LA Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Game 5 Odds & Predictions

by | Oct 25, 2020 | mlb

Los Angeles Dodgers (54-22) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (51-27)
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 24
Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
TV: Fox
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.88 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) vs. Tyler Glasnow (2-2, 6.08 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)

Moneyline: LAD -154/TB +141 (Intertops)
Runline: Dodgers -1.5/Rays +1.5
Total: 8

Doubled Defeat?

Now the Dodgers face the dreaded prospect of letting one loss beat them twice, given the way they lost on Saturday. The Dodgers had no business losing that game to the Rays, and losing to a hitter like Brett Phillips has to really stick in their craws.

The key for Los Angeles is that they have to quickly move past that game and get ready for a game where the narrative has completely shifted from where it was at the start of the ninth inning. The Dodgers were about to be one game away from their first World Series win since 1988, and instead, they’re now facing a Tampa Bay team that’s coming off the high of evening the series and now genuinely believes that it can find a way to win. If Los Angeles struggles to get started in this game, the door will be open for Tampa Bay to take control of this series.

Pressure Reversal

Even though the Rays were the winning team in Game 4, the pressure is on them more than on the Dodgers in this contest. That’s because if the Rays are going to win this series, they have to find a way to beat either Kershaw or Walker Buehler. After the performance that Buehler turned in on Friday, Tampa Bay has to be thinking that it’s got to get this series over with in six because it probably can’t beat Buehler in a Game 7.

Beating Kershaw won’t be much of a picnic either, but it’s doable. In order to make it happen, the Rays have to work counts better than they did in Game 1. Kershaw only threw 78 pitches in six innings of work, and 53 of them were strikes. That points to great control on the part of Kershaw, but it also points to the fact that the Rays have been free-swinging and striking out far too often in this postseason. Eight strikeouts against Kershaw isn’t going to get it done in this game.

Redemption Round

Tyler Glasnow has to be better than he showed in the first game. It’s certainly far from unprecedented, as Andy Pettitte showed in the 1996 World Series when he overcame a Game 1 disaster with a shutout in Game 5, and Glasnow has to replicate that performance in a postseason that’s been rather forgettable for him. Against the Dodgers, his problem was that Los Angeles waited him out, and he couldn’t find the strike zone, surrendering six walks and giving the Dodgers the extra baserunners that turned good innings into great innings.

If Glasnow is on, this game will turn into much more of a pitcher’s duel, which is exactly the kind of game the Rays can win. To get to that situation, the Rays will have to follow the Braves’ blueprint: keep the game close for six innings until they can get Kershaw out of the game, and don’t give Los Angeles extra opportunities. The Braves feasted on the Dodger bullpen in the NLCS, and Tampa Bay has to get into the Dodger bullpen if it’s going to have much of a chance to win. The reality is that Los Angeles’s starters are just too good for Tampa Bay, and the Rays won’t see any kind of edge without getting the game into the questionable area that is the Dodgers’ bullpen pitchers. If Kershaw goes past the sixth inning, Los Angeles has a huge edge in this contest.

Betting Trends

  • The Dodgers are 5-2 in their past seven playoff games.
  • The Rays are 7-2 in their past nine interleague games.
  • The Dodgers are 3-7 in their past 10 World Series games.
  • The over is 14-2-1 in the Rays’ past 17 against the NL West.
  • The over is 6-0 in the Dodgers’ past six against the AL East.
  • The over has hit in eight straight meetings between the teams.

Weather Report

If the wind plays a role, we might have our first under of this series, as it’s blowing in at eight miles per hour toward home plate. Seventy-degree temperatures mean it should be a perfect night for baseball in Texas.

Dan’s Pick

Tampa Bay absolutely stole the fourth game, and I can’t see them doing it for the second consecutive game. The Rays couldn’t get to Kershaw in the first game, and they haven’t really seen anything from Glasnow this postseason to suggest that he can handle the pressure. Against a free-swinging team, Glasnow’s struggles might have been glossed over, but the Dodgers are willing to wait him out and let him beat himself. Glasnow will be better this time, but I think it’s unlikely that he figures things out as well as Pettitte in 1996. I’ll take the Dodgers here.

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