The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will face off in Major League Baseball’s World Series beginning Tuesday.
The Dodgers secured their spot with a dramatic victory Sunday night, defeating the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in the deciding seventh game of the National League Championship Series.
Los Angeles at one point trailed in the series three games to one, and Atlanta shot out to an early 2-0 lead in game 7.
But the Dodgers battled back, with centerfielder Cody Bellinger breaking a 3-3 tie with a seventh-inning home run, and pitcher Julio Urias throwing three scoreless innings to close out the win.
The American League Championship Series also went to seven games, with Tampa Bay holding off a late rally Saturday to beat the Houston Astros.
The Rays led that series three games to none before Houston won three in a row to push the series to seven games. Tampa Bay rookie Randy Arozarena was the star with four total home runs, including a two-run homer in the first inning of Game 7 to give the Rays a lead they would not relinquish.
After a season cut to 60 games because of the coronavirus, the playoffs have delivered the teams with the two top records in the league to the World Series.
The matchup also includes two teams at opposite ends of the league financially, with the Dodgers maintaining one of the highest payrolls and the Rays one of the lowest.
One lingering effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that all World Series games will be played in Arlington, Texas, instead of in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay.
A limited number of fans – about 11,500 in a ballpark that seats 40,000 – will be able to attend the games.
For the Dodgers, it is their third World Series appearance in the span of four seasons. The team has been one of the best in baseball during that time but is still chasing its first championship since 1988.
Tampa Bay made its only World Series appearance in 2008 when it lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.