Dodgers vs. Rays: Predictions for the 2020 Fall Classic
by Owen Hetherington
For the third time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in the World Series. They will look to win their first Series since 1988 against the Rays beginning tonight at 8:09 pm. One major difference between these two ball clubs is their payroll. In 2020, the Dodgers spent $108 million on their player payroll, opposed to the Rays $28 million. Tampa Bay, playing in their second World Series, has never won.
Both teams took wildly different approaches to make the World Series. The Rays relied on analytics and depth, while the Dodgers experience and star talent. Here’s my opinion on why both teams can win the Fall Classic and who I think will ultimately pull it off.
Why the Rays can Win
The Rays have relied on their depth, both pitching and hitting, and will need to be solid top to bottom to win their first World Series. We saw it against the Yankees this postseason. Clutch hitting in big situations is what the Rays have depended on, especially by Randy Arozarena. He’s hitting .382 with seven home runs and 10 RBIs this postseason.
Randy Arozarena has been special to watch this postseason. For the Rays to win it all, Arozarena needs to stay hot and keep being clutch at the plate. Other guys like Manuel Margot, Ji-Man Choi, and Mike Zunino have all hit well this postseason and will need to continue to produce.
One major reason why I think the Rays could win it all is because of their advantage in pitching, especially when Charlie Morton is on the mound. He holds a 0.57 ERA this postseason and has been lights out. Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell have struggled, but I think they will dominate the Dodgers lineup.
Why the Dodgers Can Win
It’s no secret that this Dodgers team is good. After posting the best record in baseball this year at 43-17, this could finally be the year the Dodgers break through and win a ring after losing in 2017 and 2018.
A major key for the Dodgers this World Series is going to be Cory Seager at the plate, who is hitting .310 with six home runs and 15 RBIs this postseason. If you watched the NLCS against the Braves, you had to have seen how dominant Corey was. For the Dodgers to finally win it, Seager will need to stay hot at the dish.
Guys like Max Muncy, Mookie Betts, and Justin Turner have all been inconsistent this postseason. Bellinger was quiet but did get back on track in Game 7 against the Braves hitting what would be the game-winning home run. The entire lineup one through nine will need to have consistent at-bats against the Rays pitching who has been dominant this postseason.
Walker Buehler has been the workhorse for the Dodgers with a 1.98 ERA in four starts and 29 strikeouts over 19 innings. Expect him to be classic Walker Buehler and put together good starts against the Rays.
One thing the Dodgers could use in this series is vintage Clayton Kershaw. He has been known to be shaky in the playoffs, but he finally has the chance to burn all negative perceptions and win himself his first ring.
Dodgers in Seven
In my opinion, big offensive moments are what win ballgames. The Dodgers are the better team offensively, have a great defense, and have a solid rotation that can finally get them over the hump in 2020. Both teams are evenly matched which makes me believe this series will go to six or seven games.
I think Kershaw deserves a ring and will come up big in the postseason, likely in two starts if this goes the distance. I predict Corey Seager will stay hot at the plate and bring home the MVP and win the Dodgers their first World Series in 32 years.
Who do you think is going to win the World Series and be the MVP?