The 2020 Fall Classic was one to remember. With both one-seeds making it for the first time since 2013, it was a battle between the 2nd highest payroll in baseball versus the 27th (out of 30 teams).
The Los Angeles Dodgers came into the World Series as the easy favorites, as they finished with the best record in baseball at 43-17. They swept the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres in the first two rounds of the postseason, and they won the final three games against the Atlanta Braves while facing elimination.
It was the Dodgers’ third time in the World Series in a four-year span, with the only expectation of winning a ring for the first time in 32 years.
The Tampa Bay Rays have their own unique style of baseball, and have to in order to win games with one of the lowest team payrolls in the league. They often get lesser-known players, and once they start having to owe those players more money, they’ll trade them away for younger and cheaper talents.
Tampa Bay finished with a 40-20 record and won their division over the preseason favorite, New York Yankees.
The Rays quickly swept the Toronto Blue Jays and defeated the New York Yankees (3-2 in Division Series) and the Houston Astros (4-3 in the League Championship Series) to make their second World Series appearance in franchise history.
With Major League Baseball’s first-ever neutral site World Series, everybody knew it would be an odd one. The Dodgers took Game 1 after scoring eight runs in the fourth thru sixth innings and a phenomenal performance from ace Clayton Kershaw, who went six innings and gave up one run while striking out eight hitters.
Game 2 went to the Rays after a pair of home runs from second baseman Brandom Lowe and almost five innings of no-hit baseball from Blake Snell. But Snell was taken out after allowing four consecutive baserunners to reach, including a two-run home run that made it a three-run match in the fifth inning.
The Dodgers followed that up with a 5-0 lead after four innings in Game 3, which would be enough for their second win and re-taking the series lead.
Game 4 was by far the most exciting of the six ballgames. There were five lead changes in the final four innings, including an insane walk-off by Tampa Bay where the Dodgers center fielder dropped the ball with two runners on, then threw it straight to home plate where the second runner tripped and fell between third base and home plate. But the catcher missed the ball, allowing the runner to score the game-winning run and making a 2-2 tie after four games of the Fall Classic.
However, the Dodgers cleaned up their act and quickly scored three runs in the first two innings of Game 5. They would go on to win it 4-2 behind nearly six innings from Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw, who has choked late in high-leverage games in the past. The Dodgers would win the series after a mostly uneventful 3-1 Game 6 win.
After eight consecutive National League West division titles and three World Series appearances in the last four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers at long last, won their first World Series since 1988.