We’ve seen this before; after Clayton Kershaw wins a World Series start for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tampa Bay Rays counter the next game with former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Only this time, it’s survive-or-die for the Rays.
Snell has not gone six full innings in a start this calendar year, but in Game 2 of this series he helped the Rays get a victory as he gave up two runs in 4²/₃ innings and struck out nine. Snell has a weakness to the long ball. He has given up five home runs in his last 24¹/₃ innings and must face a Dodgers lineup that has belted multiple home runs in a postseason-record eight straight games.
The Rays have been able to generate eight home runs in five games and face Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin, who in the playoffs has not been the same guy he was in the regular season. After posting a 2-1 record with a 1.94 ERA in the eight regular-season starts, he has given up three home runs and posted a 9.39 ERA in three postseason appearances.
Gonsolin has also walked seven in 7²/₃ innings in the playoffs, the same amount he had in 46²/₃ innings during the regular season.
The Dodgers’ bullpen likely will have to get many outs in this game, and with the bullpen ERA of 5.48 in this series, it has been far from trustworthy. It will be all hands on deck for a Rays bullpen that has posted a 3.62 ERA this postseason and should get enough help from Snell to force a Game 7.
The play: Rays to win Game 6, +125.