LAS VEGAS — Oh boy. This is about the little engine that could against one of the biggest spenders on the block.
The Dodgers gave Mookie Betts a $365 million contract. With an opening-day payroll of $28,735,222 in 2020, the Rays could eat for a dozen years with that kind of money. So, if you like big, YUGE bucks, L.A. is your lady. But if you like to shop at the 99 Cents Only Stores, then Tampa is the way to go.
We all know that Rays rookie Randy Arozarena is on another planet right now. Don’t know the name of the planet, but he is hitting .382, with 14 runs scored, 21 hits, 7 HRs and a mind-boggling 1.288 OPS! But, and this a pretty big deal, two of Tampa’s stars have done next to nothing, and they’ve still made it all the way to the World Series.
We’re talking about Austin Meadows and Brandon Lowe, both All-Stars in 2019. Meadows is an ugly 4-for-35 with two home runs in the postseason. Meadows didn’t have any at-bats against the Blue Jays, hit .154 against the Yankees, and a microscopic .091 against the Astros. Lowe is even uglier at 6-for-52 with one home run. He hit .250 against the Blue Jays, a gigantic .000 against the Yankees, and .154 against the Astros. If either or both of these guys get going, big-time trouble in Arlington for the Dodgers.
Tampa has its pitching perfectly lined up with Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell and Charlie Morton slated for the first three games. They’ll probably face some combo of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. Call it a push. And for those who are still talking about Mookie Betts' amazing catches, just watch these Rays, because they know how to flash some leather. Call it another push.
Bullpens? Both are exceptional, but lean to Tampa since we just found this: The Rays are 36-1, 33-0 and 40-0 when leading after six, seven and eight innings, respectively.
Then, should it go to a Game 7, say hello to Charlie Morton. Back in his days with the Pirates, his nickname was “Ground Chuck” because of his high rate of ground-ball outs. Since coming to Tampa, they’ve changed it to Charlie “Bleeping” Morton. Why? After beating the Astros in the ALCS series finale, he became the first pitcher with three Game 7 wins in major-league history! And his ERA in his Game 7 outings is an invisible 0.46! That’s zero point four six!!! Charlie will pitch Game 3, and obviously, if it goes seven, we know who is gonna get the ball for the Rays.
So, which way to turn? Leaning to the underdog Rays to win the series at a sweet price of +$175, and also gonna take a little sip of Glasnow in the opener. I was able to get him at +$170 out here. Understand his number is a little lower back east.