The story of David and Goliath is the ultimate underdog story.
David, a young shepherd, is tasked with an impossible mission: take down the great gladiator that is Goliath. Goliath is backed with weapons and resources, whereas David is equipped with a slingshot and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Long story short, David conquers Goliath against all odds. The biggest of underdogs ever wins, and it’s a story that is used as motivation in any and every sports scenario.
For the 2020 World Series, it applies, but not totally. The Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers both advanced, and it gives baseball fans an intriguing matchup to witness.
The Dodgers are the Goliath of Major League Baseball. They have one of the most talented and fleshed out rosters in the entire league. Being a big market team, they have the luxury of affording one of the largest payrolls in the game, at an active payroll of $77,165,961.
There are plenty of players to highlight for the Dodgers, but it would be unjust to not start with the National League Championship Series MVP, Corey Seager.
Seager suffered from injury in 2019 and had an average year. 2020 saw a resurgence for Seager, as he hit .307 and slugged 15 home runs in the anomaly that was a shortened 60 game season. As mentioned, Seager was a big reason for the Dodgers becoming National League Champions, smacking five home runs in the series against the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers are loaded. A lineup that features 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, along with adding arguably the best player in baseball, Mookie Betts, to go along with the likes of Justin Turner and the previously mentioned Seager makes the Dodgers and absolute unit.
The rotation is anchored by Walker Buehler, one of the most dominant young arms in the game. Of course, you cannot talk about the Dodgers rotation without mentioning Clayton Kershaw, the most dominant pitcher of the last decade. Kershaw has yet another chance to overcome his postseason demons and finally add a World Series Championship to his already eye-popping resume.
Then, there is the Tampa Bay Rays. The “David” in the story really isn’t an underdog. The Rays were the top seed in the American League, yet they tout the third lowest payroll in Major League Baseball.
Tampa Bay has one of the best organizations in baseball when it comes to building and trading assets. A majority of their team was built from within, but they also capitalized on trades outside of the organization.
They brought in the likes of Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, Randy Arozarena and Austin Meadows in through trades. They also feature a, in the words of Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, have a “stable” of relievers that throw 98 with movement.
The rotation is the strongest aspect of the Rays team. Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell and Charlie Morton. The bullpen is the second strongest part of the Rays squad, and if you need to come back from a deficit, good luck.
The offense is the weakest part of the Rays team, however if you followed Tampa Bay at all this season, you know that the emergence of Randy Arozarena has added a much-needed surge to the Rays offense. Brandon Lowe has also had a great season, and the legend of Ji-Man-Choi has grown more as the season went on.
It is an interesting World Series, as the usual suspects are not in it. The Houston Astros and the New York Yankees were eliminated earlier in the postseason, and the 2019 World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals, missed out entirely on the postseason.
If the Dodgers win the World Series, they will finally shake the stigma of their post-season woes. For the Rays, this is the first of many deep postseason runs that they will make in the foreseeable future.
The 2020 World Series will go down as one of the most memorable World Series in baseball history for many reasons, one including that it marks the end to the most abnormal baseball seasons ever. A new king will be crowned, and this king will have taken a road to a World Series that no other team has ever taken before.