The 119th World Series will pit the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Texas Rangers. Game 1 will be played on Friday in Arlington, Texas. The best-of-seven series will crown the 2023 MLB champions. Take a look at Diamondbacks vs Rangers odds across top sports betting apps:
On Opening Day, nearly seven months ago, odds on the Diamondbacks to win the World Series were +12500, and the Rangers were +5000, according to BetMGM. Only seven teams had longer odds to win the Fall Classic than Arizona when the season started.
Bet365 has the Rangers at -165 on the moneyline for Game 1 of the World Series, while the Diamondbacks are +145 underdogs. The total for the game is set at 8.5 runs (Over 8.5 runs: +100).
2023 World Series Schedule
- Game 1: Arizona at Texas, Oct. 27, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 2: Arizona at Texas, Oct. 28, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 3: Texas at Arizona, Oct. 30, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 4: Texas at Arizona, Oct. 31, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 5:* Texas at Arizona, Nov. 1, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 6:* Arizona at Texas, Nov. 3, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
- Game 7:* Arizona at Texas, Nov. 4, 8:03 PM ET, FOX
2023 World Series Series Notes
- Texas is 8-0 on the road in this postseason. They are only the second MLB team to have eight straight wins as the road team in the same season, following the 1996 Yankees.
- Arizona is the first team to have been outscored in the regular season to make the World Series. The Diamondbacks had a -15 run differential.
- The D’backs and Rangers both won Games 6 and 7 on the road in the LCS to advance to the World Series. That’s the first time both pennant winners did that.
- The Texas Rangers have never won the World Series. They are the oldest franchise (founded in 1961) to never win the Fall Classic. Texas lost the World Series in 2010 and 2011.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks are making their second World Series appearance. In 2001, they defeated the Yankees in seven games.
- This is the first World Series where both teams were seeded as low as No. 5 in their league. The Rangers were the No. 5 seed in the AL. The Diamondbacks were the No. 6 seed in the NL.
- The Diamondbacks won just 84 games in the regular season, which is the third-lowest total for a team that made the World Series. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals had only 83 wins, and the 1973 New York Mets won just 82 games, yet both were pennant winners. The Cards actually won the Fall Classic.
- Texas skipper Bruce Bochy is the third manager to lead three different teams to the World Series. The others are Bill McKechnie (1925 Pirates, 1928 Cardinals, 1939-40 Reds), and Dick Williams, who guided the 1967 Red Sox, 1972-73 A’s, and 1984 Padres. McKechnie and Williams are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- The Rangers are only the third team in MLB history to finish in second place and have home-field advantage in the World Series based on their record. The others were the 2006 Tigers and 2014 Royals.
World Series Matchup Preview
The Rangers have been riding the right shoulder of Nathan Eovaldi. After him and his four PS wins, comes Jordan Montgomery, and the hyperactive Max Scherzer.
As a fourth starter, Bochy will likely have Andrew Heaney serve as an opener. The Rangers have five quality starts in this postseason, tied for the most with the Phillies.
This seems like a strength for the Snakes, who lean on their “Big Two” of Zac Gallen and Brandon Pfaadt. Each is making names in October baseball.
The third man is Merrill Kelly, who had the lowest ERA of the starters in the regular season. These are not well-known pitchers, but the D’backs use great game planning to stifle the opposing lineup. That’s a credit to pitching coach Brent Strom.
Every expert who calls himself a “seamhead” was sure that the Texas bullpen would be a big weakness this playoff season. But they were wrong. The Rangers have gotten surprisingly good performances from Aroldis Chapman and even Jose LeClerc in most of the crucial spots.
Sure, they’ve had some bumps, but not enough to jeopardize a series. It seems as if the bullpen group for Bochy prefers to be away from the home fans; the Rangers pen is allowing almost 2 1/2 runs less on the road.
Likewise, the D’backs maligned relief corps has stepped up. In Game 7 we saw that group hold the Phils’ bats at bay, and if they can use their (primarily) power pitching effectively against Texas, this can be a competitive series.
Maybe the Rangers should paint their stadium and put up signs for the other team around the ballpark? Because the team has scored more often on the road than at Globe Life Field in Arlington. That offense is fueled by Corey Seager, Marcus Semien (who has struggled this PS), and ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia, who enters the Fall Classic having hit homers in four straight games.
The D’backs beat you by the strategy of “death by a thousand cuts.” They won’t pummel you with the longball, and they may not put up a 4 or 5-spot on the scoreboard. But they keep battling, every PA, and have several pesky hitters.
The peskiest of the pesky is Ketel Marte, who has at least one hit in all 16 postseason games in his career, including 12 in 2023. He’s hitting .365 this postseason, and as he goes, so go the Snakes.
The other sneaky weapons for Arizona are the legs of Corbin Carroll (4 SB in the NLCS) and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who also has homer power. But, we expect Cristian Walker (one HR, and only one RBI in the seven-game NLCS) will need to do something more (far more) if the D’backs are to win this series.
The Diamondbacks are the best and most versatile defensive team in this World Series. That’s saying a lot because Texas is very good at converting batted balls into outs. But, if there’s a weakness for Texas, it’s Adolis Garcia in right field. While he has a slightly above-average arm, Garcia is clumsy and a bit uncoordinated.
This is the fifth trip to the Fall Classic for Bochy. He’s won three titles, all with the Giants. Those teams have a lot in common with the ’23 Rangers: underestimated, top-heavy with pitching, excellent defense, and the resilience to battle their way out of trouble.
Bochy is an expert at in-game management of his pitching. He tends to go with RH/LH matchups with his pinch-hitters and relievers. He relies heavily on his batting coaches to work with hitters and their approach against opposing pitching.
You may be asking: who is Torey Lovullo? The Diamondbacks manager is far less known than his counterpart. It’s understandable since Arizona is not exactly the baseball mecca. Even though Lovullo is in his seventh season as manager of the D’backs, he’s always been unassuming.
A protege of Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, Lovullo is the perfect man for the modern managerial era. His ego is sufficiently stable that he’s fine following directives from the analytics department. But he’s also a player’s manager who has the complete confidence of his team.
Lovullo will manage a little more with his gut than Bochy. He loves to switch out the offense for defense and shorten games by using a string of relievers with a lead.
Diamondbacks vs Rangers Series Prediction
Throw the regular season records out. In a sense, you can also ignore the numbers from the first three rounds of the playoffs. The World Series will be won by the moments and players who make those moments happen on the diamond.
The Rangers have more stars. Their ace is better than Arizona’s ace. Their cleanup hitter is more dangerous than the No. 4 hitter for the D’backs The up-the-middle defense by the Rangers is stronger.
You can also give Texas a big advantage in the manager matchup. Bruce Bochy will someday receive a plaque in Cooperstown.
Yet, we can’t help but think the Diamondbacks are blissfully unaware of their underdog status. This team is like the three-legged horse that thinks he can win the Kentucky Derby. Like the ugly mutt that thinks he can be crowned the champion at the dog show.
Lovullo & Co. don’t know they’re supposed to lose. That’s why we love those +155 odds at Caesars Sportsbook on Arizona to win it all. Diamondbacks in seven games.