Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 – 8:08 p.m. ET World Series Game 2 at Globe Life Park
Game 1 of the 2020 World Series went just like Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts drew it up. Well, not really, except for the part about his Dodgers winning. That puts a little extra pressure on Kevin Cash and the Tampa Bay Rays who aim to even matters Wednesday evening.
Even with Tampa Bay owning a slight advantage in the starting pitcher column, the top-rated sportsbooks, and the public still like Los Angeles on Wednesday. Blake Snell (6-4, 3.22) gets the call for the Rays while the Dodgers go with Tony Gonsolin (2-3, 3.22) in what appears will be something akin to a bullpen game.
Los Angeles is running about -150 on the moneyline, a little higher at some shops, with the takeback on Tampa Bay around +135. Wednesday’s scoreboard target has been set at 8, many outlets taxing the ‘over’ a little extra.
LA Walks Away With 8-3 Victory
What started as a pitchers’ duel between Tyler Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday ended in an 8-3 Dodgers dubya. Tampa Bay threatened in the top of the first inning, but Kershaw got out of trouble and ended up with six, 2-hit innings on his ledger, allowing just one run while striking out eight.
Cody Bellinger swatted a 2-run homer in the fourth off Glasnow and drew a couple of walks to lead off the fifth that ended with a 4-run LA burst to play the biggest role in the final going well past a 7½-run total on the closing MLB odds. Mookie Betts added a solo homer of his own, but it was eight walks that ended up hurting the Rays more than the long ball.
Can Snell Snuff LA Lineup & Level Series?
Working on his regular schedule, Snell is set to make his fifth postseason start with the Rays splitting the previous four. After beating Houston in Game 1 of the ALCS, he was on the bump last Friday for Game 6, a 7-4 loss with the Rays -125 chalk at Heritage. Snell managed to burn through 82 pitches in his 4-inning stint and had some control issues with four walks.
This will be his first World Series appearance, and just the second time he has gone up against the Dodgers. Snell made an abbreviated start in Los Angeles in September 2019, that outing his first back on the hill after about a 2-month DL stint, and worked two perfect innings while striking out four of the six batters he faced.
Helping Roberts and the Dodgers was Kershaw only toiling for 78 pitches on Tuesday, as well as the Dodgers getting to rest some key bullpen arms one more day. After missing both the NLWC and NLDS rounds, Gonsolin finally showed up in the NLCS where he was knocked around by Braves hitters to the tune of seven runs over 6.1 innings in a couple of outings. Walks hurt him in both appearances and hurt him against the Rays in a relief outing last season, the only time Gonsolin has faced Tampa Bay.
Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
After sitting out Tuesday night, Todd Tichenor is set to call balls and strikes in Game 2. It’s not only his first plate assignment in a World Series game, it’s the Nebraska native’s first World Series game, period.
Tichenor’s 12 games behind the mask in the regular season finished 3-7-2 O/U/P, and he has also been part of two playoff series crews. He was part of Ron Kulpa’s ALWC group that worked the Astros-Twins series, and served with Mark Carlson’s ALDS crew in the ALDS, calling Game 4 of the Tampa Bay-New York series that ended with a 5-1 Yankees victory.
The roof will be open once again at the new ballpark in Arlington. Clear skies and the thermometer sitting right around 80° at first pitch is the forecast. How long Roberts goes with Gonsolin is one big question. Gonsolin used up 41 pitches on Sunday in LA’s pennant-clinching win over Atlanta, and my guess is two innings max tonight. I’m going to put some faith in Snell and the Rays to level matters with my free MLB pick.