The warm-up is over, the ‘War of the Stars’ has begun

“We’re ready to go.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, the opening series of the 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series, have completed their final warm-ups with two exhibition games on July 17 and 18. Now, the Dodgers and Padres will kick off the new season with a two-game series at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 20th and 21st.

The two teams have different mindsets heading into the World Series. The Dodgers have spent more than $1.2 billion in the offseason to become the No. 0 favorite to win the World Series and are poised to sweep Game 2. The Dodgers signed MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million contract, the largest in professional sports history, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who won four pitching titles in three consecutive years in Japan, to a 10-year, $325 million contract, the largest ever for a pitcher. The team also signed former Tampa Bay Ace Tyler Glasnow to a five-year, $136.5 million extension after trading for him. The Dodgers have become the “public enemy number one” for 29 MLB teams beyond the National League West.

San Diego came to Seoul as a rival to the Dodgers, but the team’s current situation is so bad that even one win is a success. The team’s owner, Pete Siedler, has passed away, and the bankruptcy of the TV rights holder has wiped out the team’s broadcasting rights income. The team took out a $50 million loan last September. San Diego’s financial woes are also reflected in the team’s offseason loss of top slugger Juan Soto to the New York Yankees, as well as its inability to retain former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (San Francisco Giants) and closer Josh Hader (Houston Astros), both of whom hit free agency.

The Dodgers and San Diego will start Glasnau and Darvish Yu on Opening Day. The 6-foot-3 right-hander is known for his 101 mph fastball and waterfall curveball, and his only weakness is his glass body. Since making his big league debut in 2016, Glasnow has been plagued by injuries, with his most innings pitched being 120 last season. If Glasnau can stay healthy all season, the Dodgers’ chances of winning the World Series are even better.

Darvish, in his 13th year in the big leagues, went 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA last year, his worst year outside of the injury-plagued 2018. It will be interesting to see if he will show a different side in the Seoul Series. Most notably, Japan’s two biggest players, Darvish and Ohtani, will meet for the first time ever in Game 1 of the Seoul Series on Tuesday. The eight-year-olds have yet to face each other since Ohtani entered the big leagues in 2018. It will be interesting to see if Ohtani, who went 0-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts in the Seoul exhibition game, can hit his first home run since joining the Dodgers.

After switching positions with Xander Bogaerts to start the season at shortstop, Ha-Sung Kim will face off against Mookie Betts of the Dodgers at first base. For Kim, who will make $8 million this season, to justify the switch from shortstop to second base with the $20 million-per-year Bogart, who has played shortstop his entire big league 카지노 career, he’ll need to get off to a good start. Kim has been in top form, going 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs in a scrimmage against LG on Aug. 18 and showing off his impeccable shortstop defense in a two-day scrimmage.

Betts, who plays opposite Ha Sung Kim, has six Gold Gloves as a right fielder but played a lot of innings at second base last season due to team needs. This season, he’s switched to shortstop, where he’s the commander of the infield. Initially, manager Dave Roberts envisioned Gavin Lux at shortstop and Betts at second base as the keystone duo this season, but Lux’s weakness at the plate prompted the switch. Betts, who has played just 98 career innings at shortstop in the big leagues, was the last to work on his defense, from the first workout on the 16th to the 19th, when he went off the field.

Kim Ha-seong, who won the National League Gold Glove for utility last year after competing with Betts, was impressed with Betts’ dedication. “Betts is a great player who is incomparable to me. “I’m grateful that the Korean media and fans have lumped me and Betts together and called it a ‘rivalry,’ but Betts is a different player,” he said.

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