Eric Gay/Associated Press
Clayton Kershaw delivered.
Plagued for so long with questions about whether he could come through on the biggest stage in the postseason, the future Hall of Famer pitched the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 lead in the 2020 World Series with his second win of the Fall Classic on Sunday.
The southpaw allowed two earned runs with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings during Los Angeles’ 4-2 win as the team put a stunning Game 4 loss behind it and once again seized control of the series.
Kershaw was at his best in the fourth inning when he preserved a one-run lead with runners on the corners and nobody out by inducing a pop out from Joey Wendle, striking out Willy Adames and catching something of a break when Manuel Margot tried to steal home and was tagged out.
It was still a credit to the three-time Cy Young winner that he saw Margot going, and he delivered a perfect throw to retire him.
As a result, the Dodgers are the favorites to take home the championship.
Here is a look at the odds, per DraftKings, as of Monday at 1 a.m. ET, and a Game 6 prediction.
2020 World Series Winner Odds
Game 6 Prediction
Game 6, like so many contests, is going to come down to the starting pitching matchup.
On the one side, there are the Dodgers. They are 3-0 when Kershaw or Walker Buehler starts and 0-2 when they do not. Had they lost Game 5, manager Dave Roberts may have felt the pressure to go with Buehler on short rest with the season hanging in the balance for Tuesday’s Game 6.
Instead, he can save the right-hander for a potential Game 7 and may even have Kershaw behind him out of the bullpen if needed.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tony Gonsolin will start Game 6 for Los Angeles. While he was impressive during the regular season with a 2.31 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 46.2 innings, he is also yet to make it through more than 4.1 innings in three playoff appearances this year.
He also has not pitched particularly well, giving up eight earned runs with seven walks in 7.2 playoff innings. He started Game 2 of this series and lasted all of 1.1 innings while allowing a home run to Brandon Lowe.
On the other side are the Rays, who will hand the ball to a Cy Young winner as they look to keep their season alive.
Blake Snell, who took home the 2018 American League Cy Young award and ERA title, was dialed in the last time he took the hill for Tampa Bay in what turned into a 6-4 victory for his team in that same Game 2.
His shutout ended in the fifth when Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer off him, but he struck out nine in 4.2 innings before the Rays’ dominant bullpen took over.
All he will need is another solid five-inning showing in this one because Tampa Bay’s offense will get to Gonsolin. An early lead should be enough for the American League representative’s bullpen to force a Game 7.
Game 6 prediction: Rays 5, Dodgers 3
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