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Tampa Bay Rays become World Series odds favorites

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Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) and the Rays celebrate the victory against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) and the Rays celebrate the victory against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Tampa Bay Rays are in a great spot to win the World Series, odds makers believe

The Tampa Bay Rays have become the odds favorite to win the World Series, according to at least one odds maker on Wednesday.

The Rays have taken a commanding 3-0 ALCS lead over the defending American League champion Houston Astros. Meanwhile, in the NLCS, the Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen behind the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, 2-0.

After joining the .700 club — notable even in a season shortened to 60 games — and with a strong roster top to bottom, the Dodgers were originally favorites to win the World Series.

2020 World Series odds now favor Tampa Bay Rays

Now, courtesy of BetOnline, the Rays hold that distinction. The World Series odds for the remaining four teams follow:

  • Tampa Bay Rays — 6/5
  • Atlanta Braves — 8/5
  • Los Angeles Dodgers — 7/2
  • Houston Astros — 40/1

The Dodgers were originally 9/4 favorites back on Oct. 2 with the Yankees at 7/2.

The Rays knocked the Yankees out of an American League Division Series, 3-2, last week.

The Rays are also favorited by ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle, with a 42.1% of winning the World Series. The Braves (35.8%), Dodgers (21.1%), and Astros (1.1%) follow.

Tampa Bay has been doing it exactly as any follower of the Rays would expect: consistent pitching backed by a spectacular defense, while batters the rest of the world might not be familiar with do enough for the team to get by.

The series against the Astros has shown that. So far the Rays have won games 2-1, 4-2, and 5-2. Games 2 and 3, especially, have seen multiple players in the infield and outfield alike flash the leather, including a tumbling-over-the-wall catch by Manuel Margot in right field on Monday and two huge run-saving catches by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on Wednesday.

In between, we’ve seen diving stops by third baseman Wendle, quick snares by shortstop Willy Adames, and more than one deep stretch by first baseman Ji-Man Choi.

At the plate, Randy Arozarena has remained hot, batting .500 and slugging .833 in the series. Randy who? You could be forgiven for asking that because he didn’t even make his season debut until Aug. 30 and had just 42 MLB games to his name before the playoffs began.

Mike Zunino, batting .333 with .833 slugging, has also come up big in the series.

Meanwhile, it’s too early to count the Dodgers out of the NLCS, but their dire predicament should be the main explainer for the Rays’ rise to the top.

Tuesday, the Braves beat LA 8-7 after taking the opening game 5-1.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was a scratch from the second game with back spasms. The Dodgers hope he’ll be able to go Game 4, but if he’s not it puts them in a bad position.

The World Series is set to be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

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