Saturday night’s World Series showdown between the Rays and Dodgers was an all-timer. It had everything you could ever ask for — homers, questionable managerial decisions and one of the wildest finishes in baseball history.
What do these teams have in store for an encore? Let’s dive into three of my favorite baseball bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Game 5 of Rays-Dodgers.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
What do the Rays have to do to earn some respect? This series continues to be priced like a mismatch, but the Rays have shown they’re capable of taking the Dodgers’ best punch. The Dodgers scored all seven of their runs yesterday with two outs and L.A. also had some fortuitous luck with Corey Seager and Joc Pederson finding grass on balls that could have been caught. Still, the Rays managed to earn the victory.
Game 4 was more of a bullpen game, but today’s Game 5 features two of the better starting pitchers in baseball. The Dodgers will turn to Clayton Kershaw, who is easily the top pitcher of his generation. He had a bit of a career resurgence during the regular season, posting a 2.16 ERA and 9.57 K/9. He hasn’t posted better marks in both of those categories since the 2016 season.
The one bugaboo with Kershaw throughout his career has been his struggles during the playoffs, but perhaps things have finally started to go his way in October. He’s pitched to a 2.88 ERA through his first four starts during the postseason and he allowed just one run over six innings vs. the Rays in Game 1 of the World Series.
On the Rays’ side, they’ll hand the ball to Tyler Glasnow. His 4.08 ERA from the regular season doesn’t exactly scream “ace,” but his 2.75 xFIP suggests he was pretty unlucky. A whopping 23.4% of his fly balls allowed turned into home runs, which is an astronomical number.
Somehow, things have gotten even worse in that department for Glasnow during the playoffs. His HR/FB rate has increased to 31.8%, so it’s not surprising that he’s struggled to find success.
I think the Rays are offering some value as moderate underdogs, but my favorite bet here is the over. The Rays have smashed left-handed pitchers this season, while the Dodgers have been the best team in the league against right-handers. Both pitchers have the potential to dominate, but both pitchers could also get lit up. Overall, I think the starting pitching is being overvalued while the offense is being undervalued on today’s slate.
Clayton Kershaw strikeouts
This number is definitely on the high side for Kershaw, but I’m willing to roll the dice at the current odds. Even though the Rays have hit left-handers well this season, they also have been very strikeout prone. They whiffed in 28.5% of at-bats vs. southpaws during the regular season, which was the highest mark in the league. Kershaw was able to rack up eight strikeouts over six innings in this matchup in Game 1.
As long as you think Kershaw can make it through six innings again, there’s no reason why he can’t repeat his success in Game 5.
World Series MVP
This series is tied at 2-2, and the Rays are definitely still a threat to win this series. They are listed at +150 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which translates to an implied probability of 40%.
If the Rays win this series, why can’t Arozarena win the MVP? He has been red hot offensively all postseason, so he definitely has the edge over some of his teammates from a narrative perspective. He also scored the winning run in Game 4 in a very memorable way, which should stick out in voter’s minds.
Brandon Lowe is currently the betting favorite on the Rays at +500, and he’s definitely a threat after homering three times in the first four games. That said, is he twice as likely to win the award as Arozarena? I don’t think so. That makes this bet pretty appealing from a mathematical standpoint.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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