Jamie Kim / Gavel Media

The Gavel's 2020 World Series Predictions

With the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals finishing their respective seasons earlier this fall, the MLB is the last league standing from the summer. After Sunday’s electric game that saw the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Atlanta Braves, the World Series matchup is officially set. 

With the win on Sunday, the Dodgers have now won the National League Pennant three of the last four years, but have no championships to show for in that span. Some may argue that this year may be more of the same story, but this isn’t the same team as years prior. 

The Dodgers boast a star-studded roster from top to bottom: two reigning MVPs in CF Cody Bellinger and RF Mookie Betts, a formidable two-headed monster in pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, and rising stars in SS Corey Seager, SP Julio Urias, and SP Tony Gonsolin. They will be hungry for a title, especially after the Lakers win.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays are also itching for a title after seeing their hockey counterparts, the Lightning, come home with a championship of their own. The Rays are America’s favorite after taking down the Houston Astros AND New York Yankees. 

They feature perhaps the best defense in the league, led by specialists CF Kevin Kiermaier and 3B Joey Wendle, and best starting rotation and bullpen in the league, anchored by Blake Snell/Charlie Morton and Peter Fairbanks/Diego Castillo. Don’t sleep on their offense, too, with budding-star LF Randy Arozarena bursting onto the scene to capture ALCS MVP. 

This matchup will be a must-see. Your Gavelers give their predictions for this year’s World Series:

Matt DeMerlis: I have the Tampa Bay Rays taking home the title, but it’s not going to be easy by any means. These two teams had the best records in their respective leagues and have phenomenal coaching and talent. However, it’s going to come down to clutch pitching and I think the Dodgers lack that. This may be a bit of recency bias on my end (big time Nats fan) after seeing Kershaw and Kenley Jansen give up some big hits last year, but I think history will repeat itself and the Rays will fight their way to their first World Series win ever.

Prediction: Rays in 7

World Series MVP: Charlie Morton 

Emma Twombly: I think this is the year the Dodgers finally win it all. They have the momentum after their NLCS comeback, which will be huge to open up the series. The Rays, on the other hand, almost blew a 3-0 lead against the Astros. LA proved they have what it takes to win after three straight must-win games and because they have just fallen short in past years, this is a must-win series for them.

Prediction: Dodgers in 6 

World Series MVP: Mookie Betts 

Joe Birdsall: While the Rays may have overcome some long odds to reach the World Series, topping both the Yankees and Astros with one of the lowest payrolls in the majors, their good fortune will run out against a Dodgers team desperate for its first title since 1988. Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and the rest of Los Angeles’s sluggers will overwhelm Tampa Bay en route to a series victory, and Betts will capture the World Series MVP that eluded him with the Red Sox in 2018.

Prediction: Dodgers in 6

World Series MVP: Mookie Betts

Brennan Rietzke: The Dodgers were the best team in baseball over 60 games in the regular season and will win the World Series. They were able to outlast a Braves offense that is superior to Tampa Bay’s and despite the Rays bullpen potentially spelling trouble, the Dodgers have too much depth offensively for them to struggle over an entire series.

Prediction: Dodgers in 6

World Series MVP: Mookie Betts 

Jake McNeil: Despite being arguably the greatest regular season pitcher of all time, Clayton Kershaw has also been arguably the worst postseason pitcher of all time. He has the highest ERA of any pitcher with at least 100 career postseason innings pitched, guaranteeing the Rays at least two wins in the games he starts. Tampa Bay’s strong blend of starting and relief pitching will lead them to a series win in only six games, and Blake Snell will take home the World Series MVP award.

Prediction: Rays in 6

World Series MVP: Blake Snell

Sean Rietzke: The Atlanta Braves pushed Los Angeles to the absolute brink after the Dodgers looked like an absolute juggernaut up to this point. The Rays lack the Braves’ offensive firepower to knock out the Dodgers’ starters early and chip away at their relatively weak bullpen, but they do have a strong rotation themselves and an elite bullpen that should keep them in every game. I think this series comes down to Clayton Kershaw’s ability to exercise his postseason demons and hang in there long enough to keep the Dodgers’ shaky bullpen off the field. LA gets the edge in his presumed two starts and brings home their first World Series since 1988. 

Prediction: Dodgers in 7

World Series MVP: Mookie Betts

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