2020 World Series – Rays vs. Dodgers
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The seven-game series, if necessary, will run over nine days, with a day off after Games 2 and 5. The Rays have only been to the World Series one other time in their twenty-three-year existence. They lost to series, 4–1, to Philadelphia in 2008.
The Dodgers, of course, have a much longer franchise history but it’s the recent track record most focus on, and rightly so.
This will be LA’s third trip to the World Series in the last four years after losing in either the NLDS or NLCS in each of the four years before that. Much of the team’s core has remained intact through the success that has each time ended in disappointment.
This year’s team is the best of all, though. Its .717 regular season winning percentage ranks the best in franchise history. A fine mix of grizzled veterans, upstart young players and established superstars make the Dodgers heavy series favorites (-200).
Clayton Kershaw is reportedly set to start Game 1. He was scratched for his Game 3 start in the LCS against Atlanta and his only appearance in the series came the next night in LA’s Game 4 loss.
He was, however, terrific in the Wild Card round against Milwaukee and good for six innings in the second game of LA’s sweep of the Padres in the Divisional Series.
With the Dodgers’ pitching staff worn out, Kershaw has the chance to play a big role in this series. If he’s healthy, he makes a fine candidate to win series MVP (+1000) in this yet another chance for him to finally win a ring.
The Rays wrapped up their series a day earlier than the Dodgers did and so are in slightly better shape as a pitching staff. It still took them seven games to eliminate Houston and Tyler Glasnow, who only threw in one of them after coming back on short rest to start the clincher against New York, only pitched in one of them.
So like Kershaw for LA, the responsibility falls on Glasnow to not only deliver early in the series, but to come back and pitch well a second time in a potential Game 5 or 6.
Rays’ centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier hurt his wrist in Game 3 of the LCS. X-rays came back negative but he didn’t return to the starting lineup until Game 7, which he finished 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
He’s never been a serious offensive threat but he came up with some big hits before the injury, including a home run in a Game 3 victory in the LDS and a pair of doubles in a one-run win in Game 1 against the Astros.
His injury may not keep him out of the lineup, as he’s an important defensive piece in centerfield and an important team leader. If it saps him of all his offense, however, he won’t help his team by playing hurt.
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