Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series Game 1
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – 8:11 pm EST – Globe Life Field
- Rays: Tyler Glasnow (5-1 4.08 ERA; Postseason: 2-1 4.66 ERA)
- Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (6-2 2.16 ERA; Postseason: 2-1 3.32 ERA)
The World Series has arrived. The Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Globe Life Field for a best-of-seven series to decide the champion in the MLB.
The Rays look to be in better shape with an extra day of rest and a starting rotation that is set up to through the 7th game, if needed. The Dodgers, on the other hand, don’t have anything set in stone. Clayton Kershaw will pitch the first game of the series and then it’s anyone’s guess who is next. Dustin May, Julio Urias, and Tony Gonsolin pitched in the final game of their ALCS run.
That means that the Dodgers really need this first game against the Rays and Tyler Glasnow.
Glasnow is the only pitcher that has gone two games with six innings under his belt. He finished six innings in his last start against Houston and allowed four runs on eight hits including two home runs, two walks, and five strikeouts.
During the postseason, Glasnow has struck out 25 batters in 19.1 innings including 17 hits, 10 runs, and six home runs. Glasnow has done very well getting ground balls as he nears 50 percent in the postseason.
Many Dodgers batters will be seeing Glasnow for the first time in their career. Mookie Betts has gone 3-9 with a .333 average including two walks a double and two singles.
But the one guy who has done damage against Glasnow is Cody Bellinger. And while Bellinger hasn’t been fantastic this season, he’s the reason why the Dodgers are in the World Series after his 7th inning blast in game seven of the NLCS.
Bellinger has faced Glasnow three times. He has two home runs and a walk against Glasnow. Bellinger might be able to ride his momentum from the last game of the NLCS and do some more damage in this one and the MLB odds.
AJ Pollock has a triple in two at bats and Chris Taylor has a single and a walk in three plate appearances.
On the flip side, Clayton Kershaw will look to shut down the Tampa Bay Rays in the first game. Kershaw has been getting a bunch of hate due to his postseason blow ups but he’s still 2-1 in the postseason with a 3.32 ERA.
His last start against the Braves came after back spasms and he didn’t look great. He went five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, walked one, and allowed a home run. In those five innings he struck out four but induced 23 ground balls to 24 fly balls.
Like Glasnow, he’s getting a high volume of ground balls. He’s struck out 23 batters in 19 innings and hasn’t pitched over 100 pitches in any postseason start yet.
If there’s a game Kershaw wants to get over 100 pitches and dominate, it’s this one.
On the road, in the regular season, Kershaw had an ERA of 1.84 and went 5-1 in seven starts, holding opponents to a batting average of .163.
He struck out 9.57 batters per nine innings but is going up against a Rays team that strikes out plenty. Kershaw gets his strikeouts at the bottom of the order. That’s where he lives. He feasts against bottom orders of the lineup and MLB picks.
Batters 6 through 9 all have averages below .140 and have struck out a combined 35 times in 81 at bats. Meaning, he’s struck out 43 percent of batters from six to nine in the batting order.
Batters projected near the bottom of the order include Mike Zunino, Brandon Lowe, and Willy Adames who all average over 28 percent strike percentages.
The Dodgers left-handed bats should shine against Glasnow, who has already given up six home runs in the postseason in 19.1 innings.
Cody Bellinger has rocked Glasnow in a short sample size. Just like Ji-Man Choi against Gerrit Cole, Bellinger seems to own Glasnow.
As long as Kershaw is healthy, and reports say he is, I’d look for a dominant performance from Kershaw where he can get over 6.5 strikeouts in this one against a Rays team that has a very high strikeout rate.
Kershaw is needed. The bullpen could use an extra day of rest.
MLB Pick: Cody Bellinger to hit a Home Run (+325) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)