By: Alex Moretto
Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.
Make that 2-for-2. We’ve cashed our best bets in each of the first two games, and Game 3 will hopefully be no different.
Here’s what’s on tap Friday.
Dodgers (-165) at Rays (+140), 8:08 p.m. ET ON FOX
Nothing is splitting these teams through two games as the 2020 Fall Classic has turned into a best-of-five series. The offense has prevailed over pitching thus far in Arlington, with 21 runs scored and eight home runs hit in two games. We were on the over in Game 1 and Game 2, so it’s fair to say this has been a profitable start to the World Series for us.
That being said, expect a changing of the guard Friday following the first scheduled off day of the series. The Rays give the mound to Charlie Morton, who aims to continue his remarkable run of playoff success. Morton has allowed just two runs in 25 1/3 innings in the last two postseasons while striking out 30. The savvy 36-year-old has excellent playoff pedigree and World Series experience, facing the Dodgers twice in the 2017 Fall Classic, giving up just two runs in 10 1/3 innings.
Morton’s regular-season stat line was largely due to injuries, but he turned a corner in the second half of September and that momentum has snowballed into the playoffs. He was flawless against the Astros in Game 7, inexplicably pulled after 5 2/3 innings because a softly hit single snuck through the infield. It was one of just two hits he conceded, blanking Houston in the process while striking out six. He didn’t give up a single run in 10 2/3 innings in the ALCS, winning both starts.
Walker Buehler gets the nod for the Dodgers. While he didn’t quite live up to his lofty standards this season, he’s turned a corner as these playoffs have progressed. He put forth a pair of underwhelming starts against the Brewers and Padres, allowing three runs in just eight innings – failing to pitch into the fifth inning in either – but righted the ship in the NLCS. Against a Braves lineup that led MLB this season in both OPS and wRC+ against right-handed pitching, Buehler threw 11 innings of one-run ball across two starts, striking out 13.
It’s almost an identical trajectory to the one he took in the 2018 postseason, struggling through his first two outings before dominating the rest of the way. He started one World Series game that year, tossing seven shutout innings against the Red Sox, allowing just two hits and walking no one, while striking out seven. His experience may pale in comparison to Morton, but the scene is in no way too big for the 26-year-old.
Add in the fact both bullpens will be rested and ready following a day off, and for the first time in this series it’s shaping up to be a long night for hitters.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.