WS Game 1 – a tell of two tales

Tonight we will all be able to enjoy the start of the World Series. On the mound we will find Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Dodgers. Not known for being known as a good pitcher in the play-offs Kershaw himself seems otimistic, pointing to his experience compared to the more inexperienced Tampa Bay squad.

We know a couple of things. Kershaw is not what he was. And he doesn’t rely on his fastball any longer. That is a negative, because Rays batters have a huge problem with fastballs. Especially thrown by a lefty. Kershaw’s percieved dominance might not be as dominant as it should be had he been his force of old.

Tyler Glasnow will pitch for the Rays. He is very reliable and will throw a lot of strikeouts. He will also give up a couple of homers especially to the kind of big guns he will be facing today. Mind that Rays seldom lets an opponent get away to a large lead. They will keep the game close most often and continue grinding until they win with 2-1 or something like that.

Tampa had 592 Plate Appearances vs lefties for 120 Hits and 169 K. In comparison Dodgers had 47 more PA and still had 37 Ks less.

There is a risk that Kershaw will have to exit the game early due to his back problems. Given that he exits early (3-4th inning) we know that Tampa will have the lead and probably a couple of dingers. On the other hand, Kershaw could be fresh and just roll over Tampa. So we essentially have two different scenarios. In the first Kershaw should easily have over seven Ks. Dodgers should win and since Glasnow rarely gives up many Runs we know the probability will skew under 7.5. The parlay Dodgers and under 7.5 is trading at + 170 at the sportsbook of Charles Town Casino as we speak.

In the second scenario Kershaw will fail to deliver the promised goods. Tampa will now have an excellent chance of winning. The most probable home run hitter is Randy Ozarena to hit a home run and Tampa to win. +700 at the same sportsbook. The algos say there is a .20 probabilty he will have a home run, and given that he will hit a dinger, the extra pick up in odds is good value.

Since the game is expected to remain close in the first inning there is good value in the Rays leading after three innings. They are +132 moneyline to lead after three innings.

SabreSim is projecting exactly one hit for Mookie Bets. He is -200 which seems a little short to me. He was hitless in only three of his last 20 regular games and should be a lock. He is about evens to score a run and it is hard to imagine Dodgers winning without him coming in for a run making that bet a good hedge.

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