Despite a horrific loss on Saturday night, the Dodgers are just one game away from winning their first World Series title since 1988. To rebound after coughing up Game 4, Clayton Kershaw (hopefully) finished off the best postseason of his career with 5 2⁄3 innings of two-run baseball in which he didn’t have his best stuff but managed to skirt out of trouble. Now, the Dodgers just need to win one of the next two games to finally take home a championship.
In Game 6, Tony Gonsolin will make his first appearance as a conventional starter. Gonsolin has appeared in three games this October, once in relief and twice as an opener. In 7 2⁄3 innings, Gonsolin has struck out nine, walked seven, and given up eight runs. His last time out, in Game 2, Gonsolin looked much sharper than he had previously, and his early struggle might have been a symptom of rust.
Going for the Rays is Blake Snell. The lefty struck out nine Dodgers in 4 2⁄3 innings in Game 2, but he had to labor to make it that far. LA hitters made Snell throw pitches in the zone, but that didn’t help them make contact.
The Rays need more than for Snell to pitch like Snell. They also need to not squander scoring opportunities. In the fourth inning of Game 5, the Rays had runners at the corners with nobody out, but Joey Wendle popped out, Willy Adames flailed at one of the worst curves Kershaw threw, and that put the Rays in a spot where trying to steal home was actually a good idea.
On paper, the Rays should win this game. ZiPS gives them a 54 percent chance to win, and if they can do that, the series is at a coin flip. While the Rays are taking things one game at a time, the Dodgers are hoping that being the better team pays off for once.
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