Rays vs. Dodgers Game 6 Odds & Predictions
Tampa Bay Rays (51-28) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (55-22)
When: 8:08 p.m., Tuesday, October 27
Starting Pitchers: Blake Snell (2-2, 3.33 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs. Tony Gonsolin (0-2, 9.39 ERA, 1.70 WHIP)
Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
Moneyline: TB +120/LAD -140 (Get the best bonus)
Runline: Rays +1.5/Dodgers -1.5
One for All, or All For Nothing
The biggest question with a Game 6 in baseball is always the managers. The way they handle their pitchers in this contest determines not only who wins this game but how a seventh game might go if the trailing team manages to come up with a win. Tampa Bay goes into this knowing it must win twice, so there’s a lot of strategy on the board in how Kevin Cash chooses to handle Snell.
On the one hand, the Rays never once let Snell pitch past the sixth inning, no matter how well he was pitching. Even with a four-run lead in a September game against Boston, Cash yanked Snell as soon as a man got into scoring position in the sixth in a game Tampa Bay won 11-1. On the other, this is Snell’s final appearance of 2020. There’s no saving him for tomorrow night because the only way he’d be in any shape to pitch is if he got shelled in the first inning, and if that happens, Tampa Bay won’t be playing a seventh game anyway. So there’s no worry about Snell overexerting himself if he pitches past the fifth, and that means Cash could have an interesting decision on his hands. The Rays don’t want Snell facing hitters more than twice, but they’ve also got to make sure they leave themselves enough bullpen arms to give themselves a chance in a seventh game.
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Go For the Jugular?
The Dodgers’ situation is, of course, different. Dave Roberts has the luxury of knowing his team can come back and try again on Wednesday if they fail on Tuesday, so his big concern will be how aggressive he tries to be with his big guns. Ideally, he would get five innings out of Gonsolin and then hand the game over to his bullpen, but that’s not really realistic given that Gonsolin has gotten rocked in all of his postseason starts.
Instead, Roberts will likely be faced with the decision of which bullpen arms to trust and whether to go back on his plan to keep Walker Buehler and Julio Urias out of Game 6. Roberts said on Monday that both pitchers are unavailable for Game 6, as is Game 5 starter Clayton Kershaw, but if the Dodgers find themselves three outs from the World Series, Roberts might be tempted to bypass Kenley Jansen and bring Urias in to try to end it then and there. But all of that depends on whether Gonsolin can pitch better than he has all postseason —
or whether the Dodgers can get to Snell.
There’s no secret here: The Rays have to work counts against Gonsolin and the Dodgers’ bullpen if they’re going to survive to reach a Game 7. It’s not a coincidence that the one game in this series that Tampa Bay controlled from start to finish was the game where the Rays only struck out seven times out of 27 outs. When the Rays put the ball in play against the Dodgers, as they did at the end of Game 4, good things tend to happen.
The problem is that Tampa Bay spent the entire season as a free-swinging team, and that’s been to its detriment at times against the Dodgers. The Rays have to make sure they’re both selective and putting the ball in play against this assortment of Dodger pitchers. If the Rays can force the Dodgers to make plays, there’s always the chance that someone makes a mistake, such as the play at the plate that gave the Rays life in this series.
- The Dodgers are 3-7 in their past 10 World Series games.
- The Rays are 18-4 in their past 22 after a loss.
- The Rays are 6-2 in their past eight interleague games.
- The over is 14-3-1 in the Rays’ past 17 against the NL West.
- The over is 6-1 in the Dodgers’ past six against the AL East.
- The over has hit in eight of nine meetings between the teams.
The roof is likely to be closed on Tuesday night in Texas, as forecasts call for temperatures of 44 degrees and a possibility of rain in the Metroplex. If the roof is open, the wind will blow 10 miles an hour to the north, down the right-field line.
The Gonsolin games have not gone well for the Dodgers, and the bullpen is the one area where Tampa Bay has a real edge over Los Angeles. I expect the Rays to jump on Gonsolin early and take advantage of playing against the strategy that they themselves perfected, which will put the pressure on the Dodgers.
This series has always been leading to Walker Buehler in a Game 7, and that’s exactly what I’m expecting to happen after this one. Give me the Rays and thoe over. Bet your the Rays for FREE! Simply deposit $25 and use bonus code ROOKIE200 and you’ll receive a 200% Bonus! ($50!). Find this sweet offer at the web’s oldest sportsbook: Intertops