Justin Turner opened the scoring in Game 3 for the Dodgers with a solo home run. Image from @ESPNStatsInfo (Twitter).
- Walker Buehler struck out ten over six innings on Friday as the Dodgers won 6-2
- Julio Urias starts Game 4 for the Dodgers, while the Rays go with Ryan Yarbrough
- First pitch for Game 4 is scheduled for 8:08pm ET from Globe Life Field on Saturday, Oct. 24th
Believe it or not, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in uncharted territory.
In their previous two trips to the World Series, LA never led 2-1. Now, thanks to a magnificent performance from Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have their first 2-1 lead in the Fall Classic since 1988, the last time they won it all.
While LA eyes a stranglehold, the Rays undoubtedly won’t go quietly. Their chance to tie things up comes Saturday (October 24th) at 8:08 pm ET from Globe Life Field.
Dodgers vs Rays Odds – Game 4
|Los Angeles Dodgers (J. Urias)||-166||-1.5 (+100)||Over 8.0 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Rays (R. Yarbrough)||+144||+1.5 (-118)||Under 8.0 (-110)|
Odds as of Oct 22nd from FanDuel.
Surprise, surprise, it’s a playoff game and the Dodgers (-166) are favored. They’ve entered all 14 postseason games as a favorite.
While it was fairly unexpected considering who was on the mound, LA’s 6-2 win in Game 3 pushed the run of overs to three in a row. With Ryan Yarbrough starting for Tampa, the total is back up to 8.0.
Urias to Continue Dodgers’ Starting Success
There are a lot of reasons the Dodgers are leading the Rays.
The offense has clicked at the right time and their bullpen has been fairly efficient, but LA’s starting pitching has abused Tampa in their wins. Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler have capitalized on the Rays’ free swinging ways, combining for 18 strikeouts over 12 innings.
Julio Urias will look to continue the trend.
Urias Compared to Dodgers’ SP
|Pitcher||Strikeouts||K/9||SO%||Swinging Strike%||Swung at Strike%||Contact %||1st Pitch Strike|
*2020 Regular Season Statistics
Urias’ bulk numbers from the regular season don’t quite match Kershaw or Buehler, but the Rays could still struggle against him.
Urias was in the upper third of all pitchers in first-pitch strike percentage, which means he’ll be putting Rays hitters in a hole early. Tampa will likely put the ball in play a little more than they have in Games 1 and 3, but it won’t be much.
Julio Urias is the second reliever to close out a winner-take-all game with at least 3 no-hit innings.
The other? Pedro Martinez in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS, when he threw 6 no-hit innings. pic.twitter.com/cFcSPiSuSI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 19, 2020
While this is an idea of what to expect, Urias has taken it to another level in the playoffs. He’s struck out 16 over 16 innings of work with three walks and seven hits. His strikeout percentage has risen by nearly seven percent.
The one question would be how long he can go. Urias will be well rested after closing out Game 7 in the NLCS, but has averaged 4.0 innings over four appearances.
With how LA has preserved their bullpen however, there’s less pressure for Urias to go deeper into the game.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Dodgers Doing It By Committee
Through two games in the NLCS, LA was left wondering where their big bats were.
Well since a 15-run explosion in Game 3, they’ve been present and accounted for. And in the World Series those bats have been the difference.
Dodgers Key Bats: World Series
Oddly enough, there should actually be more heat on Cody Bellinger. But with his massive Game 1 home run and the fact LA is up, it becomes easy to overlook.
#Dodgers had nothing cooking with 2 outs and none on in 6th. Now they have a run in, 2 runners on, and JT coming up. Relentless offense.
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) October 24, 2020
The amount of pressure this group has been able to put on the Rays’ pitching is unequaled. To go along with hitting a combined .304 through three games, they’ve also drawn 11 walks, including six in Game 1 when they chased Tyler Glasnow.
By comparison, Rays hitters have managed 19 hits in 27 innings with 30 strikeouts and five walks. Four of those hits came in Game 3.
Rays Face Must-Win Game
Regardless of what LA came back from, no team wants to go down 3-1.
But with how the Dodgers have handled two of Tampa’s starters, Game 4 becomes crucial. And Ryan Yarbrough has never faced LA outside of 0.2 innings in Game 1. He gave up two hits and allowed two inherited runners to score.
While it may take a different approach, LA’s bats will come up big, while Urias should have the Rays flailing.
The Pick: Dodgers (-166), Over 8.0 (-110)
Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.