All it takes is just one more game and Clayton Kershaw will get that monkey off his back. The future Hall of Fame pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers did his job on Sunday as the team fended off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in Game 5 of the World Series. With a 3-2 lead, the Dodgers could win their first title since 1988.
The Rays are not going to go out quietly. The American League champions have won Game 2 and Game 4 this World Series. The Dodgers are going to throw Tom Gonsolin in Game 6, which worked out in Tampa’s favor last time. Gonsolin threw the third shortest outing in World Series history when he lasted just 1.1 innings.
Rays Are Favorites
The Dodgers statistically are the favorites to close out the series, but the Rays are narrowly favored to win this game. The Rays are given a 45% chance to win Game 6, while the Dodgers come in at 43%. Betters at live casino sites are going to have a real toss-up to cash out potential earnings in this matchup.
However, if the Dodgers can sustain a lead and hand the game over to their bullpen, it’s more likely that Dave Roberts can close the game out with his bullpen. The Dodgers relievers have been better than the Rays in terms of ERA, strikeout percentage, walk percentage, and nearly every other key metric advanced stats use.
The overwhelming question will be if Roberts will lean towards closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth. Jansen was a part of the Game 4 debacle that saw Tampa score two runs in the ninth inning to stun the Dodgers 8-7. Jansen has been the Dodgers maintain, but can he do it in potentially the biggest game he’s ever seen?
Blake Snell Is An Obstacle
The Rays won Game 2 thanks to an early dominant start from their ace. The former Cy Young winner pitched a no-hitter into the fifth inning. His performance ranks as one of the best individual performances despite pitching just 4 ⅔ innings. He became just the third pitcher ever to have two strikeouts in four consecutive innings, which puts him tied with Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. Snell finished the game allowing two runs on four hits and four walks but also had nine strikeouts.
Some believe that it was Todd Tichenor’s fault for Snell’s no-hitter breaking up. According to Umpire Scorecards, a Twitter account on social media, Tichenor was wrong 25% of the time when a pitcher threw a ball in the strike zone. When it came to outside of the zone, Tichenor called 84 of 86 balls correctly. That’s an alarming ratio; however, Tichenor will not be behind the plate in Game 6.
In the end, the Rays will need the best pitcher from 2018 to string up another great outing. Snell is 2-2 with a 3.33 earned run average in the postseason. The Rays are trying to become one of the lowest-paid teams in the MLB to win the World Series. The Rays are 28th in the league with a payroll of $29.3 million, while the Dodgers have an MLB-leading payroll of $95.6 million.