Rays and Dodgers, Baseball’s Top Teams, Will Meet in World Series

Tampa Bay and Los Angeles finished with the best records in baseball this season

Rays and Dodgers, Baseball's Top Teams, Will Meet in World Series
Brusdar Graterol of the Dodgers celebrates after an out in Game 7 of the NLCS.
Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty

For the just the fourth time since Major League Baseball’s realignment in 1995, the top seeds in the American League and National League will meet in the World Series.

The Dodgers, who finished with MLB’s best record and run differential at 43-17 and +136, advanced to the Fall Classic courtesy of a Game 7 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

The Dodgers overcame a 3-1 deficit in the NL Championship Series and beat Atlanta 4-3 thanks to a late Cody Bellinger home run.

The Series will pit one of MLB’s top spenders in the Dodgers ($107.9 million 2020 payroll) against one of baseball’s most frugal organizations in the Rays ($28.3 million 2020 payroll).

“Both teams are really committed to winning and trying to find any kind of edge they could,” retired first baseman James Loney, a veteran of both organizations, told The Associated Press. “The Rays are really known for their analytics and getting in there, trying to find different ways to beat hard teams: Is it a bullpen guy that we need to use in maybe an unorthodox situation? And the Dodgers, I felt we kind of started doing that towards the end of my career.”

The World Series begins Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas, and the Dodgers have a 69.8 percent chance of winning, according to ESPN. About 11,000 fans will be allowed into Globe Life Field for each game.

This is the third time in the past five years the Dodgers have advanced to the World Series. The Dodgers have not won a title since 1988, and the Rays have never won one.

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