This year’s World Series features two teams that play indoors, and it marks the first time in MLB history both teams in the World Series won Games 6 and 7 on the road in their respective league championship series to earn a trip to the Fall Classic.
It’s been a must-watch, historic postseason, and with the type of games the teams have been playing, the World Series figures to be no different.
So, here is everything you need to know about the 2023 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers.
How the Diamondbacks got here
On Aug. 11, Arizona was 57-59 and three games back for the final postseason spot. They were taxed against gritty Giants, Cubs, Reds and Marlins teams and had a 13.4% chance to make the postseason and a 0.8% chance of winning a pennant. But as Lloyd Christmas once said, “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
The Diamondbacks went 27-19, and just about everything else went their way. They sneaked into the postseason as the sixth and final seed in the NL. They were the last National League team in with their 84-78 record. Now, they are the last National League team standing.
DIAMONDBACKS WIN FIRST PENNANT SINCE 2001 WITH GAME 7 VICTORY OVER PHILLIES, WILL FACE RANGERS IN WORLD SERIES
The snakes swept the Milwaukee Brewers in a wild-card series, and then they swept the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.
All hope looked lost when they lost the first two games of the NLCS to the Phillies in Philadelphia and when they dropped Game 5 at home. But they won both Games 6 and 7 at Citizens Bank Park to clinch their first trip to the Fall Classic since 2001.
Who to watch
Arizona has been carried by Ketel Marte, who is hitting .358 with a .604 slugging percentage. Marte has a hit in all 16 postseason games he has played, an MLB record for the longest hitting streak to start a postseason career. It’s also the fourth-longest of all time, and he’s one shy of the MLB record shared by Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Hank Bauer.
Corbin Carroll is going to win the National League Rookie of the Year, and even the postseason is no match for him. He’s hitting .295 with a team-high .396 on-base percentage. Alek Thomas has four homers,
Their bullpen, though, has been elite. Setup man Kevin Ginkel and closer Paul Sewald have not allowed an earned run in their 17 combined innings, and they’re getting solid production in the rotation. Merrill Kelly has a 2.65 ERA, and rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who pitched to a 5.72 ERA in the regular season, has a 2.70 ERA since the postseason began.
The Diamondbacks have been playing with house money all postseason and are once again underdogs. But they’ve proven they shouldn’t be doubted.
How the Rangers got here
Texas was a practical lock for the postseason for the majority of the regular season, but it got dicey late.
On Aug. 15, the Rangers were a season-high 24 games over .500 and up 3½ games in the AL West. Then, they lost eight straight. Again, they got hot, leading the division by 2½ with four games remaining. But they lost three of four, the Houston Astros won four straight — against Arizona — and the Astros won the division again. So, the Rangers settled for the fifth seed.
But when Texas swept both the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, the Rangers had a date with their AL West rivals. They lost an absolute heartbreaker in Game 5 on Jose Altuve’s game-winning three-run blast in the ninth, and they faced elimination twice on the road.
However, Houston struggled at home all year, and the Rangers won Games 6 and 7 to win their first pennant since 2011. The road team won every game of the ALCS, and Texas has won all eight of its games on the road this postseason.
Who to watch for
Who should you not watch for is the better question, especially on the offensive side.
If Shohei Ohtani didn’t exist, Corey Seager probably would be the American League MVP, and he’s kept it up by slashing .333/.483/.644 this postseason. Adolis Garcia drove in an MLB record 15 runs in the ALCS, earning series MVP honors.
If there were a Rookie of the Year for the postseason, it would undoubtedly be Evan Carter. The 21-year-old, who made his MLB debut Sept. 8, is hitting .308 with a .987 OPS in the postseason. Fellow rookie Josh Jung isn’t far behind, hitting .289 with a .600 slugging percentage.
Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi have been dialed in at the top of the rotation, combining for a 2.29 ERA this postseason. Max Scherzer has not looked right since returning from injury, but he’s still a three-time Cy Young Award winner with a World Series ring.
Their bullpen, however, has been shaky — just as it was in the regular sason. Their relievers pitched to a 4.94 ERA in the ALCS.
All games will begin at 8:03 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX.
The Rangers have home field advantage and will host Games 1 and 2 and Games 6 and 7, if necessary.
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 27, Globe Life Field
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 28, Globe Life Field
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 30, Chase Field
Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 31, Chase Field
Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, Nov. 1, Chase Field
Game 6 (if necessary): Friday, Nov. 3, Globe Life Field
Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, Nov. 4, Globe Life Field
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