2020 World Series logo from amazon.com
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
This might be the best Los Angeles Dodgers team in their history. They won the NL pennant beating the Atlanta Braves in seven hard fought games; this will be the third time during the last four years that the Dodgers are in the World Series.
After dominating the NL West with eight consecutive Divisional titles. The Blue Boys from Los Angeles have not won a World Series since their big upset over the much talented Oakland Athletics in 1988, that was is 32 years ago.
The Dodgers and Rays ended with the best two records in MLB this season. Dodgers 43-17 a .717 winning percentage while the Tampa Bay Rays lead the American league with 40-20 and .667. The last time the two best teams-with the two best records met in a World Series was 2013 Boston Red Sox vs. St Louis Cardinals, which the Red Sox won in six games.
Two solid teams without many weaknesses will go toe-to-toe starting Tuesday October 20 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The Dodgers have made Arlington their home for the last week, while the Rays were at Petco Park in San Diego. The Dodgers have the second biggest payroll in MLB while the Rays are towards the bottom in the payroll department.
Andrew Friedman is the President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers; he previously served as the Tampa Bay Rays General Manager in 2008, when the Sporting News named him the Executive of the Year.
In 2009 the Rays went to their first World Series and lost in 5 games to the Philadelphia Phillies. Friedman is credited with building that 2008 Rays club who won the AL Pennant with a 97-65 record, prior to losing to the Philadelphia Phillies who won the NL with 92-70. That was the Manager Joe Maddon Rays team vs. Phillies Charlie Manuel.
Dodgers Hitting: As powerful and balanced line-up as there is in baseball. A better team than last year, as they signed Mookie Betts to a 12 years $385 million contract. NLCS MVP shortstop Corey Seager. Hottest hitter on the planet.
This club grinds every at bat and they just make pitchers work, do not seem to go after bad pitches. Dodgers Defense: Excellent in every position. we saw how many runs they saved with spectacular catches specially in the outfield with Bellinger and Betts.
Pitching: The best in the National League with veteran future Hall of Fame lefty Clayton Kershaw, followed by an array of great arms like Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urías) who is ready to be their ace in the future) and a very strong bullpen, usually anchored in a conventional way, like veteran Kenley Jensen their all-time leader in saves with 312, probably a future Hall of Famer.
Jensen has been inconsistent at times, but recently looked like his old self. A supporting cast for the Hollywood guys coming out of the pen like: Pedro Báez, Blake Treinen and others
Rays Hitting: Their man so far this postseason is young and dynamic Cuban-born outfielder Randy Arozarena, they have a good offense, but have not been hitting to their potential so far. Rays Pitching: One of the best in baseball, with a system where 12 of their pitchers have worked in relief, one time or another and saved at least 1 game apiece.
Their rotation was the best in the American League, with their three-headed monster of Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton. Their bullpen has as many good strong arms and anybody in baseball (including this Dodgers team) guys like Ryan Thompson, Ryan Yarborough, Pete Fairbanks, José Alvarado, Nick Anderson and Diego Castillo. The Rays do not depend on one closer, like I stated before, their system allows Manager Kevin Cash to use everybody and anybody that is there for the task.
In Conclusion: If the Rays want to win their first World Series, they are going to need more offense than Randy Arozarena, who was named the MVP of the ALCS, A great young Cuban player who cut his teeth in the Mexican League.
Arozarena only played in 23 of the 60 games for the Rays hitting .281 with 7 home runs and 11 runs batted in and even better numbers in the postseason. The Rays best hitter Brandon Lowe has not found his swing yet, he was their best hitter during the season.
Both the Dodgers and Rays needed a day-off and they got it today after starting play from Monday through Sunday without a rest. This World Series (unlike the previous Divisional and Championship Series) will feature two days off. That could be a blessing for these managers, whose biggest job is to manage their pitching staffs.
Manager: Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a big market team like Los Angeles with their great tradition since they arrived from Brooklyn in 1958 is an affable and well liked man. Roberts won the Manager of the Year with the Dodgers in 2016.
Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, a young franchise born in 1998, could be winning the AL Manager of the Year in 2020. He could make history and guide his club to their first World Series title.
World Series records: Los Angeles Dodgers franchise won: 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988. and Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955… Tampa Bay Rays never won a World Series.
Schedule: All games played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. From October 20 to (if necessary game seven)October 28, There will be two (2) days off the 22nd and 26th. FOX Television is the official World Series station. Check your local listings.
Stay well and stay tuned.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the play by play Spanish lead announcer for the Oakland A’s on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com