After two championship series that went seven games, baseball fans are in for a doozy of a World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays, the teams with the best records in Major League Baseball, will represent the National League and American League, respectively, at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The World Series begins Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. ET. All games will be broadcast on FOX. Below we take a look at one favorite, one sleeper, and one longshot to keep an eye on in the World Series MVP race.
Favorite: Mookie Betts (+900)
Betts has been the total package in the postseason so far, slashing .311/.407/.444 while also playing spectacular defense in the outfield. A pair of leaping catches at the wall in Games 6 and 7 of the NLCS and a shoestring catch in Game 5 were the turning points in the Dodgers’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit against the Braves. Unlike most Dodger players, Betts is highly familiar with the Rays, having faced them several times every year when he was with the Boston Red Sox. And in 97 career games against Tampa Bay, Betts is a .310 hitter with 16 homers. Two of those long balls came against Rays star reliever Diego Castillo and another came off ace Blake Snell. Betts is a .300 hitter or better against Rays starters Snell, Charlie Morton and Tyler Glasnow.
Sleeper: Julio Urias (+6000)
The 24-year-old southpaw has been lights out in the postseason so far, allowing just one earned run in 16 innings of work. With closer Kenley Jansen struggling, the Dodgers called on Urias to record the final nine outs of Game 7 of the NLCS and he retired all nine batters he faced. Unlike the NLDS and NLCS, the World Series has a couple off days built in, so the Dodgers can pitch Urias even more than they did in the NLCS when he tossed eight innings across two appearances.
Longshot: Clayton Kershaw (+1000)
Kershaw was given the third-best odds to win World Series MVP, which is somewhat surprising if you’re familiar with his postseason history. His career regular season ERA (2.43) is almost half of his career postseason ERA (4.31). Kershaw has been a bit better this year, with a 3.32 ERA across 19 postseason innings so far, but the Braves knocked him around in his lone NLCS appearance, tagging him for four runs on seven hits in five innings. It would be a great feel-good story and a huge boost to Kershaw’s legacy if he shows out in the World Series, but it seems like a longshot knowing how he tends to crumble in the limelight.
2020 World Series MVP odds
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