But, like the tides and the phases of the moon, the World Series has come again on its cosmic cycle. So why not pop it on? Close your eyes and let the sound of the electronically-enhanced, socially-distant crowd take you away to a simpler time. Here’s everything you need to know to have the best World Series experience you can.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays will meet this year. Were they not enemies, perhaps they would be soulmates: Both teams hail from cities that have already celebrated championships this year (LA won the NBA Championship, Tampa Bay the Stanley Cup), they both have three words in their names, they both had the best records in their respective leagues and they both wear dashing combinations of blue and white.

The whole series will take place at at the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field in Arlington. Usually the teams would switch off between their home fields, but since this is The Strange Year (for everything, not just sports), the MLB playoffs have been operating in a kind of modified bubble in Texas.

When is the World Series?

While both teams ended up playing a grueling seven-games-in-seven-days series in the last round of the playoffs, the World Series schedule is a little bit more relaxed (and, bonus, no cross-country travel!). The best-of-seven schedule is as follows:

Game 1: Tuesday, 10/20 at 8:09 p.m. ET

Game 2: Wednesday, 10/21 at 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 3: Friday, 10/23 at 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 4: Saturday, 10/24 at 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 5 (if needed): Sunday, 10/25 at 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 6 (if needed): Tuesday, 10/27 at 8:08 p.m. ET

Game 7 (if needed): Wednesday, 10/28 8:09 p.m. ET

How can I watch the World Series?

All of the games will be broadcast on FOX. Alternately, you could just sit nervously for about three hours, punctuating the time with very quick, intense moments of sadness and joy. Baseball is definitely 50% waiting for something to happen, 25% things happening, and 25% wishing the things that just happened didn’t happen.

Are there going to be actual fans in the stands?

The coronavirus is like a foul ball, if you duck when you see it coming you'll be fine.

Yes! When the MLB started the season four months late in July because of the pandemic, there were no fans allowed. Instead, most teams opted for cardboard cutouts. Some teams let their fans pay to get their faces on these cutouts. That’s cute in theory, but glancing up into a throng of flat, unblinking eyes and frozen rictuses had to be a bit unnerving for the players. Plus, you couldn’t help but feel a little bad for the cutouts that got obliterated by foul balls.

Fox also peppered early broadcasts with “augmented reality” fans in the stands. We don’t talk about those times.

Anyway, they’ve been letting fans into playoff games, so expect to see some smattering of people pulling their Rays and Dodgers masks to the side to casually wolf down a hot dog.

Tell me more about these teams! Who should I root for?

This photo from the 2018 World Series is actually sad because the Dodgers went on to lose.

If you enjoy suffering, root for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This will be their third time in the World Series in four years, and they haven’t won the whole thing since 1988, before most of their players were even born. To say they are due would be an understatement.

To add to their suffering, Dodgers fans have to live with the knowledge that the team that beat them in the 2017 World Series, the Houston Astros, were cheating that season. That’s sad! The Dodgers are too good to be this sad.

Manta rays are sometimes known as "devil rays," which used to be the Tampa Bay Rays' name. However unlike the Tampa Bay Rays, Manta rays are not good at baseball.

If you enjoy underdogs, then root for the Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, they had the best record in the American League. Yes, they are a very good team. But they are a) not the Dodgers and b) in the World Series for only the second the second time in franchise history. They’ve also never won, so don’t put it past fate to deny the 130-year-old Dodgers franchise another World Series victory and hand it to a team that’s only been around since 1998.

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