MLB Playoffs Update

This Tuesday, Game 1 of the MLB World Series begins in Arlington, Texas at 8:09 PM ET. Fittingly, the best clubs in the National and American Leagues during the regular season will go head-to-head for an opportunity to be crowned league champions and deliver on their MLB lines, as the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers get set to do battle in the best-of-seven series.

The roadmap leading up to these teams’ World Series appearance is very different; LA boasts the second-highest payroll in the Bigs, while the Rays’ budget-conscious ownership has the third-smallest budget in the league. In addition, the Dodgers led the Majors in homeruns (118) during the regular season, while Tampa was an average homerun-hitting club (80). But despite the financial and run-producing differences between these teams, both clubs have relied on team depth to get this far. The Dodgers are stacked up and down the batting order and in the rotation with former MVPs and All-Stars. Tampa, meanwhile has had to rely on a collection of youngsters and emerging stars to get the job done. As a result, this World Series has all the makings of an epic matchup and demands attention on the MLB betting lines. We’ll review how both clubs stack up and discuss their odds to win World Series glory.

Tampa Bay Rays +170 Odds to Win the World Series

The Tampa Bay Rays will make their second World Series appearance in franchise history on Tuesday; their first came in 2008 and ended in a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. This, however, is a vastly different team than it was 12 years ago. After leading the American League with a 40-20 record during the regular season, the AL’s top seed has been built around pitching depth and defense. This was illustrated in their Game 7 victory over the Houston Astros, as former ‘Stros pitcher Charlie Morton threw 5.2 masterful innings of two-hit ball and the bullpen held the lead despite several offensive pushes by Houston.

Another one of the Rays’ strengths this season has been their lineup depth. No single player stirred the Rays’ offense during the regular season, with 2B Brandon Lowe leading the way with a modest 14 homeruns and 37 RBIs. Instead, Tampa Bay’s lineup has the ability to make opposing pitchers pay at any point in the batting order. And as with any World Series-bound team, there is always a hero that breaks out to lead the way. The Rays’ playoff hero to date has been rookie left fielder Randy Arozarena. Not many fans heard of Arozarena before the start of this postseason, but with seven homers and 21 total hits this postseason, the 25-year-old has already set a new record for homeruns by a rookie in the playoffs and is just one hit away from Derek Jeter’s rookie playoff.

The Rays’ Game 7 victory in the ALCS was a snapshot of what this club does well: solid pitching, a dominant bullpen and clutch hitting up and down the lineup. If they can continue in this fashion, Tampa Bay could have a real opportunity to upset the Dodgers and pay MLB Vegas odds bettors handsomely.

Los Angeles Dodgers —200 MLB Odds to Win the World Series

All season long, the Dodgers appeared to be destined for this moment. They are the most complete team in the Bigs, and they’ve shown that past playoff disappointments have prepared them for postseason adversity. Going down 2-0 and 3-1 to the Braves, LA was able to dig deep and force a Game 7. Again, in Game 7, the Dodgers found themselves behind early, and the critics were sharpening their pencils for another playoff letdown for the perennial favourites. But on the back of a heroic pitching performance by Julio Urias and a game-winning homerun by 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers overcame multiple deficits to punch their ticket to the World Series.

The reason why this team has been favoured on the World Series odds board all year lies in their ability to find a hero in any player. Corey Seager was that hero against the Braves, going 9 for 29, including five home runs and 11 RBIs, ultimately being crowned NLCS MVP. And while the Dodgers appear to be the heavy favourite over the Rays on both the gameline and series MLB odds, we know LA will need someone to step up to finally deliver Dodgers’ fans a pennant.