Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Friday, October 23rd 2020 – 8:08 PM ET at Globe Life Field
Probable Pitchers (2020 Regular Season Record):
- Dodgers: Walker Buehler (1-0 3.44 ERA)
- Rays: Charlie Morton (2-2 4.74 ERA)
Stakes of the Matchup
On Friday in game three of the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Currently, both teams are tied in the seven-game series 1-1, and whoever wins on Friday will only have to win 40% of the remaining games to win the World Series. The seven-game series has essentially turned into a five-game series adding more variance to the World Series.
During the regular season, both the Dodgers and the Rays had the best regular-season records. The Dodgers had a 43-17 record and the Rays had a 40-20 record. For Friday night’s game, BetOnline has made the Dodgers -150 moneyline favorites, while the Rays are +139 moneyline underdogs. According to my model, the linemakers at BetOnline have nailed the game as both sides are correctly priced. While the MLB odds for tonight’s game are correctly priced, I found a creative play for Friday night’s game.
For the pivotal game three starting pitching matchup, it is unclear which team has an edge. The starting pitcher for the Dodgers is Walker Buehler who has had a great postseason. Buehler has a 1-0 record with a 1.89 ERA, and a strikeout rate of 13.74 strikeouts per nine innings over the postseason. During the regular season, Buehler had a 1-0 record, 3.44 ERA, and a strikeout rate of 10.31 strikeouts per nine innings.
What is most impressive for Buehler going up against the Rays is his strikeout rate because the Rays lineup led the league in strikeouts this season. If Buehler is caught up in a jam against the well-rounded Rays lineup you could get himself out of that jam by striking out opposing batters.
While Buehler and the Dodgers are well-positioned against the Rays in the starting pitching matchup, the Rays are well-positioned against the Dodgers. The Rays' starting pitcher Charlie Morton is having a great postseason. Morton who is the highest-paid player on the Rays roster has a 3-0 record this postseason with a 0.57 ERA, and a 0.96 WHIP.
This record was achieved against the high-powered lineups of the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. During the regular season Morton did not fair as well as he had a 2-2 record with a 4.74 ERA. Morton has hit his stride in the playoffs, and we should expect a low scoring game.
The best free MLB pick I could give for Friday’s game is to back the Rays to win the World Series at +170 odds on BetOnline. While the Rays are correctly priced as +139 moneyline underdogs for tonight’s game, they should not be +170 underdogs to win the World Series.
The seven-game series is now a five-game series, and that adds more variance. When there is more variance in a matchup, you should seek to bet the best value underdog. If the Rays win today, then they will probably at even MLB money odds to win the world series going into game four.
Additionally, if the Rays win tonight, they have to win only 40% of their remaining games against the Dodgers to win the World Series. I think Charlie Morton has hit his stride and that is why I am betting on the Rays to win the World Series at +170 odds.