Los Angeles is one win away from notching its first World Series title since 1988. The Dodgers picked up a 4-2 win in Game 5 on Sunday night, taking a 3-2 series lead over Tampa Bay. They will be hoping to close it out in Arlington on Tuesday.
Rays hoping to stay aliveTampa Bay let opportunities slip away throughout Game 5. The Rays became the sixth opponent to get the leadoff man on base in each of the first four innings against Clayton Kershaw. They were not able to convert those chances into runs, though. Tampa Bay has runners on the corners with nobody out in the fourth and did not scratch a run across. The Rays had scored two runs in the previous inning, as a triple and single both drove in runs. They gave up a solo homer in the fifth and did not score again. Kevin Kiermaier continued his hot hitting, going two for three at the dish. Leadoff man Yandy Diaz added a pair of hits, and Randy Arozarena broke the playoff record for most runs driven in during a single postseason.
Left-handed pitcher Blake Snell will be hoping to have his best outing of the season in this game. Snell struck out nine batters through his first 4.2 hitless innings in Game 2, but he allowed four straight batters to reach base in the fifth inning. He gave up two runs in the frame. Snell has completed more than five innings in just five of his 16 starts this season, bringing a 3.33 ERA into this game. The 27-year-old allowed a two-run homer to Chris Taylor in the fifth inning and threw 49 of his 88 pitches for strikes in Game 2. He will be facing a red-hot Los Angeles offense this time around.
Dodgers with big opportunityLos Angeles jumped out to an early lead in Game 5, which was precisely what the doctor ordered after choking away Game 4. Corey Seager singled home Mookie Betts, and then Cody Bellinger hit an infield single that scored Seager later in the frame to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Joc Pederson added a solo homer in the second to stretch the lead to 3-0. Tampa Bay would respond with its two runs, but Kershaw did not allow another run in the game. Max Muncy hit a solo homer to right field in the fifth to conclude the scoring. Muncy was the only Dodger with multiple hits. Blake Treinen recorded the save after veteran closer Kenley Jansen had blown the lead in Game 4.
Right-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin is expected to start for Los Angeles on Tuesday. He has made three appearances in the postseason this year, allowing eight runs across 7.2 innings. Gonsolin was the Game 2 starter for the Dodgers, but he only threw 1.1 frames. Tampa Bay hit a solo homer and went on to win the game, 6-4. According to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, he is expected to be a conventional starter in this game, as opposed to an opener. Gonsolin brings a 9.49 2020 postseason ERA into this start. He has walked nearly 20 percent of opposing batters, but Los Angeles will be hoping for four or five solid innings out of him in this game.
Los Angeles is:
- 1-5 in its last six playoff games as a favorite of -110 to -150
- 1-4 in Gonsolin's last five starts as a favorite
Tampa Bay is:
- 5-0 in Snell's last five starts as an underdog
- 5-0 in its last five games after scoring two runs or less in its previous game