2020 World Series preview

Cody+Bellinger%27s+two-run+home+run+in+the+7th+inning+propelled+the+Dodgers+to+the+World+Series.+

Johnmaxmena John Mena

Cody Bellinger’s two-run home run in the 7th inning propelled the Dodgers to the World Series.

Chris Samuel, theSCORE Co-Editor

The Fall Classic is finally here and the best from each league is competing for the title of baseball’s best. The 2020 World Series will include the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The National League champion Dodgers won the Pacific division and looked dominant for the majority of the shortened 2020 season. Los Angeles finished the regular season 43-17 with a comfortable lead between the rest of the National League.  Players such as  Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seagar, Joc Pederson and others contributed to the Dodgers outstanding season.  

On the defensive side Los Angeles pitching staff is probably the best in all of baseball, with Joe Kelly, Dustin May and generational talent Clayton Kershaw all having phenomenal seasons. The Dodgers playoff journey started off with a 2-0 series win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card round. Los Angeles would then beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 in the National League Division Series. To clinch a World Series berth, Los Angeles would overcome a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the National League Conference Series.  Cody Bellinger hit a two-run home run to put the Dodgers up 4-3 which would be the final runs of the game.

Los Angeles who is managed by Dave Roberts, will make their third World Series appearance in four years. Los Angeles is winless in those previous two appearances and will attempt to win their first World Series title since 1988.

The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays shocked many by winning 40 games and clinching the American League East division. Unlike their World Series opponents, Tampa Bay is not known for star power. 

The Rays are the jack of all trades this postseason, good at a lot of things but not particularly great at anything. Their offensive “firepower” comes from Choi Ji-Man, Kevin Keirmaier, Hunter Renfroe and the hot hitting young star, Randy Arozerena. The Rays are similar to the Royals teams that made consecutive World Series in the mid-2010s (2014 and 2015).

Defensively, Tampa Ray has two reliable aces in Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell. The Rays started the playoff by making quick work of the Toronto Blue Jays, defeating them 2-0. They then defeated the New York Yankees 3-2 in the American League Divisional Series before staving off a comeback from the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. Tampa Bay had a 3-0 lead on the Houston Astros, but survived to win the series in a Game 7. 

Manager Kevin Cash will lead Tampa Bay to their second appearance in the World Series and first since 2008. With a win, this would be the first World Series title in franchise history.

The World Series will be played at a neutral site, Globe Life Park, the home of the Texas Rangers. Game 1 will start at 8:09 EST on Tuesday, Oct. 20 on Fox.