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World Series Matchup is Set

MLB Previews

For the first time since 2004, both the National League Championship Series and American League Championship Series went the distance to Game 7. So what does the World Series hold for us as viewers and bettors?

The Tampa Bay Rays will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-seven series in Arlington, Texas, starting on Tuesday. The neutral-site Globe Life Field will allow limited fans, as the same venue did for the NLCS.

The Dodgers will be the home team for Games 1 and 2 and Games 6 and 7. The Rays will be the home team for Games 3 and 5.

Schedule

  • Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 3: Friday, Oct. 23, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 24, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 25, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, Oct. 28, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX

History

For the Rays, this is just their second-ever World Series appearance. They lost the Fall Classic in 2008 to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

The Dodgers will be playing in the World Series for the 24th time, the 12th since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957. They have won six World Series titles, but none since 1988. The Dodgers lost the World Series in 2017 and 2018.

In interleague play, the Dodgers and Rays have met 17 times. They first played in 2002 and most recently played in 2019, splitting four games. Overall, the Dodgers lead the series 10-7.

Betting Angle

The Dodgers have been the World Series favorites from day one. Their odds began at +350, and they paid out +130 for winning the NLCS. The Rays were +750 to win the World Series when the playoffs began and +325 to win the American League.

The series odds will be interesting once the pitching matchups are announced, especially accounting for the health status of Clayton Kershaw, the expected Game 1 starter for the Dodgers. As of Sunday night, the Dodgers are the favorites at -230, with the Rays a +195 underdog.

The Matchup

Both League Championship Series went seven games, but these teams got to the World Series in drastically different ways. The Rays built a 3-0 lead over the Houston Astros before losing three straight and scrambling to win Game 7.

The Rays hit just .201 in the seven games, but they slugged 11 homers, led by ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena with four. The young outfielder hit .321 with six RBI, while outfielder Manny Margot hit three homers and catcher Mike Zunino slugged two.

The Rays pitchers had a 3.08 ERA in the series and allowed more than four runs just once. Charlie Morton was 2-0, including a Game 7 win, while three different pitchers earned saves.

The Dodgers fell behind the Atlanta Braves 3-1 before winning the final three games to win the NLCS. They broke out with a 15-3 win in Game 3 but still had to rally to win Game 7 with late-game homers from Kike Hernandez and Cody Bellinger.

The NLCS MVP was shortstop Corey Seager with 11 RBI and five of the Dodgers' 16 home runs. Bellinger, Hernandez, first baseman Max Muncy and outfielder Edwin Rios each crushed two homers.

On the mound, right-hander Walker Buehler was the lone Dodgers starter to get a win, while reliever Julio Urias won twice and closed out the Braves. Kenley Jansen had the only Dodgers save in the NLCS.

This series will either give the Rays their first-ever title or the Dodgers their first title in 31 years as a crowning achievement for this era. Oh, and one of these cities will get bragging rights with a second "Bubble Title." Will the World Series trophy join the Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay or the NBA Championship in Los Angeles? Play ball!

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