After going through an extra round of playoffs in the extended record season and being pushed to the limit in the league championship series, the top league in each league has moved on to 2020 World Series.
Tea Los Angeles Dodgers, who had the best record in baseball this year and has not won it all since 1988, meets Tampa Bay Rays – which was the best team in the American League and has never won the Fall Classic – in the World Series, which begins Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas.
Here’s what makes this a series to watch, plus the odds, the keys to victory and more.
Oddsen says …
The Dodgers have a 69.8% chance of winning the series. (Views from ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle.)
How they got here
Rays: Powered by a dominant pitch staff that has three potential aces in Blake fast, Charlie Morton and Tyler glasnow, Tampa Bay ran away with the AL East race and edged out Oakland Athletics for the league’s best rating. Brandon lowe was the only true offensive standout in a lineup that finished in 12th place in the majors with 289 points scored and produced a team OPS of .753.
Wild Card Series: Defeated Toronto Blue Jays 2-0
AL Division Series: Defeated New York Yankees 3-2
ALCS: Defeated Houston astros 4-3
Dodgers: When LA acquired Mookie bets from Boston Red Sox in February, the Dodgers became the odds on the World Series favorite. They did not disappoint, ran to a 43-17 record and put out a plus-136 race differential, both the best in baseball.
Wild Card Series: Defeated Milwaukee Brewers 2-0
National League Division Series: Defeated San Diego Padres 3-0
NLCS: Defeated Atlanta tapper 4-3
in Arlington, Texas
Game 1: Tuesday, Fox
Camp 2: Wednesday, Fox
Game 3: Friday, Fox
Game 4: Saturday, Fox
Game 5: Sunday, Fox (if needed)
Match 6: October 27 Fox (if needed)
Game 7: October 28 Fox (if needed)
Three reasons why the Rays win the series
Aledmys Diaz bounces to the right field for the final when the Rays celebrate the end of the Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
1. Their pitching staff is more rested
To put it bluntly, winning Game 7 against the Astros was a priority for the Rays. If it had failed, these words would not have been necessary, and if Kevin Cash had to use every Rays jar from Nick Anderson to Dennis Quaid, he would have done it. But Cash did not have to empty the pitch tank. With Charlie Morton, Anderson and Peter Fairbanks Combining to close Houston at just 114 places, the Rays will begin the World Series after two days off with a rejuvenated pitching staff.
Of course, the Dodgers not only had to play on Sunday to finally defeat the Braves, but their two best starters (Walker Buehler, blisters and Clayton kershaw, behind) both have physical clouds circling above. There is no reason to believe that it will definitely be in the world series, but both are the kind of diseases that can reappear at inappropriate times.
2. Rotation setup
Even more important than the rest factor, I just like how Rays ‘probable progression of starters sets in better than Dodgers’. Cash may have its own ideas, but if rotational use in the mail season is any guide, then Tyler glasnow shall start game 1 on five days rest. His career ERA of four or fewer rest days is 5.21; in five days or more, it is 3.57.
Game 2 must belong Blake fast we usually rest. His career ERA on normal rest is 3.27. Game 3, after a day off, goes to Morton for five days rest, and his ERA career with more than normal rest is 3.63. Due to the calendar that is in place for the World Series, Morton not only stands up for Game 3, but can come back and start a potential Game 7 in normal rest. Morton is the world leader in Game 7 victories.
Game 4 goes to Ryan yarbrough, most likely. At the time, Yarbrough would not have thrown since October 13th. However, the long downtime combined with the sudden influx of off-days during the matchup means that Cash can use Yarbrough in relief early in the series. And he might want to: The Dodgers’ team OPS against soft lanes thrown off left this season is just .659, and ranks 17th in the majors. The average pitch thrown by Southpaw Yarbrough this season has been only 81.4 km / h.
Then it resets: Glasnow can go into normal rest in game 5, Snell with five days’ rest in game 6 and, as mentioned, Morton if it comes to a winning match. Yes, when it comes to the playoffs, the best placed pitching plans usually go wrong. But the days that are built into the schedule will also benefit Cash’s deep bullpen. He should have little reason to distribute one of the three great entrees in anything other than a traditional role during the Fall Classic.
3. Bullpens, bullpens, bullpens
There is a lot of intrigue about the Andrew Friedman-built Dodgers who meet their original team in the Rays, built by an iteration from the front office that he helped set the template for. In some ways, which justifies the status of the heavy favorite, Los Angeles is likely to benefit. After all, you take everything the Rays do to gain an advantage, transplant it to LA, and combine it with the Dodgers’ enormous resources. Just one example from back when the teams had to have fans present: You can take the last three Rays season attendance, add them up, and that’s less than the typical one-season countdown at Dodger Stadium.
You see the difference in resources when it comes to the star power of the Dodgers and salaries as such Mookie bets and the Clayton Kershaw Command. However, you will find the equalizer in this discrepancy between resources in the respective bull pens.
Think of the problems the Dodgers have had lately when it comes to outlining the end of their games, such as the status closer / not closer Kenley jansen has been given soap-other proportions. The Rays, on the other hand, have several shutters, and all are comfortable getting more than three outs, if needed. And they have so many options, not because Fairbanks or Anderson or Diego castillo is not good enough to be a ninth inning saves guy. That’s because they all are.
So in Game 7 against the Astros, Cash could summon Anderson – one of the few best reliefs in the game right now – to take the ball from Morton in the sixth inning. Cash could do it because he had Castillo and Fairbanks in his hip pocket, among other things. And he did not even have to use Castillo. – Bradford Doolittle
Three reasons why the Dodgers want to win the series
1. They have better offenses
The Dodgers averaged 5.82 runs per game in the regular season for the Rays’ 4.82. The Dodgers have star players up and down the lineup without easy outs, in addition to good hitters on the bench. What they do better than any other team is wait for the pitch. Only the Yankees had a lower hunting rate, and only the Astros struck out less frequently. This approach was best exemplified by the large home run Will Smith struck off the Braves reliever Will Smith in Game 5 of NLCS. Smith did not swing on the first five lanes. On the sixth court, a fastball, he hit a three-run home run.
Meanwhile, Rays led the majors on strike and relied heavily on the glowing Randy Arozarena and ALCS. Arozarena hit .321 while the rest of the beams hit .183. The Rays have relied heavily on homers in the record season to score their races, with 71.9% coming via the home race, compared to 41.5% in the regular season. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you hit a lot of home runs; but it’s going to be a tough approach against a Dodgers pitching staff that had the second lowest home run of the regular season. Then you have to take into account that all seven matches will be held at Globe Life Field, which has played like a tough home-made park.
2. They have better bullpen
Wait … what? OK, I know the Dodgers’ bullpen was not completely locked in the NLCS, but here’s a reminder that they had a 2.74 bullpen ERA compared to 3.37 for the Rays. Maybe the Dodgers do not have a pitcher as statistically dominant as Nick Anderson, but Anderson has been scored in four of his seven appearances since the season. In addition, Kevin Cash is mainly dependent on three relievers – Anderson, Diego castillo and Peter Fairbanks – in the greatest moments. The second level of unloaders – Ryan thompson, John curtiss, Aaron Wolf – do not throw so hard and are vulnerable.
Dodgers meanwhile go seven or eight deep in quality relievers, and that’s before you consider that they might only use four starters with the two days, so they can move Dustin May gold Tony Gonsolin to the pen. With the Rays’ mix-and-match lineup, it’s also a big key that the Dodgers have two power lefties in Jake McGee and Victor Gonzalez, so Dave Roberts will be able to match depending on where Rays is in the lineup. Perhaps most importantly, it seems that Kenley jansen has regained his mojo and allowed Roberts to plan him for the ninth inning and use the reliefs accordingly.
3. They fall due
No, nothing scientific in this analysis. The Dodgers have been a great team for a long time now, with eight straight division titles. You wonder if coming back from the 3-1 deficit against the Braves actually helps to remove some of the extra pressure. A few days ago they were down and out, one loss away from another disappointing end to a season. And now they are in the World Series. It’s almost like bonus baseball.
Clayton kershaw is set to start Game 1, and here’s a little suggestion: Do not start him on regular rest in Game 5. It has been a problem game for him in his previous two World Series. In 2017, he was great in Game 1, and then allowed six races in Game 5 (Astros cheat noted). In 2018, he was not great in both starts, but allowed three home runs in Game 5 for the Red Sox. Dodgers has the luxury of five great starters, a deep bullpen and two days. Throw in Kershaw’s back problem that forced him to move a start back in the NLCS and give him a few extra days off before a potential Game 6 start makes sense. It will still allow it Walker Buehler to go into Game 3 and then Game 7 on regular rest. – David Schoenfield