The Tampa Bay Rays are going to the World Series thanks in large part to Randy Arozarena. Handsome Randy went 8 for 28 (.286) with four home runs in the series win over the Houston Astros and was named ALCS MVP. Tampa won Game 7 on Saturday night to punch its ticket to the World Series (TB 4, HOU 2).
Arozarena opened the Game 7 scoring with a first inning two-run home run against Lance McCullers Jr. He also hit a game-tying homer in Game 1, a game-tying home run in Game 4, and a home run to get the Rays to within a run in Game 5. Here are his four ALCS dingers:
With the four homers, Arozarena ran his postseason total to seven, which set a rookie record for most in a postseason. Arozarena heads to the Fall Classic needing just one home run to tie him for the all-time record for a single postseason.
Arozarena is only the fourth rookie to win the LCS MVP award, joining Mike Boddicker (1983 with Orioles), Livan Hernandez (1997 with Marlins), and Michael Wacha (2013 with Cardinals). Arozarena, Hernandez, and Livan's brother Orlando Hernandez (1999 with Yankees) are the only Cuban-born players to win an LCS MVP.
Right-hander Matt Garza was named ALCS MVP in 2008, the only other time the Rays advanced to the World Series. Garza allowed two runs in 13 innings across two starts against the Red Sox that series.
The Rays acquired Arozarena in a four-player offseason trade with the Cardinals. He made his MLB debut with St. Louis last season and was on the Cardinals' postseason roster.