By: MLB Staff
The Los Angeles Dodgers picked up the win in game one by a final score of 8-3 and now lead the series 1-0. The oddsmakers bumped the series price up to -410 in their favor making the Rays a little over 3-1 underdogs to come back and win the World Series.
Game two takes place tonight at 7:08 CST and will feature a pitching matchup between the lefty, Blake Snell for Tampa and Tony Gonsolin for Los Angeles. Gonsolin hasn’t been excellent so far in the 2020 postseason, posting an ERA of 9.95 in two starts against the Braves in the NLCS. Our MLB experts are back at it tonight with their best bets and analysis to cash you some tickets! Let’s get into the stats and trends to get you paid.
Money Line: LAD -134, TB +124
Run Line: LAD -1.5 (+138), TB +1.5 (-158)
Total: 8 (O -115, U -105)
First Pitch: 7:08 CST, Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
Current Series Odds: LAD -410, TB +330
Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet
It doesn’t take a genius to look at the pitching matchup and immediately give the edge to the Rays in game two. So then why are the Dodgers favored? For starters, it’s the Dodgers – probably a top three publicly bet teams in the country. You know the bookies are going to inflate their lines whenever they can. The second reason has nothing to do with Blake Snell at all. It’s that the Dodgers were a top team against LHP in the regular season. Los Angeles boasted the 8th best wOBA against lefties in the regular season (.335). This is a bad matchup for Snell as he’s more of a power pitcher noted by his 95 mph fastball that he throws 47% of the time. He’s in the 80th percentile in fastball velocity and 84th in strikeout percentage amongst MLB pitchers. Usually you would say that is a great thing but not against the Dodgers. Los Angeles posted the fourth lowest K% against LHP in the MLB regular season (20.7%). Additionally, they had an 11.1 BB% against lefties in 2020 which ranked second in the bigs. Reason I mention the walks is that Snell has handed out 10 free passes through 19.1 IP this postseason.
The first five inning total sits at 4 (O -120, U +100). I will be taking the over on four runs (-120) in the F5 for a unit in game two. This number should be 4.5 with -110 to each side so we’re going to capitalize on that and we’ll always have the push at exactly four runs to fall back on. You saw my analysis on Snell and I’ll also add that the Rays have lived off of the longball on their way to the World Series. Tony Gonsolin gave up two deep balls during the NLCS over 6.1 IP and 12/30 batters he faced hit fly balls. Out of those 30 batters faced, he also walked six and the Rays were 4th in the MLB in BB% at 10.7%. The Rays have the capability to manufacture runs tonight via small ball or getting guys on and swinging for the fences. I think we have a really good shot at cashing this one tonight! Good luck!
-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
Austin’s Analysis & Best Bet
This pitching matchup of Snell vs Gonsolin looks like Tampa Bay would be favored in this game, however a deeper look into the stats say otherwise. Snell is a very good pitcher, but he has struggled to find success over his last three starts. During these three starts, he has failed to pitch more than five innings, which can be attributed to Kevin Cash wanting to get to his bullpen. He also has struggled to strikeout batters at his usual rate, striking out only ten over his past 14 IP. Snell’s struggles could continue as he faces the Dodgers offense who are very good against lefties. In the postseason, Los Angeles is batting .309 and has an OPS of .990 against left-handed pitching. Mookie Betts was very good in game one and I expect him to also have a good game two based off prior matchups with Blake Snell. In his career, Betts has faced Snell 26 times and is batting .304 with three extra base hits while only striking out twice.
Kevin Cash has a quick trigger pulling starters out, especially with Snell. The top relievers in Tampa’s bullpen haven’t been used in about a week and could be seen earlier in this game with them trying to avoid going down 2-0 with Walker Buehler projected to start game three for the Dodgers. Trent mentioned that Los Angeles doesn’t strike out against lefties, posting the fourth lowest strikeout rate at (20.7%) and I think that this trend will continue. With the combination of the matchup and the Rays willingness to go to the bullpen early, my best bet is Blake Snell will go under the five and a half strikeouts (+100) in game two.
-Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22)
Jack’s Analysis & Best Bet
Clayton Kershaw was nothing short of spectacular last evening for the Dodgers. The 32-year-old southpaw went six strong innings, only two hits (one being a homerun to Kevin Kiermaier) and struck out eight batters on the evening. The Tampa Bay Rays lead all of baseball this season in strikeouts while batting, and Tuesday night was no exception to the norm. Aside though from a massive run output in the fifth inning, things were pretty close for most of the contest. Tyler Glasnow struggled with his control, as is indicative by his six walks, but he was able to keep things relatively in check until the fifth inning. If the Rays truly want any chance of making this a series, they are going to need strong pitching performances from their starters. I think if Glasnow gets another chance to pitch in this series, say Game 6 should it go that long, he will look for a chance at redemption. Alas though, the Rays need to win a few games for that to happen.
Blake Snell will make his start for the Rays on Wednesday in Game 2. The rookie, Tony Gonsolin, will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers. No disrespect to Snell or Gonsolin, but I am going to zone in on the hitting of Tampa Bay (or lack thereof) for my preview today. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Tampa Bay Rays have now had eight or fewer hits in each of their last ten games. That is now the longest postseason streak ever for a team to endure within a single postseason. Definitely not a stat the Rays want to gloat about in any fashion. Aside from Randy Arozarena, who is going to step up and be the hero? Sure, the Rays scored a run on a Kevin Kiermaier homerun in the fifth inning… but the Rays were unable to generate additional runs in the ballgame until the seventh inning. By that point, the game was busted open as the Dodgers had a sizable 8-1 lead. While I wish there was a prop to bet on the number of hits for the Rays, we can cash in potentially on the category that coincides with hits usually: runs. The Tampa Bay Rays have not scored more than five runs in five straight contests. In the postseason, the Rays have scored an average of exactly four runs per game. Taking it one step further, the Rays have scored an average of four runs on the dot again in games following a defeat this postseason. Tony Gonsolin will most likely pitch 2 innings for the Dodgers tonight before they turn things over to their bullpen, either Dustin May or Julio Urias. Yes, I do think the Rays are struggling mightily on the offensive side of the ball right now, but I think they might muster about 4-5 runs on the board. Will it be enough for a win? Who knows. In the meantime though, I will be betting the O3.5 runs for the Rays (-120) as my best bet in Wednesday’s matchup.
-Jack O’Keefe (@jpokeefe1s)