It's that time of year again. The World Series is here! These are my predictions for what should be an exciting world series.
Note: We are going to break this up into several parts. The first is going to be scouting reports for each team, then we'll go into the keys to the game for each team. To sum it up, I'm going to give my projections for the series.
They were the most dominant team in baseball, despite one of their best players (Cody Bellinger) having a bad season. Despite this, Mookie Betts had an amazing season. Will Smith had a great season behind the plate and hitting the ball, totalling a .980 OPS. Corey Seager hit really well from the SS spot.
Clayton Kershaw was amazing this year, but we all know how Clayton Kershaw is in the postseason. Dustin May embraced that opening day start and finished with a 2.57 ERA. Julio Urias and Walker Buehler also had solid seasons with sub 3.50 ERAs. In the bullpen, Brusdar Graterol has been nasty, and so has Dylan Floro. Adam Kolarek has been downright nasty as well to round out an explosive trio. Everyone else has sub 3.90 ERAs to complete one of the best bullpens in baseball.
This is a really good team, and that showed as they had a 43-17 record. However, as shown in their series against the Braves they do have weaknesses. They did fight back and they're here now, so I wouldn't doubt them too much. It's going to be interesting to see if they play like they did in the first 4 games against the Braves, or the last three. We'll have to see.
Brandon Lowe is legitimately an MVP candidate. The breakout 2B had an amazing year, compiling a .916 OPS. Even more surprising is Randy Arozarena, who has broken out in the playoffs, hitting 7 home runs in the playoffs alone. In the regular season Arozarena hit 7 as well. Aside from those two, Willy Adames and Yandy Diaz were both decent.
Tyler Glasnow was solid this year to lead the rotation, backed up by Ryan Yarbrough and Blake Snell. Charlies Morton was given the ball in a must win game 7 against the Astros, and he excelled as he only gave up one hit. In the bullpen Nick Anderson was lights out with a 0.55 ERA, and he was backed by Diego Castillo and Peter Fairbanks.
This is a really interesting Rays team. They are always creating new strategies and ideas. However, they were up on the Astros 3-0 and then lost 3 games in a row to make a game 7. They won, but that didn't stop the critics from bashing them. I still have faith in this team despite their shortcomings.
KEYS TO THE GAME
►The pitching needs to excel. This is a dangerous Dodgers lineup and bad pitching is just going to make it worse.
►Randy Arozarena. He's why they're here now, so naturally he needs to do well in the World Series.
►Cody Bellinger. He hasn't been good all year, but now he needs to excel for the Dodgers to win.
►Clayton Kershaw. He's been historically terrible in the postseason, but the Dodgers need that depth.
The Rays will win. I'm not saying this to pick the "underdog", but rather because the Rays are an exceptional team with exceptional strategy and an exceptional manager. This will go to a game 7 and that game will be very close.
However, smarts beats skill. The Rays and Dodgers almost have an equal amount of skill, but the Rays have smarts and the Dodgers don't. Dave Roberts's job may be on the line this series, so he may be managing with some extra flare.
We also have to bring up the Rays being up 3-0 and then almost blowing the series to the Astros. That's a sign of concern, but they're here now, aren't they? The Dodgers also have some concern with being down 3-1 to the Braves, but they fought through adversity and won the series.
It will be a very, very close series but I'm giving the advantage the Rays.
Thanks for reading!