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Dodgers notes: Matchup with Rays, Clayton Kershaw, offense picking up the slack

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The 2020 World Series rematch between the Dodgers and Rays has been the toughest series the Dodgers have had to face so far this season. Against a team that has a 25-6 record at home, Saturday’s win was a hard-fought nail biter that the Dodgers narrowly squeaked out.

The Dodgers have had their struggles against the American League’s best team, noted by their inability to throw out multiple base stealers (highlighted in Friday’s loss). It’s been largely impacting their starters, with Noah Syndergaard in particular allowing six earned runs in as many innings during Friday's loss. Even in their wins, the Dodgers have had to rely heavily on their bullpen to close out four innings of work at the minimum, and the results have been somewhat satisfactory.

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register wrote about Dave Roberts’ comments on the difference between facing Tampa Bay this season compared to years prior:

“It’s tough, it’s tough...It was tough in one sense years ago when no one was showing up and it was just kind of a down environment. But now, they pack it out for this ballpark and there’s a lot of energy. You can see those guys feed off of it. It’s no wonder that they play really well at home.”

The Dodgers will look to salvage the series and conclude their 10 game road trip with a .500 record on Sunday morning.