The Rays and Dodgers both booked trips to the World Series over the weekend. And tonight, they’ll meet for the first game of the Fall Classic, being played in Arlington, TX this year at Globe Life Field.
First pitch is scheduled at 8:11 P.M. Eastern on FOX. The Dodgers are -175 favorites, while the Rays are +145 underdogs. The over/under is set at eight runs.
Tampa Bay found their way to the World Series for the first time since 2008, which also marks the last year in which they advanced in the playoffs before 2020. They took the first three games from Houston before dropping the next three. However, they won a do-or-die Game 7 to punch their ticket back to the promised land.
For the Dodgers, this is nothing new. They fought off the Braves in Game 7, finishing their 3-1 series comeback to reach the World Series for the third time in four years. L.A. lost to the Astros in 2017, then again to the Red Sox in 2018. They have another golden opportunity to win a title, and perhaps it can finally happen for them in 2020.
The Game 1 pitching matchup features Tyler Glasnow for Tampa Bay and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.
Rays Look to Start Strong
Winning the first game will be crucial for Tampa Bay, having led 3-0 against Houston and still requiring a Game 7 to advance. Against a team like the Dodgers, you cannot waste any time. The Rays have an excellent opportunity to start strong, as Kershaw has struggled in his World Series career.
The Rays have the hottest hitter in baseball in rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena, who leads the Majors with seven home runs and 21 hits in the postseason. He has four games with three-or-more hits, and is just the fifth player in baseball history to have four three-hit games in a single postseason.
Glasnow has posted a 2-1 record with a 4.66 ERA this postseason. He allowed four runs in six innings in his last outing against Houston.
Dodgers Need to Ignore the Past
The Dodgers are four games away from winning the World Series title that has eluded them for three decades. Kirk Gibson’s historic 1988 home run is still the most recent triumphant moment in franchise history.
The addition of Mookie Betts to this team has taken them to another level. After going 43-13 in the 60-game regular season, they began the playoffs with five straight wins. It took seven games and a 3-1 comeback to get past Atlanta, but they’re still standing. Betts robbing two home runs in the series was huge. Former NL MVP Cody Bellinger’s go-ahead home run put the nail in Atlanta’s coffin.
Kershaw will make his fifth career World Series start. He has gone 1-2 and posted a 5.40 ERA in 26 2/3 innings in his career in the Fall Classic. Kershaw was scratched from the Game 2 start against Atlanta due to back spasms, then was the losing pitcher in Game 4.
Rays Jump Out Early, Win Game 1
Tampa Bay will strike early against Kershaw and win a low-scoring Game 1. Having an extra day off coming into the series will pay off, as the well-rested Rays bounce on the Dodgers and take the series lead.