After punching out the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers join the Tampa Bay Rays in accomplishing a rare milestone. For only the fourth time in the Wild Card Era, teams with the best record in each league will meet in the World Series.
Tampa Bay boasted a 40-20 regular season record while the Dodgers finished 43-17.
The teams join the World Series matchups between the 1995 Braves and Cleveland Indians, 1999 New York Yankees and Braves and the 2013 Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
Before the playoffs began, the Rays only had a 13.8 percent chance to make it to the final round. Tampa Bay went on to sweep the Blue Jays in the Wild Card round (2-0), win a back-and-forth series against the Yankees (3-2) and finish off the Astros in Game 7 to advance to the World Series (4-3).
It is only Tampa Bay’s second trip to the World Series in franchise history.
Meanwhile Los Angeles sat at a 29.1 percent chance to reach the World Series. The Dodgers swept the Brewers (2-0), walked over the Padres (3-0) and mounted a big comeback against the Braves (4-3) to get back to baseball’s fall classic.
This will be the Dodgers third appearance in the last four years, hoping to break a championship drought of 32 years.
FanGraphs only gave this matchup a 4% chance of happening. With the World Series set, ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle projects a 69.8 percent win probability of the Dodgers winning.
This will also be the first World Series ever to meet at a neutral site due to COVID-19. Dodgers and Rays will meet at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas with a limited amount of fans in attendance.
Photo: (Shawn Palmer – Guy Boston Sports Illustration x SP Designs)
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