Top Two teams in Major League Baseball set to battle for World Series Championship


Image Courtesy of Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Ryan Kelsey, Staff Writer

After nearly squandering a 3-0 lead out of a best of 7 game series, the Tampa Bay Rays held off the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series to advance to their first World Series since 2008. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Dodgers clawed their way back from a 3-1 deficit to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series for the third time in four years.

The Rays will be taking on the Dodgers at the Texas Rangers Globe Life Field, located in Arlington, Texas, which is the first time in Major League Baseball history that the World Series is hosted at a neutral-site.

However, besides the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and location of the World Series being unique, what makes this Rays team so special is that prior to the start of the 2020 season, the Rays ranked 28th out of 30 teams in the league in total payroll. While looking at the Rays roster, there are

not many players who stand out as super stars compared to other teams in the league like the Dodgers. The Dodgers, one of the most prominent and well-known sports team in the world, have big time players such as a pair of MVP’s including first baseman, Cody Bellinger who won the National League MVP Award in 2019, and former Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts who was traded to the Dodgers in the 2020 offseason, and was the 2018 American League MVP and batting champion.

Although this matchup has a David vs Goliath feel to it, the Rays are no stranger to being underdogs. The Rays, who compete in the American League East, finished the shortened MLB season with the best record in the American League with a record of 40-20, and were led by a promising pitching staff headlined by Tyler Glasnow, and Blake Snell. Meanwhile, the Dodgers who compete in the National League West, finished the regular season with a record of 43-17. In fact, this is just the fourth time since 1995 that the teams with the best record in each league will be facing off in the World Series.

In a league that favors the home run ball and offensive production more than anything else, it will be interesting to see if the saying “Offense wins games, defense wins championships” holds true, and if the Rays pitching staff can hold off the Dodgers sluggers, and lead the Rays to their first World Series victory.