Dodgers and Rays set for historic World Series

League champions face off in a limited-fan showdown


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Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger drops his bat after his emphatic 7th inning home run in Game 7 of the NLCS. Bellinger needed a legacy check, after having a rough season and postseason following his 2019 MVP campaign. His home run capped off a 3-1 Dodgers comeback, sending them to their third World Series in four years.

Carson Fox, Staff Reporter

It has been 32 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers have won a world series title. The Tampa Bay Rays have never won.

It’s a long wait for two fanbases who watched their teams put up dominant seasons in their respective leagues, putting on incredible playoff showdowns on their way to a World Series berth. The Dodgers, who were the winningest team in the league last season, added former MVP Mookie Betts and dominated themselves into a 43-17 record. The Rays powered through the American League, going 40-20 and sitting at the top. 

In the playoffs, the Dodgers weren’t phased on their way to a 5-0 sweep of the Wildcard and NLDS rounds, whereas the Rays had a little bit of trouble with the star-studded New York Yankees, being pushed to a Game 5 where they clinched the series 2-1 on a Brandon Lowe eight inning home run. 

The Rays found themselves matched up against the most hated team in the league, the 29-31 Houston Astros. The Astros barely clinched a playoff spot after a losing season, following the sign stealing scandal where they faced barely any repercussions for. After their series win against the Athletics however, many thought the Astros were the favorites in the ALCS over the Rays. 

Tampa Bay got out to an early 3-0 series lead, holding the Astros to two runs or under in each of the three wins. The Astros fought back quickly however, showing a glimpse of the talent that was truly on that 2017 cheating team, and they came back from down 3-0 to tie the series at three games a piece, sending it to an exhilarating Game 7.

The Rays got an early lead that they needed in that Game 7, scoring the first four runs of the game and holding their lead to a 4-2 victory despite a late Astros comeback led by Carlos Correa. Rays fielder Randy Arozarena continued his enormous postseason by driving in two RBIs in that game, proving the doubters wrong after being traded by the Cardinals for almost nothing.

The Rays wins were quite different than the Dodgers, with their wins coming from dominant pitching by Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow, and Blake Snell. The Dodgers have been finding themselves in high scoring shootouts, with home runs being a common factor in their games. 

The Dodgers were matched up with the Atlanta Braves, a fast and young team that had the most hitting power the Dodgers had seen all postseason. The two teams put on arguably the best series of the entire playoffs. The Braves got an amazing start, winning Game 1, 5-1 and holding off a ninth inning Dodgers comeback to win Game 2, 8-7. Many people started believing that the Dodgers might have been a fraud, until they had the biggest offensive explosion in MLB postseason history.

The Dodgers broke multiple records in Game 3, scoring eleven runs in the top half of the first inning to start the game. They marched their way to an easy 15-3 victory in one of the most lopsided postseason wins of all time. Yet the Braves were still not finished, as they bounced back with their own dominant performance in a 10-2 Game 4 victory. LA had their backs against the wall at that point, and the career of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was almost guaranteed to be on the line. After a long line of horrific sports leads that had been blown in the city of Atlanta, the Braves followed in the footsteps of the 28-3 Falcons super bowl and 20-7 Georgia Bulldogs College Football Playoff blown leads. They gave up three straight games, allowing the Dodgers to advance to the World Series off of an electric Cody Bellinger eighth inning homer.

The matchup between these two teams contrasts in so many different ways. A super team with the highest payroll in the league facing an underdog with one of the lowest payrolls in the league. One of them has to give, and one of them will raise their title.