The two best teams in baseball — the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays — will meet in the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
In the climax of two LCS series that went the full seven games, the Dodgers came back and the Rays held on to reach the Fall Classic, which begins Tuesday night at 8pm ET on FOX. After falling behind 3-1 in their series against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers won three straight games — including a Game 7 rally — to make their third World Series in four years. Tampa Bay nearly blew a 3-0 series lead against a pesky Houston Astros team, but came through in Game 7 to reach the World Series for the second time in franchise history. Check out the schedule below, along with a closer look at each team, World Series odds, and more.
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 20, LAD Wins 8-3
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 21, TB Wins 6-4
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 23, 8:00pm ET, FOX
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 24, 8:00pm ET, FOX
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 25, 8:00pm ET, FOX (if necessary)
Game 6: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8:00pm ET, FOX (if necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 8:00pm ET, FOX (if necessary)
Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17, 1st in MLB)
Along with the New York Yankees, the Dodgers were the odds-on favorites to make the World Series, largely due to the acquisition of star Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in February. However, after sweeping their first two series against the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres, LA found themselves in a 3-1 series deficit to the Atlanta Braves. But after falling behind twice in Game 7, outfielder Cody Bellinger blasted a moon shot in the seventh inning to give the Dodgers a decisive 4-3 lead.
LA has claimed eight straight NL West titles and they fielded one of the most talented lineups in baseball even before they acquired Betts. With ace Clayton Kershaw starting Game 1 and eager to shed his image as a sub-par playoff performer, LA — like the Lakers before them — feels something like a team of destiny as they attempt to deliver their city a second championship in less than a month.
Tampa Bay Rays (40-20, 2nd in MLB)
If the Dodgers personify the spend-big, win-big ethos of major market teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the Rays are a model of efficiency through analytics. At just over $28 million, Tampa has the third-lowest payroll in the league, and no one epitomizes their salary savviness like rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena. The 25-year-old was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the offseason and he’s having a postseason for the ages: He smacked seven dingers in the last two rounds of the playoffs, and according to ESPN, “his 47 total bases are already tied for second most in a single postseason.”
While the Rays will lean on Arozarena for the long ball, they need their starting pitchers to shut down the Dodgers power hitters. Lucky for them, Tampa Bay has arguably the best starting rotation in the majors, beginning with Game 1 starter Tyler Glasnow. Although he’s prone to giving up home runs (a strength for the Dodgers, who just tied a single-series playoff record with 16 homers), he leads the MLB in strikeout rate. Add in Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, and the Dodgers will be facing a tough starting rotation that will try to keep the games close, as the Rays excel at winning tight, one-run games.
Immediately following the Dodgers Game 7 win, the William Hill sportsbook listed them as -210 favorites over the Rays, but by Monday morning, the betting lines settled to -195 for LA, and +165 for Tampa Bay. According to ESPN, the Dodgers have been “the betting favorite in every game, including in the postseason.” That trend will continue into the Fall Classic, as the Dodgers are currently about -170 favorites in Game 1.
The Rays, meanwhile, have defied the odds. Entering the postseason, they were fetching odds as low as 30-1 to win it all, despite having the second best regular season record in the majors. Only 3 percent of World Series bets at William Hill went to the Rays, and if they can continue to buck the odds, they could deliver a handsome payday to the financially faithful. Fore more information on World Series betting and odds, be sure to watch SportsGrid on Sling Free.
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