The Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers played a very exciting World Series in 2020, with a victory for the blues.
It was the Dodgers’ first Fall Classic win since 1988, a very long for a very successful franchise, full of history and memories.
It was a matchup of two modern, forward-thinking organizations that prioritize things like scouting, analytics, and player development, perhaps more than any other clubs in MLB.
The difference between the two is that the Dodgers’ budget is way higher than the Rays’.
Rays player development system + Dodgers budget is an incredible thing
— Scott Coleman (@scottcoleman55) September 1, 2021
This time, both teams are again extremely competitive.
Like almost every team, they both have had to endure injuries and deal with underperforming stars.
However, they look primed for a World Series rematch.
The Dodgers Have Some Competition In The National League
Last year, the Dodgers had to overcome the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and a very tough Atlanta Braves team en route to the World Series.
However, it’s likely that any of those teams are as good as this year’s San Francisco Giants.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Giants led the National League West division with a fantastic 88-50 record.
That would be the best record in MLB.
Yet, the Dodgers have been an outstanding team in their own right, with an 87-51 record, only one game behind the Giants.
Los Angeles has been able to keep up with the Giants’ pace despite losing Dustin May with a season-ending surgery, Clayton Kershaw with forearm issues, Tony Gonsolin, and other pitchers with injuries.
The latter, winner of the 2019 MVP award, has been a shell of his former self, hitting only .165 over 304 plate appearances
Stars such as Justin Turner (.319/.366/.512, 21 homers) and Muncy (.915 OPS, 30 blasts) have kept the Dodgers afloat, not to mention Walker Buehler and the trade that brought them Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
They have the weapons to go toe to toe with the Brewers or Giants for a ticket to the World Series.
The Rays Are Doing It Again
With limited resources, the Rays are doing it again: they lead the American League East, perhaps MLB’s toughest division, with a 87-51 record, which is the same as the Dodgers.
Tampa has the highest run differential in the AL, with +175.
They have an 8.5-game advantage over the New York Yankees in their division.
They are currently rolling without their best pitcher, Tyler Glasnow, yet they haven’t missed a beat.
Tampa also lost some important personnel in the offseason, and they are playing even better than before.
The Rays lost both Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, yet they are still going to go back to the World Series. I definitely sense a rematch coming!
— Will Martinez (78-55) (@willmovies) September 6, 2021
They promoted star prospect Wander Franco, and the youngster has been brilliant so far with a .290/.349/.475 line.
This is a top ball club that gets the best of their players, and has a very good chance of repeating as AL champions.
Tampa wants another go at the World Series, and they surely want revenge against the Dodgers.
The Rays look like the team to beat in the junior circuit, while the Dodgers have what it takes to repeat as NL champions.