Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, World Series: Tips, Odds & Predictions

Dodgers vs Rays World Series 2020
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to be in the World Series this season, especially after the regular season was shortened to just 60 games. The Tampa Bay Rays expected to be competitive in the AL East, but it was a reach to say they were World Series contenders. But the best regular-season team from the NL faces the best one in the AL for the championship as it should be.

Tips & Predictions

Tampa Bay has been underestimated the entire way, but the Rays were the best team in the American League this season and deservedly won the pennant. They are certainly not an offensive juggernaut, Tampa Bay never scored more than five runs in the ALCS and did so just three times in 14 postseason games. But the Rays play some of the best defense and has an excellent pitching staff to match up with the Dodgers in this series. Tampa Bay has allowed two runs or fewer in half of its playoffs games, and no surprise they have won all seven of those games. The issue is the Rays are just 2-5 when they allow four runs or more, and that seems likely against a team like the Dodgers.

Los Angeles won the NLCS by shutting down Atlanta’s offense and squeaking enough runs off the Braves’ arms. As the Dodgers adjusted to the pitchers the Braves were sending out, you saw the best offensive team in the MLB start to shine a little bit more. Equally as important, Los Angeles’ starting pitching rose to the occasion and helped prevent Atlanta from maximizing its leads while the Dodgers struggled at the plate. Walker Buehler allowed just one run in 11 innings over two starts, masterfully shutting down the Braves to Game 6 just to force a decisive game. On offense, the Dodgers might not have produced runs early in the series, but they had just one regular starter bat under .200 during the NLCS.

The Dodgers are the heavy favorites to win the World Series, as expected, and the MLB postseason betting odds tend to point to a shorter series. However, what we saw in the first two games of the NLCS gives me reason to pause on picking the Dodgers to win the championship too quickly. Tampa Bay’s best arms will be sprinkled throughout this series and it will take some time for the Dodgers to adjust to how the Rays are going to attack them. Tampa Bay held an impressive Houston lineup to just 22 runs over seven games, so I don’t want to underestimate what the Rays could do against the Dodgers. Ultimately, I don’t expect Tampa Bay to be able to score enough runs to scare Los Angeles, so I’ll take the Dodgers to win the World Series in seven games at +430 odds at the New Jersey online sports betting sites. I expect Buehler to get the ball in Game 7 for the Dodgers and he’ll continue his impressive postseason run to earn MVP honors at +1000 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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