By Weston Blasi
The 2020 World Series teams have been set.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays will meet in a World Series matchup after one of the strangest baseball seasons in history.
Major League Baseball’s season usually has 162 games, but this year it was trimmed down to just 60 due to the coronavirus. Many speculated that a shorter season could add a greater element of randomness to the game.
The Rays and Dodgers were among the preseason favorites to win the championship this year and also finished the year with the two best records in baseball.
As Major League Baseball is set to begin it’s championship, here’s what you need to know about this year’s World Series amid the coronavirus pandemic:
While both teams are among the league’s best on the field, the Los Angeles Dodgers are paying significantly more money to its players than Tampa Bay.
The Dodgers’ club payroll for this year is $107 million, while the Rays have a payroll of just $28 million, according to spotrac.com. These figures are prorated for the shorter season.
This large payroll gap is the 5th largest among World Series matchups since 2000.
Big-name Dodgers players like Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts have a combined prorated salary of $26.3 million, which is nearly the entire payroll for the Rays.
World Series players and coaches will be in a ‘bubble’
When the NBA restarted its season at the World World of Sports Complex in Disney /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -1.31% , it had strict quarantine rules: no visitors and no fans in attendance.
The World Series will have a bubble for players and coaches, but some fans will be allowed to attend.
Players and coaching staffs are staying at designated hotels where they must remain unless traveling to and from the ballpark. Family members are not permitted for on-site visits for the duration of the World Series. There will be 24-hour surveillance at the hotel to ensure all safety protocols are being followed.
“We fully recognize that the process places significant burdens on clubs, club staff, players and their families,’’ MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said in a memo to teams .
Unlike other seasons, when each team hosts some of the World Series games, this year all games will be played at a neutral site, Globe Life Field in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. Globe Life Field is a brand new ballpark, and it’s somewhat customary for sports leagues to want to show off new stadiums shortly after they are built.
During the regular season, the MLB was forced to postpone over 40 games due to positive COVID-19 tests among players and team staff.