Major League Baseball

What You Need to Know: World Series

October 20

Bring on the Fall Classic – featuring a matchup of the two best teams in baseball during the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Will the Dodgers be able to party like it's 1988? Or will the Rays take home their first World Series title?

Let's break down the schedule, odds and more in this preview of the 2020 World Series. 

2020 World Series Schedule

Both the Dodgers and Rays are coming off a seven-game stretch in their respective championship series matchups, marking the first time each LCS reached a Game 7 since 2004.

(All games broadcast on FOX)

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 20 @ 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 21 @ 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 3: Friday, Oct. 23 @ 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 24 @ 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 25 @ 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 6 (if necessary): Tuesday, Oct. 27 @ 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, Oct. 28 @ 8:09 p.m. ET

Odds

(All odds provided by FOX Bet)

To win the series:

Los Angeles Dodgers: -167

Tampa Bay Rays: +140

Game 1:

Money line: Dodgers -188, Rays +155

Run line: Dodgers -1.5 (L.A. +120, Tampa Bay -143)

Total runs: 7.5 (over +100, under -120)

Fan attendance

The games will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. 

A limited number of seats are available to fans at the stadium – 11,500 seats per game – which typically seats just over 40,000 people. About 10,500 fans will be seated throughout the ballpark and 950 will be in suites.

Tickets will only be sold in groups of four adjacent seats, called "pods." Each pod will be a minimum of six feet apart, and no seats will be sold within 20 feet of where a player might be on the field, in the dugouts or in the bullpen.

Masks will be required unless fans are eating or drinking at their seats.

Rays' road to the World Series

The Rays made it to the Fall Classic for just the second time in franchise history after going 40-20 in the regular season, finishing as the top seed in the American League. 

The postseason started off smoothly for the Rays, as they swept the Toronto Blue Jays in two games in the Wild Card Series. But the pressure increased, as it took the full five games to beat the New York Yankees in the ALDS. Then, the Rays nearly gave up their 3-0 lead in the ALCS, before defeating the Houston Astros in seven.

Dodgers' road to the World Series

The Dodgers finished the regular season with the best record in baseball (43-17) and the best run differential (+136). Not to mention, the club took home its eighth consecutive NL West title.

LA swept its Wild Card Series matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers, as well the National League Division Series, defeating the San Diego Padres in three.

Then, in the NLCS, the Dodgers faced their first challenge, erasing a 3-1 series deficit against the Atlanta Braves to win the NL pennant. They became just the 14th team in MLB history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit.

Tampa Bay's advantages

Tampa Bay pitchers Charlie Morton, Nick Anderson and Peter Fairbanks combined to shut down Houston on just 114 pitches in Game 7. In addition, the bullpen will have the advantage of one more day of rest compared to the Dodgers.

Pitcher Tyler Glasnow will be coming off five days' rest for Game 1. His career ERA on four or fewer days of rest is 5.21, but on five days or more, it's 3.57.

Morton is lined up for Game 3, but could come also start a potential Game 7, if needed, on normal rest. 

Morton is the all-time leader in Game 7 wins in MLB history.

Tampa Bay has hit the most home runs of any team in the playoffs (25), and ten different players on the roster have gone deep this postseason.

Rays' X-Factor: Randy Arozarena

Outfielder Randy Arozarena was named ALCS MVP, becoming just the fourth rookie to win the honor.

Arozarena hit four home runs and collected six RBIs while batting .321 in the series – the rest of the Rays hit .183.

Arozarena had two-run homer in Game 7 against the Astros, the seventh he's hit out of the park this postseason. He is leading the league in postseason home runs, and is just one shy of tying the all-time record for a single postseason.

Arozarena is also leading the postseason in hits (21), only five behind Pablo Sandoval’s all-time record of 26 set in 2014.

Dodgers' advantages

The Rays have relied heavily on homers this postseason, with 71.9 percent of their runs coming from the long-ball compared to 41.5 percent in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Dodgers pitching staff had the second-lowest rate of home runs allowed in the regular season.

While the LA bullpen hasn't been as dominant in the postseason, most notably in the NLCS, it still boasted a 2.74 bullpen ERA as compared to 3.37 for the Rays in the NLCS.

Pitcher Julio Urias leads the postseason in wins (4), and is just one shy of tying the all-time record for wins in a single postseason.

When it comes to giving themselves an opportunity to score, the Dodgers excel, boasting the best on-base percentage of any team this postseason (.355).

LA also has the most walks drawn by any team this postseason (58), while first baseman Max Muncy has drawn the most walks of any player this postseason (15).

The Dodgers have the third-most home runs hit by any team this postseason (18) with eight different players going deep.

Dodgers' X-Factor: Corey Seager

Corey Seager earned the title of NLCS MVP after bombing five home runs and 11 RBIs in the series.

His five home runs were an NLCS record, while the 11 RBIs were the most by any NL player in a single postseason series.

Experts' Picks

Four-time World Series champion Tino Martinez: Rays in six

Why the Rays?: I just think they have so many platoon players that can matchup against any pitcher the Dodgers bring in. They’ve been used to doing that all season long – that’s just how they play. The Rays have so many interchangeable parts that can matchup against the Dodgers bullpen.

How will Dodgers deal with the pressure of playing in their third World Series in four years?: I think they’re going to handle it very well. Those past experiences of getting those chances will help them perform better in tough situations. You just learn how to deal with that pressure better with the more opportunities you get. 

Former World Series champion Nick Swisher: Dodgers in 6

Why the Dodgers?: Their time is now! They have failed on this stage before (twice) and don’t want that feeling again. 

What is the toughest question facing Dodgers manager Dave Roberts?: For me it has to be the bullpen. How is Roberts going to use Jansen. Will he use Urias instead? Who will he go to for a big out in the middle innings?

FOX Sports' Ben Verlander: Rays in 6

Why the Rays?: Pitching and defense wins in the playoffs. And the Rays have a big edge pitching, mostly in the bullpen.

What intangibles favor the Rays in this Series?: Their mentality. I think the fact that the Dodgers have been here quite a few times lately and haven’t been able to win puts some added pressure on them and Dave Roberts.

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