World Series Odds, Picks & Predictions: Dodgers vs. Rays Game 5 (Oct. 25)
Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays go at it tonight in Game 5 of the World Series.
- Game 4 ended in pure insanity, with Tampa scoring twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the wild victory.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down this crucial game and gives his top pick.
Dodgers vs. Rays Game 5 Odds
|Dodgers Odds||-159 [Live Odds]|
|Rays Odds||+135 [Live Odds]|
|Over/Under||8 [Live Odds]|
|First Pitch||8:08 p.m. ET|
After a crazy slugfest capped off by an even crazier walk-off hit, the World Series is even at 2-2 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.
With runners on first and second, Brett Phillips and the Rays were down to their last strike when this sequence of insanity happened:
BRETT PHILLIPS WALKS IT OFF FOR THE RAYS (+143)pic.twitter.com/hsjcFbRKzB
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 25, 2020
Now, the Dodgers will have to refocus because Game 5 could potentially decide the World Series. Clayton Kershaw will get the ball and look to once again end his playoff demons in a Game 1 rematch against Tyler Glasnow.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have owned right-handers in 2020, recording a .355 wOBA and an MLB-best 126 wRC+ against righties. Los Angeles’ offense has not been the issue so far, as it has scored at least four runs in every game.
And what happens to be the one pitch the Dodgers annihilate? Fastballs.
Los Angeles was second to only Atlanta against fastballs this season, accumulating 53.9 weighted fastball runs. They rocked Glasnow in Game 1 for six runs. They’ll have another fantastic matchup against the Rays starter, who throws his fastball more than 60% of the time.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay’s offense has relied on the long ball during the postseason. That hasn’t changed in the World Series, as the Rays have hit eight in the first four games. However, the Rays are only hitting for a combined .213 average during the playoffs.
Tampa Bay struggled versus Kershaw in Game 1, but is one of the best teams in baseball against left-handed pitching, ranking sixth in MLB with a .343 wOBA and 121 wRC+.
For Kershaw to be effective again in Game 5, he is going to have to utilize his fastball often because the Rays crush sliders, curveballs and changeups.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Clayton Kershaw vs. Tyler Glasnow
2020 Stats (via Fangraphs)
Clayton Kershaw, LHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Kershaw has been really good again in 2020, posting a 2.16 ERA and a 3.05 xFIP. He was solid in Game 1, allowing just two hits and a run over six innings. The reason Kershaw has been so good is because he’s been on point with his pitch arsenal, allowing a wOBA under .290 with each pitch.
Over the past few years, Kershaw’s fastball has lost a lot of velocity, going from an average of 94.2 MPH in 2015 down to 91.8 MPH this season. However, that big dip in velocity hasn’t seemed to make a difference on its effectiveness, as it’s only allowing .203 average to opposing hitters in 2020.
The Rays have been stellar against left-handed pitching this season, so Kershaw will have to be on point in the showdown.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Glasnow posted the third-best xFIP (2.46) among all qualified pitchers during the regular season. His effectiveness is dependent on his fastball, which averages nearly 97 mph and can top out more than 100 mph, but it’s not just about power with Glasnow. He also has elite control of his heater, which he throws more than 60% of the time.
Glasnow’s fastball is backed up by an elite curveball, which is allowing a meager .120 batting average and produced a 52.8% whiff rate.
Even though Glasnow has great stuff, he hasn’t been elite by any means in the postseason. He’s posted a 6.08 ERA, 3.97 xFIP, and has allowed seven homers in nine starts.
Glasnow wasn’t sharp in Game 1, as he allowed six earned runs on eight hits and six walks in only 4.1 innings of work. That said, Glasnow better improve his control or we could have a repeat of that Game 1 debacle.
Both bullpens are tired coming into Game 5, as a combined 11 relievers were used in that Game 4 thriller.
The bullpen matchup has been pretty even, which was expected given these are two of the best in the game. Both managers will be hoping their respective starter can go deep into the game to give their bullpen a rest.
Projections and Pick
So far this series, the first five innings have gone over every single game. With the way both offenses have been hitting the ball, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to stop any time soon.
Since both offenses have a good matchup again, I am going to back the first five innings going over 4.5 runs at +112.
Pick: First Five Innings Over 4.5 runs (+112)