Major League Baseball couldn't have asked for a better World Series matchup.
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are set to square off in the 2018 Fall Classic, with Game 1 taking place at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
While both franchises are familiar with playing in the World Series, this is only the second time they are opposed each other and the first time since 1916.
In their 20th World Series appearance, the Dodgers are in the hunt for their first championship since 1988, while the Red Sox are attempting to win their fourth title since 2004.
MLB Playoff Bracket
World Series Odds
Odds To Win Series
Boston (-155; Bet $155 to win $100)
Los Angeles (+300; Bet $100 to win $300)
Machado Thrives Among The Boos
Manny Machado confirmed his status as the postseason's biggest villain throughout the NLCS, and he backed up his antics with an impressive display at the plate.
The Dodgers shortstop will hear loud boos from the knowledgeable baseball crowd at Fenway Park during Games 1 and 2, but that won't affect him much.
Machado tied with Chris Taylor for most hits by a Dodgers player in the NLCS with eight, and he produced two of those base knocks in Game 7.
In 11 postseason games with the Dodgers, Machado has 11 hits, with three doubles, three home runs and nine RBI.
As the cleanup hitter in the Los Angeles order, Machado needs to continue that production to steal a game in Boston on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If there's any player who understands the ins and outs of Fenway Park and the Boston pitching staff, it's Machado, who is a .278 hitter in his career at Fenway.
As long as the players in front of him in the order continue to reach base, Machado should be able to drive in a few runs in Boston to set the stage for success at home in Games 3, 4 and 5.
Price, Sale Benefit From Extended Rest
Having more than three days off at this stage of the postseason is unheard of.
With Game 1 of the World Series coming five days after the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant with a 4-1 ALCS win over the Houston Astros, Chris Sale and David Price will start the first two games of the series on full rest.
Since Sale wasn't used after Game 1 of the ALCS, he is the likely starter for World Series Game 1, with Clayton Kershaw in line to oppose him in a heavyweight battle of the game's top pitchers.
Sale is 15-8 in his career on six or more days of rest, and in those outings he's produced a 1.67 ERA and 0.937 WHIP.
Price, who earned his first postseason win as a starting pitcher in Game 5 of the ALCS, will enter Game 2 on a normal five days of rest.
The Red Sox will be in position to win both games because of the long starts turned in by Sale and Price, and since both pitchers are left-handed, it presents a set of lineup decisions for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to make.
Los Angeles' deep lineup is more than capable of holding its own against Sale and Price, and if Roberts employs a similar strategy from the NLCS, David Freese, Yasiel Puig and Taylor are locks to start.
Since there isn't much history between the Red Sox aces and the Dodgers lineup, Sale and Price should thrive during at least their first time through the Los Angeles order as they attempt to set the tone for the series.
Series Prediction: Boston in seven.
Given how strong both pitching staffs and lineups are, the margins will be slim.
Winning on the road will be key for both sides, and expect at least one road victory out of both franchises.
Game 7 at Fenway Park should be quite the spectacle, and the Red Sox will benefit from a pitching combination led by Sale to win their first championship since 2013.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.