TAMPA BAY RAYS WILL MEET LOS ANGELES DODGERS IN THE FALL CLASSIC
The 116th World Series is set with the Los Angeles Dodgers beating the Atlanta Braves in an entertaining NLCS series on Sunday night. The World Series begins Tuesday night, and this will be the first time since 2013 in which Major League Baseball’s top two seeds will meet for game one on Tuesday Night.
TAMPA’S ROAD TO ARLINGTON
Arlington’s path for the Tampa Bay Rays would start in Tampa as the Rays would host the divisional rival Toronto Blue Jays in the Best-of-Five Wild Card Series. Tampa would not have any problems with Toronto and sent them back home rather quickly after sweeping the young Blue Jays team in two games.
The Rays would now head west to San Diego for the American League Divisional Series held at Petco Park. Tampa would face their divisional rival the New York Yankees in a Best-of-Five Series. Tampa won the series in a decisive game five in which the Rays beat New York 2-1. This series between Tampa and New York was the only Divisional Series that went to five games.
Tampa now had the Houston Astros as their opponent for the American League Championship Series. The ALCS went the distance as it came down to seven games. Tampa won the first three games but then lost three in a row to force a game seven. The Rays would outlast Houston with the help of an excellent pitching performance by Charlie Morton. Morton had six strikeouts with zero earned runs. Tampa’s Randy Arozarena and Mike Zunino both hit home runs and drove in two RBI’s. The four runs got the job done and got Tampa to the World Series after the 4-2 victory.
LOS ANGELES’S ROAD TO ARLINGTON
The Dodgers would meet the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening round of MLB’s Best-of-Three Wild Card Series in Los Angeles before heading to Arlington on October 2nd. Global Life Park is was home for the National League Divisional Series. The Dodgers road to Arlington was more straightforward from a travel standpoint. The Dodgers ended up besting two other teams before making it to the World Series. The San Diego Padres’ rivals met them for their second series, but they got swept in three games in a Best-of-Five Series. The Dodgers outscored their Interstate 5 rivals 23-9 in three games.
Los Angeles only needed to get by the Atlanta Braves to make it to their destination, the World Series. This series went the distance also as it went to seven games. The Dodgers did not start the National League Championship Series well and had their backs against the wall after dropping the first two games against Atlanta. The Dodgers came back for Game 3 and won handily 15-3.
However, the Braves would take Game 4 gave the Braves a 3-1 series lead, which meant the Dodgers would now have to win three games in a row if they would go to their third World Series in four years. The Los Angeles Dodgers ended up doing what had to be done and won the three games. Los Angeles outscored Atlanta 14-7 during games five, six, and seven.
THE PITCHING MATCHUP
Tampa Bay Rays will be in the World Series for only the second time in franchise history. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a bit more familiar with World Series appearances as this will be the twenty-second time in their entire franchise history dating back to 1916.
The Rays’ rotation is solid, and it starts with the former 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell. The veteran Charlie Morton and the young Tyler Glasnow will likely be the three starters if Tampa goes with the shorter rotation, and it is a safe assumption that they will because the three would have their regular rest between games. Former Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw leads the Dodgers rotation. Kershaw has struggled with postseason play, but with a young pitching lineup behind him in Dustin May, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias, they will not be hurting. The Dodgers and Rays both have outstanding bullpens as well.
THE REST OF THE MATCHUP’S
Tampa manager Kevin Cash works with a young roster, and he has some solid hitters like Randy Arozarena. The Rays acquired Arozarena this past offseason, and he has been quite surprised as he leads the league with postseason home runs, is also the leader in hits, and has the highest batting average for the Rays. Manuel Margot has been excellent as he leads the team with 11 RBIs. Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Lowe help provide an outstanding defense on the field.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts has high-priced talented veterans. Mookie Betts leads the team with a .311 batting average while shortstop Corey Seager leads the team in Home Runs, RBIs, and Hits. They also have the young 25-year-old veteran Cody Bellinger who just finished his fourth season. Their fielding is solid as well, with veterans Justin Turner at third base and Max Muncy at first.
I assume it is said every year, but this will be an intriguing World Series. Will the Los Angeles team with a team payroll of 108 million dollars outlast the Tampa Bay team that spent 28 million dollars less on their payroll per Spotrac?
Will Tampa Bay celebrate a second championship-winning team this year after the Tampa Bay Lightning won their second Stanley Cup? Will Los Angeles celebrate a second-championship-winning team after the Los Angeles Lakers won their seventeenth championship? All we know is that one city will be thrilled with the outcome, and the other will not.
The schedule for the 2020 World Series
(* indicates if necessary)
Tuesday, Oct. 20
World Series Game 1, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Wednesday, Oct. 21
World Series Game 2, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Thursday, Oct. 22
Friday, Oct. 23
World Series Game 3, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Saturday, Oct. 24
World Series Game 4, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Sunday, Oct. 25
*World Series Game 5, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Monday, Oct. 26
Tuesday, Oct. 27
*World Series Game 6, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio
Wednesday, Oct. 28
*World Series Game 7, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX, ESPN Radio