Following a COVID-19 shortened regular season, plus three rounds of exciting playoff action, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles open the 2020 MLB World Series tonight. The Rays entered the postseason as the top seed in the American League and the Dodgers were the top team in the National League. Tampa Bay lost 4-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies in their only World Series appearance back in 2008. Los Angeles is aiming for their first MLB Championship since 1988.
Los Angeles and Tampa Bay were favorites in all seven games during their League Championship series against Atlanta and Houston respectively. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Dodgers (-200) as chalk to win this series over Rays (+180) on their futures betting board. Los Angeles is also the favorite in Game 1. First pitch is slated for 8:09 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 20, at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Below, I preview Game 1 and three of the Fall Classic futures betting options.
2020 MLB World Series Schedule
- Game 1 Tampa Bay at Los Angeles: Tue, 10/20 at 8:09 p.m. ET
- Game 2 Tampa Bay at Los Angeles: Wed, 10/21 at 8:08 p.m. ET
- Game 3 Los Angeles at Tampa Bay: Fri, 10/23 at 8:08 p.m. ET
- Game 4 Los Angeles at Tampa Bay: Sat, 10/24 at 8:08 p.m. ET
- Game 5 Los Angeles at Tampa Bay: Sun, 10/25 at 8:08 p.m. ET *
- Game 6 Tampa Bay at Los Angeles: Tue, 10/27 at 8:08 p.m. ET *
- Game 7 Tampa Bay at Los Angeles: Wed, 10/28 at 8:09 p.m. ET *
* If Necessary - All Games at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas
Los Angeles Dodgers Road to the World Series
Posting an MLB best 43-17 record, Los Angeles entered the 2020 MLB playoffs as the top overall seed. Averaging 5.81 runs pre game, the Dodgers led the league with 349 total runs scored and 118 home runs. The pitching staff was solid as well as their team earned run average (3.02) was the best in the league. The Dodgers longest losing streak was two games and that happened just four times over 60 contests. This is the eighth straight season Los Angeles has advanced to the postseason.
Los Angeles closed the regular season on a 10-2 roll and swept the Milwaukee Brewers (4-2 and 3-0) in the NL Wild Card series. The Dodgers outscored the Padres 23-9 and earned a berth in the NLCS with a 3-0 sweep of San Diego in the NL Divisional Series. After falling behind 3-1, versus Atlanta in the NLCS, Los Angeles roared back with three straight wins to advance to the World Series. The Dodgers are back in the Fall Classic for the third time over four seasons.
Tampa Bay Rays: Road to the World Series
Slow out of starting gate, with a 6-8 record, Tampa Bay closed the regular season on a 34-12 roll. The Rays finished with a 40-20 record and entered the playoffs as the top seed in the American League. Tampa Bay was 12th overall with 4.81 runs scored per game on offense. The Rays team ERA (3.56) was the third best mark in the Majors and their bullpen led the league with 23 saves. Following a five-year drought - Tampa Bay made the playoffs for a second straight season.
Tampa Bay swept Toronto (3-1 and 8-2) in the AL Wild Card Series. That set up a best-of-five ALDS battle with New York. The Rays were blasted 9-3 by the Yankees in Game 1 but won three of the next four games. Facing Houston in the ALCS, Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Astros responded with three straight wins. ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena hit a 2-run home run and the Rays posted a 4-2 win in Game 7 to advance to their first Fall Classic since 2008.
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Game 1 Preview and Pick
Neither team faced their League Championship opponent during the regular season and that trend continues in the World Series. Los Angeles and Tampa Bay last played each other during the 2019 regular season when they split a four-game series. The Dodgers posted 7-5 and 7-3 victories while the Rays won 8-1 and 8-7 in 11 innings. Trading wins, dating back to a four-game series in 2016, neither team has won two straight over the last eight meetings. I expect this will be a long series.
SI MLB Experts Make World Series Predictions: Dodgers or Rays?
Clayton Kershaw starts Game 1 for Los Angeles and Tyler Glasnow heads to the hill for Tampa Bay. Kershaw allowed 7 runs, on 16 hits over 19 innings, and the Dodgers are 2-1 during his three playoff starts. Glasnow gave up 10 runs, on 17 hits over 19.1 innings, and the Rays are 3-1 during his four postseason appearances. Both pitchers allowed four earned runs and were tagged with a loss in their last start. Feeling the series opener will be close – my Game 1 play is the Tampa Bay Rays run line.
2020 World Series Game 1 Pick: Tampa Bay Rays +1.5 (-137)
Game Total Lean: OVER 7.5 Total Runs
World Series Futures Betting Prop Options
A variety of World Series futures betting odds and prop options are being offered at DraftKings. Below are my picks for the Fall Classic winner, the number of games played and the World Series MVP. Also, the DraftKings DFS lobby will be loaded with a wide range of contests every day. No matter your skill level, or gambling budget, there are contests and price points to suit all daily fantasy sports players. Good luck with your bets and enjoy the 2020 MLB World Series.
World Series Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers (-200)
How Long Will the World Series Last: 7 Total Games (+215)
World Series MVP Winner: Walker Buehler (+1200)
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SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking will be posting game day previews and a betting lean for each contest during 2020 MLB World Series. While all picks are carefully researched – predicting the future is not always easy. Bettors are encouraged to explore a variety of MLB information prior to placing any wagers. Bet smart and good luck!