Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers dugout looks on during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Rob Carr/Getty Images

They say a series doesn’t start until a team loses at home. If that’s the case, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope the 2018 World Series doesn't begin until after Friday night when they host the Boston Red Sox in Game 3.

L.A. won’t be eliminated with a loss in Game 3, but the team is in a virtual “must-win” situation. Only one team in MLB history has blown a 3-0 series deficit in the playoffs, and there’s almost no chance that this year’s Red Sox team would join that list.

Boston was the best team in baseball with a 108-54 record, and they’ve been nearly as dominant in the postseason. The Red Sox have compiled a 9-2 record against the Dodgers, Houston Astros and New York Yankees. Those are probably MLB’s best teams besides Boston, and the American League champs have handled them all with ease.

The Red Sox defeated the Dodgers’ ace in Game 1, scoring five runs off of Clayton Kershaw in four innings. They won with dominant pitching in Game 2, retiring the final 16 batters that L.A. sent to the plate for a 4-2 victory.

The betting odds are in Los Angeles' favor in their first home game of the series. The Dodgers are -160 favorites, according to OddsShark, and the Red Sox are +135 underdogs.

On paper, the Dodgers have the clear edge. Walker Buehler might be the team’s best starter since he posted a 2.03 ERA after the All-Star Break. Rick Porcello had a 4.54 ERA after the All-Star break, and he gave up four runs in four innings during his last start.

Buehler has had an up-and-down postseason, though he did pitch well in his last outing. In Game 7 of the NLCS, he surrendered just one run in 4.2 innings. He might need to be better Friday with the way the Dodgers’ lineup has performed of late.

J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are all hitting at least .429 in the World Series. They are a combined 11-23 with a .609 slugging percentage. Boston’s top three hitters are bound to slow down, at least somewhat, and it could come in their first road game of the series.

Los Angeles’ bullpen should perform better at home after a rough couple of days at Fenway Park. The Dodgers probably don’t have what it takes to come back and win the series, but they’ve got a good chance to keep their hopes alive going into the weekend.

Game 3 Prediction: Los Angeles over Boston, 5-3