The shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season is down to its final week. After an interesting 60-game regular season and three rounds of postseason play, the World Series has arrived.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers will meet up, with the winner being crowned World Series champions. Both teams had the best record in their respective league, and both are coming off thrilling seven-game series wins.
The Rays took down the Astros in seven games after blowing a 3-0 lead.
The Dodgers took a different route and trailed Atlanta 3-1 in the series before winning the final three games.
Los Angeles is 9-3 in the postseason, with back-to-back sweeps over the Brewers and Padres. The Rays come into this series as winners of nine out of 14 in the postseason. The Rays took care of Toronto in a sweep, then went the distance against the Yankees and the Astros.
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* Odds have been provided by Bovada and are accurate as of 19/10/2020
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers do not have many holes on their 2020 roster. Los Angeles made the stunning move to send several pitchers out and get Mookie Betts. It appears to be a great fit, as he is the leadoff batter for the team leading Major League Baseball in runs scored.
Corey Seager was the stud in the NLCS with nine hits in the seven games. Five were home runs, and he drove in eight runs. Betts was great for Los Angeles as well, especially late in the series. In the four wins for the Dodgers, Betts had six hits. In the three losses, Betts only picked up two base hits.
The pitching for the Dodgers is also top-notch. Clayton Kershaw should get an opportunity to throw in two of the games. It’s likely that Dave Roberts will pitch him in Game 1.
The left-hander has had postseason woes before, and he struggled in his last outing, taking the loss in Game 4. Kershaw started the postseason against the Brewers with a 13-strikeout affair.
Julio Urias, Walker Buehler and others will get plenty of opportunities to retire the pesky Rays hitters.
Current Odds: -210
Tampa Bay Rays
The big story for the Tampa Bay Rays has been the arrival of outfielder Randy Arozarena. He played in just 23 games in the regular season and saw just 64 at-bats. That has not been the case in the postseason.
The 25-year-old from Havana, Cuba, has been absolutely on fire. Arozarena has hit seven home runs in the postseason, including five in the series against the Astros. His three-hit game sparked the Rays in the 5-2 win in Game 3 to put the Astros on the brink.
Brandon Lowe was one of the Rays’ top producers during the regular season. He has seen himself pick up a hit in three straight games.
The Rays as a team hit .238 during the regular season but ranked 12th in runs scored with 4.8 per game. Pitching has been the name of the game for Tampa Bay, though, as the Rays had the third-best ERA in the league at 3.56.
Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton and Blake Snell should get most of the starting duties in this series. The bullpen for Tampa Bay has been used early and often. Pete Fairbanks, John Curtiss and Nick Anderson will be turned to to get big outs all series long.
Current Odds: +165
This is going to be a fun series. Many across the country are going to be rooting hard for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, as a team, do not get paid as much as roughly six of the Dodgers players combined.
There is a large market for Los Angeles vs. small-market Tampa Bay. Both cities have won a title recently, with the Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay and the Lakers taking down the NBA Finals.
Kevin Cash vs. Dave Roberts will be a fun matchup of managers. Cash is going to have to be an absolute magician with his bullpen to keep this a series. Despite being the best team in the American League, this matchup does not seem to be a great one for Tampa Bay.
The Dodgers are going to be bringing solid pitching and bats for days. Despite the interest in wanting the underdog to take this down, this has Los Angeles written all over it.
We are betting the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games over the Tampa Bay Rays to win the 2020 World Series.