Rays Win Game 2 But Dodgers Still Favored to Win Game 3, World Series

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  • The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 in Game 2 of the 2020 World Series.
  • With the win the Rays tie the series at one win apiece.
  • The Dodgers are still +142 betting favorites to win Game 3 on Friday.

The L.A. Dodgers were dominant in Game 1 but the Tampa Bay Rays showed their resiliency in Game 2.

In Game 1, Los Angeles beat Tampa Bay with a masterful performance from Clayton Kershaw and an explosive offense led by Mookie Betts. But before the Dodgers could take command of the series, Tampa Bay bounced back with a solid Game 2 performance to even the series and win the Second World series game in franchise history:

Whether it was by plan or necessity, the Dodgers pitched Game 2 by committee. Dave Roberts fielded in a total of seven pitchers against Tampa Bay, including four within the first four innings. That didn’t work. Rather than keep the Rays in check, it revived a Tampa Bay offense that socred just three runs in Game 1. More specifically, it awakened Brandon Lowe.

Lowe’s Awakening

Brandon Lowe entered Wednesday with a batting average of .107 in the current postseason. Lowe was 6-56 with 19 strikeouts after his first 15 playoff games. But Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said he never thought about sitting the Rays’ second baseman. “ For better or worse”, was how he described it after the game .

Lowe led the Rays during the regular season with 2.1 Wins Above Replacement. He logged a total of 14 home runs and 37 RBIs in 56 regular season games played. Lowe posted a slash line of .269/.362/.554. He was simply too important to them this season to give up on. And so when the starting lineup for Game 2 was announced, Lowe kept his no. 2 spot on the batting order. And he rewarded Cash for his trust.

Prior to Game 2, Lowe had not hit one opposite-field all season long. He did it twice on Wednesday in his first three plate appearances.The 26-year old drilled a solo shot off Dodgers’ starter Tony Gonsolin in the first inning. Gonsolin’s 95.1 MPH fastball was the second-fastest pitch Lowe has homered against this season. Then in the fifth inning, Lowe crushed a curveball from right-hander Dustin May for a two-run bomb that gave the Rays a commanding 5-0 lead. That was all the cushion they need to win the game and even the series.

Lowe produced Tampa Bays’ first multi-homer game in the World Series and his third career multi-homer game, and first since June 2019. Lowe also joined Tony Lazzeri, Charlie Neal, Davey Lopes, Jeff Kent, and Chase Utley as the only second basemen to hit multiple home runs in the World Series.

On to Game 3

Unlike the Division Series, the World Series will allow the teams to have off days. Game 3 of the 2020 World Series will be on Friday, October 23rd at 8:08 PM ET at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Despite winning Game 2, the Rays will head home as +142 betting underdogs to win Game 3, and +165 dogs to win the World Series.

Right-hander Charlie Morton will open on top of the mound for Tampa Bay. Morton has been lights out during the postseason. He has won all of his three starts and has an impressive 0.57 ERA. His 2020 postseason resume includes 5 ⅔ of scoreless innings in Game 7 of the ALCS.

The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler in Game 3. The 26-year old right-hander will be making his second career World Series start. Buehler pitched seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox in the 2018 World Series. So far, he is 1-0 in four starts during these 2020 postseason with an ERA of 1.89. Buehler’s 29 strikeouts are the most in the 2020 MLB playoffs.

Both teams know the value of Game 3. To say that Game 3 is important would be an understatement. In the history of the World Series, the Game 3 winner in a best of seven series that is tied at one win apiece has gone on to win the series 65 out of the 94 instances it has happened or a winning rate of 69.1%.

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