How will this year's World Series play out? Using the Dynasty League Baseball online simulation, USA TODAY Sports' Steve Gardner and DLB designer Mike Cieslinski will pre-play each game to provide some insight into the key matchups and strategy fans can expect to see in the Fall Classic. (Last year's Sim Series had the Nationals defeating the Astros in 7 games.)
Game 5: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Willy Adames' two-out double in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie and the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless over the final 3⅓ innings as the Rays pulled away for a 6-1 victory in Game 5 of USA TODAY's annual Simulated World Series.
Starters Tyler Glasnow of Tampa Bay and Clayton Kershaw of L.A. turned in solid performances. Glasnow allowed only a fourth-inning home run to Will Smith over his 5⅔ innings while striking out nine. Kershaw yielded a solo homer by Brandon Lowe in the first inning and nearly completed the sixth before Adames lined a slider to left field that A.J. Pollock couldn't reach. Joey Wendle scored from first to give the Rays a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
BOX SCORE:Rays 6, Dodgers 1
FULL PLAY-BY-PLAY:Adames delivers go-ahead single in Game 5 win
A screenshot of Willy Adames' RBI double that have the Rays a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning of Game 5 in USA TODAY's annual Simulated World Series. (Photo: Dynasty League Baseball)
The Rays tacked on four insurance runs in the eighth inning against Dodgers rookie Dustin May. Backup catcher Michael Perez, who hit .167 during the regular season, delivered a two-out RBI single after Manuel Margot had walked and stolen second. Then Kevin Kiermaier put the game out of reach with a three-run homer to right to cap the scoring.
Despite the Rays victory, they still trail three games to two in our simulated series. The Dodgers will look to wrap up the title in Game 6 with either Tony Gonsolin or Walker Buehler on the mound against the Rays' Blake Snell.
SCHEDULE: Dates, times and TV information for World Series
ANALYSIS: What Kershaw's history tells us about huge Game 5 start
What to watch in (the actual) Game 5
— Bullpen management: With an off day following Game 5, the Rays were able to go to their relievers at the first sign of trouble for starter Tyler Glasnow. Although Glasnow was able to wiggle out of a jam in the second inning with a runner on third base and no outs, he started to tire in the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third, left-hander Aaron Loup entered to retire Will Smith (who had homered off Glasnow in his previous at-bat).
The Rays called on top reliever Nick Anderson for two innings of work while it was still a one-run game — and Anderson delivered, retiring all six batters he faced (four of them on strikeouts). The insurance runs Tampa Bay scored in the bottom of the eighth allowed them to save Pete Fairbanks for another day.
— Two-out RBI: The Dodgers have been amazing during the actual World Series, going 8-for-22 (.364) with two outs and runners in scoring position. However, the Dodgers were 0-for-8 in those situations in Sim Series Game 5 .
On the other side, the Rays scored all six of their runs in Game 5 with two outs. Flipping the script will be a key to a Rays victory.
Previous 2020 Sim Series results
Game 1:Dodgers 5, Rays 1
Game 2:Rays 4, Dodgers 2
Game 3:Dodgers 13, Rays 12 (10 innings)
Game 4:Dodgers 7, Rays 0
Simulate your own World Series. Get a FREE one-month subscription to Dynasty League Baseball online by going to DynastyLeagueBaseball.com, selecting the monthly option and entering code USA2 at checkout.
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