MLB Weekly Digest October 19th Edition: Charlie Morton Sends Tampa Bay Rays to World Series

MLB Weekly Digest October 19th Edition: Charlie Morton Sends Tampa Bay Rays to World Series

The last week in MLB was about a team from each league advancing to the World Series and the league setting the 2021 draft order.

Charlie Morton Sends Tampa Bay Rays to World Series

The Tampa Bay Rays are back in the World Series as starting pitcher Charlie Morton was solid on the mound, and the lineup provided ample run support.

They defeated the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series Saturday night to advance to the Fall Classic for only the second time in franchise history, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.

Morton fired five, and two-thirds scoreless innings yielded just two hits, and compiled six strikeouts.

The lineup gave Morton an early lead as outfielder Randy Arozarena, and catcher Mike Zunino hit solo home runs in the first inning facing Astros’ starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.

Arozarena has been a one-person wrecking crew for the Rays during the postseason.

The outfielder crushed four home runs during the ALCS to win the ALCS MVP and became the youngest position player to ever win the award, per MLB.

Arozarena has hit seven home runs in the postseason, and only Nelson Cruz (2011), Carlos Beltran (2004), and Barry Bonds (2002) have hit more with eight each, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

Morton has been a critical factor in the Rays achieving success in the postseason.

He has a 4-0 record and 0.46 ERA in winner-take-all postseason games, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Morton’s four wins in winner-take-all playoff games are twice as many as any other pitcher in MLB history, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The ALCS between the Rays and Astros was entertaining and strange at the same time.

The Rays were the best team in the first three games, but the Astros showed resolve to win the next three games to force a Game 7.

The Rays are in the World Series for the first time since 2008, and they have a good chance of emerging as champions given the way the team is built.

Cody Bellinger Propels Los Angeles Dodgers to World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a significant comeback in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, thanks to outfielder Cody Bellinger and are going to the World Series.

The Dodgers won Game 7 last night 4-3 as Bellinger hit a tie-breaking home run in the seventh to give them the lead.

Dodgers’ reliever Julio Urias earned the victory as he fired three scoreless innings and did not allow a hit.

The Dodgers are in the World Series for the third time in four years, but it was not easy.

They trailed the Braves 3-1 in the NLCS but showed resiliency in winning the series and advancing to the World Series.

Shortstop Corey Seager was selected as NLCS MVP as he was brilliant, posting a .310 batting average with five home runs and 11 RBIs, per MLB.

Bellinger’s home run is the fifth go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later of a Game 7 in the Wild Card Era, per MLB Stats.

Urias joins Pedro Martinez (1999 ALDS Game 5) as the second pitcher to throw three or more innings to finish a winner-take-all game win and not allow a hit, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

The Dodgers will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

This marks the fourth time the teams with the best record in each league have faced each other in the World Series in the Wild Card Era, per MLB Stats.

MLB Sets 2021 Draft Order

Major League Baseball has set the 2021 draft order with the Pittsburgh Pirates on the clock.

A part of the March agreement following the league being suspended due to COVID-19 gave commissioner Rob Manfred the power to change the 2021 draft.

However, there was no need for modification as MLB was able to complete its abbreviated regular season.

The Pirates, who finished the 2020 campaign with the worst winning percentage at .317, have the first draft selection.

This marks the fifth time they have the top pick in the draft and the first occurrence since 2011 when they selected Gerrit Cole.

The Pirates join the San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, and New York Mets as the only clubs to have the No. 1 pick five times, per Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic.

The rest of the top five after the Pirates will be the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Baltimore Orioles.

The 2021 MLB Draft will be moved from its typically early June date to July 11, in conjunction with the All-Star Game in Atlanta.

The 2020 draft was reduced from 40 rounds to five rounds.

However, the 2021 draft will have between 20 to 30 rounds, per a report last month by Keith Law of The Athletic.

The Pirates have many needs, but they will probably draft a collegiate arm to anchor their future rotation.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]

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