Big Al's Daily Angle: World Series Preview

by Alec McMordie

The beginning of the 116th Fall Classic dominates the sports schedule on Tuesday. The first game of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers features Tyler Glasnow facing off against Clayton Kershaw.

The Dodgers reached the World Series by defeating the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night by a 4-3 score in the seventh game of the National League Championship Series. Los Angeles had previously swept the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres in their first two playoff series.

Los Angeles is 9-3 in this postseason. They are scoring 5.7 runs-per-game while allowing 3.6 runs-per-game in these twelve playoff games. The Dodgers have a .256 batting average in the playoffs with a .350 on-base percentage and an OPS of .806. The Los Angeles bullpen has posted a 3.40 ERA along with a 1.15 WHIP.

Kershaw is the Game 1 starter after dealing with back spasms that pushed back his planned Game 2 start in the NLCS. Presumably, these spasms kept him from pitching on short rest in Game 7 on Sunday after starting in Game 4 on Thursday. The veteran left-hander has a 3.32 ERA in the postseason this year with 23 strikeouts and just two bases-on-balls.

Manager Dave Roberts has yet to announce his Game 2 pitcher, though Walker Buehler has been tabbed to start Game 3.  For Game 2, Roberts could go with any of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, or Julio Urias.  By pushing Buehler back to Game 3, Roberts avoids putting him out there on short rest.  And Buehler would then be in line to pitch a potential Game 7 on regular rest.

Tampa Bay reached the World Series with their 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of that series on Sunday. The Rays held on to win the ALCS after seizing a 3-0 lead in that series. Tampa Bay swept Toronto in two games before defeating the New York Yankees by a 3-2 margin in that five-game series.

The Rays are 9-5 this postseason. They are scoring 4.1 runs-per-game while allowing 3.8 runs-per-game. Tampa Bay is hitting just .209 in the postseason with a .285 on-base percentage and an OPS of .691. The Rays' bullpen has a 3.41 ERA in these playoffs with a 1.43 WHIP.

Manager Kevin Cash has named Tyler Glasnow his starting pitcher for Game 1. The right-hander has a 4.66 ERA with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in his 19 1/3 innings of work this postseason in four starts. Cash has named Blake Snell his Game 2 pitcher, which means Charlie Morton is most likely the starting pitcher he will use for Game 3.

Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, is the neutral site that hosts this World Series. Los Angeles is the designated home team for the first two games of the World Series. The traditional 2-3-2 scheduling format resumes with off days scheduled on Thursday and Sunday. Fox will broadcast the games.

BetAnySports has installed Los Angeles as the favorite to win the series, with odds at -200.  Tampa Bay is +185.  The Dodgers are the Game 1 favorite, with BetAnySports pricing them at -166, while Tampa Bay is +160. The total is 7.5. The first pitch on Tuesday is at 8:09 PM ET.

For fans of prop bets, BetAnySports has listed the following players at the most likely to win World Series MVP:  

Mookie Betts.....Dodgers.....+750
Corey Seager.....Dodgers.....+800
Cody Bellinger.....Dodgers.....+850
Randy Arozarena.....Rays.....+900
Tyler Glasnow.....Rays.....+950
Walker Buehler.....Dodgers.....+1000
Charlie Morton.....Rays.....+1500
Max Muncy.....Dodgers.....+1550
Blake Snell.....Dodgers.....+1600
Clayton Kershaw.....Dodgers.....+2000
Justin Turner.....Dodgers.....+2000
Will Smith.....Dodgers.....+2000
Brandon Lowe.....Rays.....+2650
Austin Meadows.....Rays.....+3000
AJ Pollock.....Dodgers.....+3500
Ji-Man Choi.....Rays.....+3800
Hunter Renfroe.....Rays.....+4000
Julio Urias.....Dodgers.....+4000

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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