Coast with the Most
When the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers gets underway Tuesday night, it will be the third major American sport to host a championship series in the past month. The World Series will serve as a bit of “rubber-match”, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in six games over the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Lakers were crowned NBA Champions in six games over the Miami Heat. Like the NHL and NBA, the Major League Baseball season will conclude in a controlled environment. The coast-to-coast clash will take place entirely in Arlington, Texas.
Although the Rays and Dodgers were the two best teams in the league this season, the two enter the World Series boasting vastly different strategies. The hard-hitting Rays employ an aggressive strategy at the plate, with 71.9 percent of their postseason scoring coming from homeruns. They also have the league’s third lowest payroll, with this season’s prorated total of just north of $28 million. The Dodgers, who own the league’s second highest payroll at $107.9 million, unleash a bevvy of star power on the mound and at the plate, led by Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts. Kershaw and Betts combined 2020 prorated salaries is just 2.4 million below the entire Rays roster.
The Rays are making the franchise’s second World Series appearance. They were defeated in five games by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. The Dodgers have not won the World Series since 1988 and are making their third appearance in four years. The Dodgers lost in Game 7 to the Houston Astros in 2017 and lost to the Boston Red Sox in five games the following year.
Tuesdays’ probably Game 1 starters are Tyler Glasnow for the Rays vs. Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers. This will be Kershaw’s fifth career World Series start, where he wears a 5.40 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. Glasnow will make his first career World Series start, entering the game with a 4.66 ERA this postseason.