The 116th Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series is underway with the recent completion of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) winner, the L.A. Dodgers, who will compete against the American League Championship Series (ALCS) winner, the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to ESPN.com, the MLB implemented a 16-team playoff layout for the 2020 postseason play. The 16 team playoff is made up of the top two teams in each division and the two remaining teams with the best records in the American and National Leagues.
The first-round matchups followed a 1-vs.-8, 2-vs.-7 format and was the best-of-three series. The number of teams that qualified for the first-round matchups expanded from ten to sixteen teams this year.
The rest of the series followed the layout of the previous postseasons with the division series of best-of-five followed by the League Championship Series and the World Series, which is a best-of-seven.
On Saturday Oct. 17, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Houston Astros in Game 7 with a score of 4-2 and a 4-3 series win in the ALCS division. The Astros were the previous 2019 World Series Champions.
“Even though the Rays are the underdogs in this game, they still have an amazing starting rotation,” said junior Andy Hesse. “Their rotation is the best out of the two but, what needs help is their bullpen. The bats aren’t the best but they could still get hot.”
On Sunday Oct. 18, the L.A. Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 by a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning by outfielder Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers took the NLCS division by a 4-3 series.
“It really didn’t surprise me that the Dodgers came back from a 3-1 deficit. I know they have a great pitching rotation and an explosive offense,” said senior Connor Giudice.
According to MLB.com, the 2020 World Series will be played at Globe Life Stadium in Arlington, TX, home to the Texas Rangers. Globe Life Stadium is a neutral location, as all the series in the postseason this year have been played at neutral sites.
“I think the Dodgers are going to win the World Series, not only because they have more playoff and World Series experience then the Rays,” said senior Jake Sussman. “But, also they are finally letting fans into the stadium for these games even though it’s at a neutral sight and it seemed to me that the Dodgers fans are willing to travel to the stadium, more than other teams.”
Game 1 of the World Series was played on Oct. 20. The Dodgers beat the Rays 8-3 to lead the series 1-0.
“It’s a pretty decent matchup, but the Dodgers have the upper hand,” said Hesse. “First, most of them have had World Series experience already which is a big deal in my opinion. Also, the Dodgers bats have been on fire recently and I feel like Corey Seager will go off this series.”
Game 2 of the World Series will be on Oct. 21 at 8:00 p.m.