2020 World Series: Dodgers vs. Rays Game 3 odds and preview
After being crushed in Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays managed to bounce back in Game 2. Second baseman Brandon Lowe hit two home runs, including a solo shot in the first inning that put his team in front for good in a 6-4 decision.
"Yeah, those felt really good," Lowe told the AP after the game. "It felt great to kind of get back and contribute to the team."
Was Game 2 a sign of things to come for Tampa, or will the Los Angeles Dodgers regain command of the series in Friday night’s Game 3? Here’s our betting preview.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX
Sat, October 24 2020, 12:08 AM
TB Rays[C. Morton]
LA Dodgers[W. Buehler]
Dodgers’ starter Walker Buehler and Rays’ starter Charlie Morton have been the aces of their staff this postseason, so it would not be surprising to see few runs come across in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night.
Buehler has not been pestered by opposing hitters in these playoffs so much as by blisters on his throwing hand. He’s pitched a grand total of 19 innings in his four postseason starts, but manager Dave Roberts is not going to argue with results – Buehler has a 1.89 ERA in that span.
L.A.’s bullpen should benefit from the Thursday day off, and Roberts can give the Rays batters – still batting a paltry .213 as a unit in these playoffs – different looks with Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol all yet to make an appearance through two games.
Morton, who was instrumental in the Astros’ 2017 World Series victory over the Dodgers (two earned runs allowed in 10 1/3 innings, including the last four of Game 7), counters for the Rays. The 36-year-old veteran has been practically untouchable in three playoff starts in 2020, surrendering only one earned run in 15 2/3 innings of work. Tampa manager Kevin Cash has the utmost confidence in Morton heading into Game 3.
"He’s definitely a postseason stud," Cash told MLB.com. "Our entire team and organization feels really, really good when we know that we’re lined up, and the next day, we’ve got Charlie on the mound. The track record speaks for itself, but I think it’s the approach and the demeanor that he takes. You don’t see any difference. You don’t see any anxiety. It’s very much a been-there-done-that approach."
The Rays’ bullpen is hoping not to have to work as hard in Game 3 as they did in Games 1 and 2 – Tampa relievers threw nine innings and allowed four earned runs with a 9-1 strikeout-walk ratio.