Sunday, October 25, 2020, Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas, 8:08 p.m. ET
Dodgers at Rays Betting Preview: Dodgers (-1.5/+110), Rays (+1.5/-130)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles has to shake off an epic collapse as it went from being one strike away from taking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series to committing multiple miscues on one play to suffer an 8-7 setback. Chris Taylor’s fumble in center field and catcher Will Smith’s failure to catch the throw home aided the Rays and now leaves the Dodgers tied in a series against a team that doesn’t go away.
The pressure is now squarely on Los Angeles as it would be a bitter result if the club were to fall short in the World Series for the third time in four years.
The loss also represents a challenge for left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who likely would have been more comfortable taking the mound with a chance to clinch the series as opposed to being another shaky postseason outing away from seeing his team fall behind.
Kershaw definitely was superb when he gave up one run and two hits and struck out eight in six innings as Los Angeles won Game 1. He is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts this postseason but that 4.68 ERA in six previous World Series appearances (five starts) reminds that the future Hall of Famer is no sure thing in terms of posting another strong outing.
Corey Seager and Justin Turner each went 4-for-5 with a homer in Game 4 with Seager’s blast being his eighth of the postseason and Turner’s representing the franchise postseason-record 12th of his career. The duo could use help from Cody Bellinger, who is just 2-for-15 with a homer in the World Series and is dealing with back soreness in addition to a balky right shoulder.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays carry all the momentum into Game 5 after the improbable two-run, ninth-inning rally evened the series and prevented the team from being in a big hole.
Rookie Randy Arozarena scored the winning run and also set the all-time postseason record with his ninth homer and matched the record for hits (26) set by Pablo Sandoval in 2014. Tampa Bay played the Dodgers’ game with four homers in Game 4 as Brandon Lowe slugged a three-homer and Hunter Renfroe and Kevin Kiermaier joined Arozarena in hitting solo blasts.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow will start the game for the Rays. He was the loser in Game 1 against Kershaw when he gave up six runs, three hits, six walks and struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings.
The 27-year-old was taken deep for the third time in his career by Bellinger (3-for-4, counting regular season) but the wildness really hurt as he threw 112 pitches before being pulled. Glasnow is 2-2 with a 6.08 ERA in five starts this postseason and has 33 strikeouts with 14 walks in 23 2/3 innings.
The Rays always seem to have new heroes and Brett Phillips played the role with the single in the ninth on the decisive sequence. It was the first postseason hit of his career. Tampa Bay will load up with right-handed hitters against Kershaw so the powerful Renfroe is a hitter to watch in Game 5.
World Series Betting Pick for Game 5: Dodgers at Rays
Tampa Bay’s stunning manner of victory was one for the ages and there should be some type of carryover leading into Game 5. The Rays also have Arozarena — largely unknown when this month started — performing historic feats and giving the club an emotional lift.
The first two innings will tell the tale when it comes to Kershaw, who will be the subject of heavy criticism if he again fails in the postseason spotlight. The Dodgers figure to bash some more homers but this night will end with Tampa Bay leading the series for the first time.
Dodgers at Rays Betting Pick:
Rays 7, Dodgers 6
World Series Best Bet for Game 5: Dodgers at Rays
The teams combined for six homers on Saturday and a few more balls figure to clear the fence again in Game 5.
Even if Kershaw and Glasnow are in a pitcher’s duel through five innings, expect the runs to start crossing when the bullpens (11 allowed in Game 4) are in action.
Dodgers at Rays Best Bet: OVER 8 runs (-104)