It shall be a marquee pitching matchup within the first recreation of the best-of-seven sequence: the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow of the Rays.
Kershaw, 32, is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and arguably one of the best beginning pitcher of his technology. He had a stellar common season with a 6-2 file and a pair of.16 earned run common. But he has a sophisticated postseason legacy, which is checkered with each sturdy and poor performances, together with this yr. In 35 profession playoff appearances, he’s 11-12 with a four.31 E.R.A.
Glasnow, 27, doesn’t have Kershaw’s observe file however he’s actually gifted. He is healthier than his 2020 common season numbers — 5-1 file and a four.08 E.R.A. — counsel. His arsenal — a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and a depraved curveball — makes him one of one of the best strikeout starters in baseball. He, too, has had each stout and middling outings this postseason.
The Dodgers haven’t but introduced a Game 2 starter, however the Rays mentioned they’d go together with Blake Snell, a 2018 Cy Young Award winner.
During the final week of the common season, M.L.B. requested groups in place to qualify for the playoffs to quarantine in resorts, even at residence. So, each the Rays and the Dodgers have been dwelling out of resorts for a couple of month. Players’ wives and kids had been allowed to hitch them so long as additionally they quarantined.
When M.L.B. and the gamers’ union agreed to play in a handful contained environments for the playoffs, the nation’s virus sizzling spots had been altering and each side needed to restrict their publicity by reducing down on the journey of a standard postseason. So they picked warmer-weather venues as impartial websites: Southern California for the A.L. and Texas for the N.L.
The World Series shall be held at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new stadium in Arlington, Texas, that contains a retractable roof and synthetic turf. It would be the first World Series held at a impartial website and first since 1944 to be performed all at one stadium. A restricted quantity of tickets have been offered to the World Series, and followers had been additionally allowed into N.L. Championship Series video games at Globe Life Field.
While the Rays performed the previous two weeks at Petco Park in San Diego, the Dodgers are already conversant in Globe Life Park, the place they performed the previous two rounds of the playoffs.
Although the normal days off had been faraway from the primary three rounds this yr, which difficult groups’ pitching plans, they’re again within the schedule for the World Series. The Dodgers and Rays could have a break day after Games 2 and 5.
The starkest distinction between the Dodgers and the Rays is cash. Before the pandemic shortened the season and trimmed salaries, the Dodgers’ opening day payroll was set to be the third-largest within the main leagues at $225 million, based on Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
The Rays, who play in an outdated stadium and are recurrently close to the underside of baseball’s attendance listing, are on the receiving finish of M.L.B.’s revenue-sharing and had a pre-pandemic opening day payroll of $94 million, the fourth-smallest within the majors.
The Rays depend on sturdy scouting, analytics savvy and sturdy participant improvement to construct their roster — or commerce for hidden gems in different organizations, akin to postseason star Randy Arozarena or starter Tyler Glasnow. They play stellar protection and have a deep group of gamers, notably on the mound, that Manager Kevin Cash swaps out often to take advantage of matchups.
Despite failing to win a World Series title not too long ago, the Dodgers have been a juggernaut the previous a number of years below Andrew Friedman, their president of baseball operations. He was the Rays’ common supervisor from 2005 to 2014, the architect of the staff that reached the 2008 World Series. During his tenure there, he employed Erik Neander, now the Rays’ G.M., as an intern.
Friedman introduced his acumen to Los Angeles, the place the Dodgers have each constructed a robust farm system (which has produced stars like outfielder Cody Bellinger and starter Walker Buehler) and flexed their monetary muscle (they gave celebrity outfielder Mookie Betts a 12-year, $365-million extension after buying and selling for him earlier than this season).
Madness was anticipated throughout this postseason. Instead of the same old 10, 16 groups had been included in a brand new playoff format cooked up for this coronavirus-altered season, and every of them began with a three-game sequence. Still, although each sequence went all the way down to the wire within the earlier spherical, the 2 greatest groups through the common season now meet within the World Series: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Dodgers, one of the oldest franchises in baseball, had been one of the best staff within the majors through the truncated 60-game common season, claiming 43 victories, their eighth straight National League West division crown and the N.L.’s prime seed within the playoffs. This is their third World Series journey in 4 years, having misplaced each of the earlier two — in 2017 in opposition to the Houston Astros and in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox — to groups that had been later accused and penalized for breaking the principles throughout these seasons. Still, the Dodgers haven’t received a title since 1988.
The Rays, then again, are one of the youngest franchises in baseball, added in 1998 together with the Arizona Diamondbacks as growth groups. In the common season, the Rays received 40 video games, their first American League East title since 2010 and the A.L.’s prime spot within the playoffs. Their solely different journey to the World Series was in 2008, which they misplaced to the Philadelphia Phillies in 5 video games.