need more than five games to dispatch either team.