Tampa Bay Rays (40–20) v. Los Angeles Dodgers (43–17)
RHP Tyler Glasnow (5-1) | LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-2)
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, | 8:09 p.m. EST
Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas | T.V.: Fox | MLB.TV
Welcome to the 2020 World Series and Game 1. We made it! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all games will occur at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, making this the first World Series played at a neutral site and will be first since 1944 to be held at only one ballpark. The 2020 World Series is the fourth straight World Series to feature either the Dodgers or Astros.
Kershaw Postseason Curse
The Los Angels Dodgers will hand the ball tonight to three-time National League Cy -Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw for the L.A. Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.
We all know how great a pitcher Kershaw is during the regular season; however, the big question surrounding Clayton Kershaw is whether he can shed his postseason demons.
In his NLCS Game 4 start, pushed back two days because of back spasms, he allowed one run over the first five innings and was hurt by an infield hit, throwing error, and a pair of doubles. He was charged with four runs.
In Kershaw’s previous starts for the Dodgers in the World Series, he has not won a game; however, in Kershaw lone win in the World Series back in 2017 against the Astros, Kershaw struck out 11 in seven innings and only gave up one run.
Overall, in all his postseason appearances, he’s 4-5 with a 5.86 ERA; hopefully, Kershaw can flip the script on his postseason stats and come away with a World Championship ring to go along with it.
The Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff have a 3.36 ERA (123.1-IP, 46-ER) in the postseason and had a 3.08 ERA (61.1-IP, 21-ER) in the AL Championship Series, additionally, the Rays allowed 2 runs (or fewer) in all 4 wins in the ALCS and yielded 4, 4 and 7 runs in the 3 losses.
Additionally, the Tampa Bay Rays have allowed 21 HR this postseason, but Game 7 snapped a streak of 12 consecutive postseason games allowing one.
Record-Setting World Series
Believe it or not, the 2020 World Series will mark some records. They include:
- 2020 World Series is just the fourth time the teams with the best record in each League will face each other;
- Both the Dodgers and Rays combined have the highest regular-season winning percentage for a World Series matchup with a .692%;
- Each team will try to become the second major professional team from their home metropolitan area to win a championship in less than a month;
- The 2020 World Series will be the first World Series meeting between the Rays; and
- The 2020 World Series is the first World Series matchup between two teams that each played a winner take all in the League Championship Series since the 2004 World Series.
Who’s the Home Team?
With Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the home to the Texas Rangers and sits 1,220 miles from L.A. and 925 miles from St. Petersburg, it is about close to the middle as possible. The World Series will still be played in the traditional 2-3-2 format; however, the Dodgers will be the “home” team in Games 1 and 2 (and Games 6 and 7, if necessary), and the Tampa Bay Rays will be “home” team for Games 3 and 4 (and Game 5, if necessary).
MVP! MVP! MVP!
Both the NLCS MVP and ALCS MVP will be center stage during the 2020 World Series.
Rookie Randy Arozarena, who won ALCS MVP, will be featured prominently in the World Series spotlight. Randy Arozarena is the first rookie position player in MLB history to win an LCS or World Series MVP. During the ALCS, Arozarena torched the Astro’s pitching with four home runs, a .321 average, and a 1.1152 OPS. In the ALCS’s deciding game, Arozarena came up to the plate with one out and one runner on in the first inning, and he unleased a booming home run over the right-center-field wall.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was the NLCS MVP after a record-setting NLCS. Seager is already the eighth player in Major League history with at least six home runs and 15 RBI’s in a single postseason.
Game Lineups (Subject to Change)
Tampa Bay Rays
- Manuel Margot, RF
- Brandon Lowe, 2B
- Randy Arozarena, LF
- Ji-Man Choi, 1B
- Yandy Díaz, DH
- Joey Wendle, 3B
- Willy Adames, SS
- Kevin Kiermaier, CF
- Mike Zunino, C
- Mookie Betts, RF
- Corey Seager, SS
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Max Muncy, 1B
- Will Smith, DH
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- AJ Pollock, LF
- Chris Taylor, 2B
- Austin Barnes, C
World Series Headlines:
- How the Tampa Bay Rays constructed a pennant-winner on a limited budget via USA Today
- Will expanded postseason stay after two best teams reach World Series? via NBC Sports Washington
- ‘Break a window, don’t burn down the house’: The Rays’ culture of innovation