World Series Game 3: Rays vs Los Angeles Dodgers — Pregame News and Notes
Updated 5:00 p.m. After a day off on Thursday, the World Series resumes tonight with the Rays and Dodgers even at a game apiece. Tampa Bay will be the home team the next three games.
Here’s the Rays lineup, with Brandon Lowe, who homered twice on Wednesday, hitting second once again:
Manager Kevin Cash says the thought process in hitting Austin Meadows leadoff is similar to that of having Brandon Lowe continue to hit second, and that there’s a belief he will have a big moment. Meadows is 5-for-40 with two homers this postseason, where Lowe was 6-for-56 before the breakout game on Tuesday.
Each teams enters game three with arguably their best postseason pitcher on the mound. Charlie Morton will start for Tampa Bay. Morton has won all three of his postseason starts this year for Tampa Bay, allowing one earned run in 15.2 innings, and he’s won all five starts with the Rays in the playoffs. Overall, he’s 7–2 with a 2.84 ERA over 12 appearances in the postseason, 11 as a starter.
Mookie Betts is the only Dodgers player with significant experience against Morton (6-for-20), while Justin Turner has two singles in five at-bats. The Dodgers lineup has the same look as it did in game one:
Meanwhile, Walker Buehler gets the ball for the Dodgers. Buehler has given up four runs in four starts, covering 19 innings. He is 2–1 with a 2.44 ERA in 10 postseason outings, all as a starter. Manuel Margot is 1-for-4 with a homer against Buehler, and is just one of three players for the Rays (Hunter Renfroe and Mike Zunino are the others) to have faced Buehler.
Buehler throws 62 percent fastballs and averages nearly 97 miles per hour. It will be interesting to see how he attacks Randy Arozarena. The Dodgers have pitched around the ALCS MVP the first two games, walking him three times, once intentionally.
Both teams should have well rested bullpens with yesterday’s off day. Los Angeles has yet to use its three highest leverage relievers in Brusdar Graterol, Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen.
Kevin Kiermaier said today he was surprised, upset and disappointed he was not a Gold Glove finalist this year, nor were none of his teammates. Kiermaier also advocated for a utility award, and said Joey Wendle, who plays second, third and shortstop, is deserving. Cash says that “Kiermaier is the best defensive player on whatever field he is on.”
Coverage of tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. on the Rays Radio Network and Dave and Andy will have the call with first pitch at 8:08.