After making it back to the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers have claimed their spot as the best team in Major League Baseball’s National League for two years in a row. After winning two games at home, the Boston Red Sox took a 3-1 series lead heading into Sunday night. With David Price on the mound, Boston scored five runs to win the game 5-1, clinching their fourth World Series title in the last 15 years. With three home runs in the final two games of the series, Steve Pearce earned the World Series MVP award.
The 2018 World Series was fueled by back-and-forth offense, lights-out pitching and clear displays of talent from each team’s young core. For Los Angeles, Cody Bellinger and Manny Machado have helped carry their team both at the plate and in the field. For Boston, MVP candidate Mookie Betts and 24-year-old prospect Andrew Benintendi show promise for the Red Sox future.
Both teams also have personalities that heighten the excitement around the sport. Baseball is a traditional game — dating back to the 19th century — and does not require the same athleticism as basketball or the same physical intensity as football. LA Dodger Yasiel Puig has provided a spark in the Dodger’s roster, and the Cuban-born 27-year-old has become a team favorite, known for his explosive offensive showcases. Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers was born in the Dominican Republic, and his infectious energy is helping incite Boston’s baseball scene at just 22 years old.
However, baseball is not the only sport where young players fuel the cross-country rivalry. In the NBA, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been rivals for decades. With a league-high 17 championship titles, the Celtics are hoping to ride the talent of their young all-stars, including 20-year-old Jayson Tatum, 22-year-old Jaylen Brown and superstar Kyrie Irving. With 16 championship titles — next best is the Bulls and Warriors with six each — the Lakers are hoping LeBron James can help guide the young core consisting of 21-year-olds Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and 23-year-old Kyle Kuzma. Although both teams have gotten off to a rocky start this year, the young teams have the opportunity to meet in the NBA Finals in future years for an NBA-record 13th time.
On the football field, the LA Rams have started their season at a perfect 8-0, looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since moving from St. Louis. After a 1-2 start, the Patriots are back on top in the AFC East at 5-2, and a Boston-LA Super Bowl would bring the historic rivalry to a new level.
The ongoing rivalry between Boston and Los Angeles represents a historic East versus West coast matchup, and the two cities’ bright futures means the rivalry isn’t going away anytime soon. Whether you support one city, both or neither, get used to seeing Boston and Los Angeles in future championships across all sports. Both cities will be competing at the highest level for years to come.
A version of this article appeared in the October 29 print edition. Email Brendan Duggan at [email protected]