Should Reds fans be pulling for the Rays or the Dodgers?
The 2020 World Series began last night with the Los Angeles Dodgers taking a 1-0 series lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. So, as a Cincinnati Reds fan, who ya got? Hopefully, you and the rest of Reds Country are pulling for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays represent the American League, after taking down the controversial Houston Astros in seven games. The Rays took a commanding 3-0 series lead before dropping the next three games and nearly blowing the series, before defeating Houston 4-2 in game seven.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, representing the National League, have a flipped script. They fell behind 3-1 in their series to the Atlanta Braves (who defeated the Reds in the Wild Card Series) before storming back and taking three games in a row, including the deciding game seven 4-3 Sunday night.
Both of these teams are at the forefront of the modern-day analytical approach, and the Dodgers GM is actually Andrew Friedman, the former GM of the Rays. What is different though is the money they have to spend.
The Rays, for years, have been one of the most thrifty teams in Major League Baseball, and their overall payroll in a 60-game shortened season is $23M for the entire roster. The Dodgers in the meantime, have one of the largest payrolls in baseball coming in at over $77M in the 60-game prorated season.
Reds fans should be rooting for the Rays for several reasons. Cincinnati has been traditionally a small-market team, just like the Rays. The Reds 2020 payroll is the highest its ever been, so it is actually a bit depressing to see the 26th-ranked payroll in MLB rip through the American League while the Reds couldn’t even scratch across a run in the postseason.
Secondly, Willy Adames. Yes, I know it is a longshot, but the Tampa Bay shortstop could be a potential trade target of the Reds. The Rays having superstar shortstop prospect Wander Franco shooting through the Rays minor league system could make Adames expendable.
Trading away a potential star like Adames is extremely rare, but if Cincinnati could somehow pull this move off, it would alleviate the worries that Reds Country has about the future of the shortstop position.
The Rays, as previously mentioned, are the classic small market team while the Dodgers are the big market team with all the resources and money to boot; a classic David vs. Goliath matchup if you will. The Rays and Dodgers alike have so much homegrown talent, but the Rays have been elite in terms of front office moved to secure players via trades.
Players like Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and now, Randy Arozorena, have been acquired from other teams and turned into stars by the Rays. Glasnow and Meadows were even snagged from the hated Pirates, which is a really good feeling to know these guys could have been beating up on the Reds and instead they’re wrecking havoc on other teams. Either way, this series should be a good one, but give me the Rays in six.