In a most unpredictable season, the teams with the best records in each league are set to meet in the World Series. The Dodgers and Rays will open in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday night after each finished memorable League Championship Series matchups this weekend.
Neither team has announced its starting pitcher for Game 1, but aces Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Tyler Glasnow of the Rays are lined up to throw.
Because of their superior record, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, NLCS MVP Corey Seager and Los Angeles have “home field advantage” for the neutral site Series and will bat last in Games 1 and 2, and then in 6 and 7, if necessary.
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Manager Dave Roberts’ Dodgers went 43-17, the best record in the majors by eight wins. They overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NLCS, beat Atlanta 4-3 on Bellinger’s late home run in Game 7 Sunday night and reached the World Series for the third time in four years.
Rookie sensation Randy Arozarena and skipper Kevin Cash’s bullpen-rich Rays were 40-20 and topped the American League by four victories. They also won a Game 7, topping Houston 4-2 in the ALCS and earn the second World Series trip in franchise history.
Kevin Kiermaier, Mike Zunino, Blake Snell and the Rays are expected to work out at Globe Life Field a day before Game 1 of the World Series. It will be the first time that anyone on Tampa Bay's 28-man roster in the ALCS has played at Texas Rangers' new home with the retractable roof.
Because of the pandemic-revised schedule, the Rays and Rangers didn't meet this season.
The Dodgers just played seven straight days at the ballpark, so they're familiar with the surroundings. It's not certain whether they'll practice during an off-day.
PITCHING PROBABLES: Tampa Bay: Tyler Glasnow (5-1, 4.08 ERA in regular season) Los Angeles: Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.16 ERA in regular season)
LINE: Dodgers favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 7 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Clayton Kershaw and Los Angeles will play Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the World Series.
The Dodgers were 21-9 on their home turf in 2020. Los Angeles has a team on-base percentage of .355 this postseason, Max Muncy leads them with an OBP of .434, including five extra base hits and eight RBIs.
The Rays were 20-11 on the road in 2020. Tampa Bay has a team slugging percentage of .407 this postseason, Randy Arozarena leads them with a mark of .855, including 11 extra base hits and 10 RBIs.
REGULAR SEASON TOP PERFORMERS: AJ Pollock leads the Dodgers with 16 home runs and is batting .276.
Brandon Lowe leads the Rays with 14 home runs and is batting .269.
LAST 10 GAMES: Dodgers: 8-2, .276 batting average, 3.14 ERA, outscored opponents by 34 runs
Rays: 8-2, .233 batting average, 2.72 ERA, outscored opponents by 15 runs
INJURIES: Dodgers: Jimmy Nelson: (back), Caleb Ferguson: (left elbow).
Rays: Chaz Roe: (elbow), Cody Reed: (finger), Colin Poche: (elbow), Andrew Kittredge: (elbow), Yonny Chirinos: (elbow), Jalen Beeks: (elbow).