3. Manny Machado
The Red Sox have homefield advantage in the World Series, and most of the Dodgers have never played at Fenway Park. But then there’s Machado, who spent his career with the Baltimore Orioles prior to being traded and has played 49 games at Fenway. It’s a unique atmosphere, and Machado can speak to it while helping his teammates deal with it. To say nothing of the difference in weather compared to Los Angeles.
Machado has an .813 OPS so far this postseason, so he’s producing well in his first extended playoff run. He also has a history with the Red Sox, after sliding into Pedroia early in the 2017 season. Pedroia was injured on the play, and has been mostly out of action with knee problems ever since. Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes retaliated by throwing behind Machado’s head a couple days later, which actually drew what seemed like a lack of approval for the retaliation from Pedroia in the Boston dugout.
As part of the aforementioned swagger and talent he adds to the Dodgers mix, Machado won’t be phased by the confines of Fenway Park or the constant ire he’s sure to get from Red Sox fans during the games in Boston. Even if he struggles at the plate, Machado will bring some intangible value that will be uniquely his to the Dodgers during the World Series.