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The Tampa Bay Rays are still alive, but the Los Angeles Dodgers effectively have the World Series wrapped up

The Tampa Bay Rays are still alive, but the Los Angeles Dodgers effectively have the World Series wrapped up

There are at most two games left in the 2020 MLB season. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the World Series and while it isn’t over yet, Los Angeles is in clear control. I think it’s almost wrapped up, and I’d be shocked if the Dodgers don’t hoist their first trophy since the 1988 season.

The Rays got lucky

Let’s not lose site of the fact that Tampa only won Game 4 because of an improbable series of errors that you hardly ever see in the major leagues that looked like a Little League game. It also took the struggling Kenley Jansen getting inserted to close out a one-run game in the ninth inning, a mistake Dodgers manager Dave Roberts likely won’t make again.

It’s hard to see how anyone could watch that Game 4 and come away with the impression that the Rays were the better team. The only game of this series where Tampa really looked superior was in Game 2, and that’s because Blake Snell was untouchable through the first four innings.

Snell will start again in Game 6, and I don’t think he’ll be able to recapture that magic, especially since he started to melt down in the fifth before getting pulled. Snell has been a bit erratic in the postseason, and he now has four walks in back to back starts.

He’s not going to bail them out of this series, and the Rays’ bullpen should be exhausted after they’ve been working heavy innings. It took a fluke just for them to extend this series past the weekend, and I don’t see them extending it any further.

The offenses aren’t even close

In the playoffs this cycle the Dodgers are slashing .258/.355/.471. The Rays are slashing .214/.294/.410. The gap between these two lineups is bordering on astronomical, and that’s been on full display in this series. The Dodgers have a very balanced attack with a handful of guys who could kill you on any given night, while Tampa has pretty much been relying on Randy Arozarena to be a one-man wrecking crew.

Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy have all been on fire recently, and that’s not even counting guys like Cody Bellinger and Will Smith who have also been hot at times this postseason and are a threat to go deep every time they step in the box.

The Dodgers have already seen Snell, and I don’t think he’ll have nearly as much success the second time around. Los Angeles has scored at least four runs in every game of this series, while the Rays have been held to three or fewer in three of five games. The Dodgers have the much higher floor and the much higher ceiling, and I just don’t think Tampa has the upside to win back to back games against this juggernaut of a Dodgers offense.

The bottom line

I think the Dodgers wrap this one up on Tuesday. If the Rays somehow manage to prevail, Los Angeles will close it out on Wednesday. This series hasn’t been nearly as close as the 3-2 situation might indicate, and it’s been abundantly clear who the superior team is in this series. It’s been over three decades, but I feel pretty good about the Dodgers finally bringing home another World Series.

For free picks and breakdowns of every game remaining in the 2020 MLB season, make sure to check out our ‘MLB Picks‘ tab.

Last updated: Tue 27th October 2020
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