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Dodgers Vs. Angels: Imagining The Freeway Fall Classic

Jodee Sullivan |
September 9, 2014 | 5:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

We may see a second round of Kershaw-Trout come October. (Harry How/Getty Images)
We may see a second round of Kershaw-Trout come October. (Harry How/Getty Images)
As the cold air rolls in and the leaves begin to change, there’s only one thing on the minds of baseball fans: playoffs. Fall means the coming of the World Series. It’s the time when every win, loss, and game ahead truly counts.

With October looming closer, there’s no doubt that the current teams to beat in MLB are the Dodgers and the Angels. Leading up to the playoffs—with these two teams atop the National League and American League standings, respectively—it’s hard not to imagine what a World Series would be like between the two. 

It would be more than just the Freeway Series: it could be the Freeway Fall Classic.

Separated by only about 30 miles on the I-5 Freeway, the history of competition between these two is deeply rooted in the last millenium. Dating back to the creation of the series in 1997, the two clubhouses have played each other 100 times—the Angels are ahead 57-43—with the Dodgers winning the last three. Back in 2005, the Angels added Los Angeles to their name and the rivalry intensified even further. Even today, the name still stirs up feelings in dedicated fans on both sides.

These two teams have never met in the postseason before, as the only possible way would be in the World Series. It wasn't until 2004 that both of these teams earned a spot in the playoffs in the same year. The closest they have gotten to facing each other in the World Series was in 2009 when both advanced to their respective League Championship Series; unfortunately for Angelenos, neither team made it to the World Series.

With the way that these teams have been playing recently, an all-LA final could be one of the closest in recent years. The series would surely be determined in an intense, nail-bitter seventh game that stretches late into the wee hours of the morning. Throughout the season, both teams have proved that they can dominate from the mound, in the box, and on the field.

How great would it be to watch Clayton Kershaw throw down against Mike Trout under the bright lights, surrounded by thousands of passionate fans on a cool Southern Californian October night?

Kershaw—Cy Young winner in 2011 and Golden Glove recipient in 2011—currently leads the National League in wins (18), ERA (1.67), WHIP (.82), W% (.857) and CG (6) and is third in strikouts (210). Place his dominant arm up against Trout—Rookie of the Year in 2012, Silver Slugger in 2013 and 2012, All-Star Game MVP in 2014—who currently leads the American League in RBIs (100) and is second in runs (99), and that’s a matchup that will put any baseball fan on the edge of the seat.

Not only is that matchup one to look forward to, but also the battle between Yasiel Puig and Jered Weaver would be just as interesting. Not to mention that star offensive performances from Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon and Hanley Ramirez against Albert Pojuls, Erick Aybar, Kole Calhoun, Howie Kendrick, Josh Hamilton and David Freese would create for some truly exciting, interesting baseball. Of course, one cannot forget the stellar pitching duels that would stem from Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen and Dan Haren facing off against C.J. Wilson, Matt Shoemaker and Joe Smith.

Hopefully, by the time late October comes around, this matchup between two powerhouse clubs will be a reality. A World Series between the Dodgers, home to arguably the best pitching staff in the MLB, and the Angels, stacked with skilled, aggressive, power hitters, would make for one of the most memorable Fall Classics for years to come. 

Reach Staff Reporter Jodee Sullivan via e-mail here



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