Unforeseen showdown. Diamondbacks vs. Rangers at the 2023 World series

27.10.2023 posted by Admin

Diamondbacks vs. Rangers in 119th World series

The 119th edition of the World Series is set to kick off on Friday night, bringing together the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers for the ultimate prize in baseball. This unexpected matchup would have been a long shot just six weeks ago.

Back in early September, if you had considered placing a bet on the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks reaching the World Series, you would have been looking at incredible odds. At that time, the Diamondbacks had only a 46.2% chance of making it to the playoffs, not even the World Series, according to FanGraphs. The Rangers, on the other hand, had a mere 38.6% chance. The Diamondbacks had cooled down significantly after a strong start and were struggling in the National League wildcard race. The Rangers had also faced setbacks, losing their prized trade deadline acquisition, Max Scherzer, to injury. Both teams were not in the postseason spotlight.

But how things have dramatically turned around. Both the Rangers and the Diamondbacks have fought their way to the World Series with remarkable October performances. They swept their wildcard series, then triumphed over 100-win teams in the division series. Both teams found themselves down three games to two in their respective league championship series but managed to win their final two games on the road to secure their spots in the World Series. The Rangers defeated the Houston Astros, their in-state rivals, while the Diamondbacks shocked the Philadelphia Phillies. When the World Series starts on Friday night in Arlington, Texas, we will witness an underdog showdown between two teams that won 84 and 90 regular-season games, respectively.

In their journey to the World Series, both the Rangers and Diamondbacks had their fair share of baseball luck, but their well-constructed rosters and precise performances played a crucial role.

The Rangers blended experience and youth to make their surge. They boasted one of the most productive lineups in the MLB throughout the season, with their offense performing exceptionally well. Their adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage was 113, making them the fourth-most productive offensive team in the league. However, the addition of outfield prospect Evan Carter in September gave their lineup a significant boost. Carter's hot start in the big leagues played a pivotal role in their postseason berth. The Rangers also received excellent contributions from players like Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Jonah Heim, and Adolis GarcĂ­a. Despite not having a front-line pitching staff, their potent offense compensated for it, and the return of Max Scherzer from injury was a welcome addition.

The Diamondbacks had a different approach with a relatively weak lineup compared to a typical World Series team. Their adjusted OPS was below the league average. Nevertheless, they had four key position players in Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, and Gabriel Moreno. While Carroll and Walker had their struggles in the NLCS, Marte excelled with a .387 batting average. Even some of their lighter hitters like Alek Thomas and Geraldo Perdomo displayed unexpected power by hitting home runs.

The strength of the Diamondbacks lay in their starting pitchers, particularly staff ace Zac Gallen and veteran Merrill Kelly. While both struggled in the NLCS, the Diamondbacks' bullpen stepped up when needed most. In the postseason, their relievers posted a 2.94 ERA, ensuring they protected tight leads in critical moments. Pitchers like Ryan Thompson, Kevin Ginkel, and Paul Sewald were instrumental in the Diamondbacks' playoff success.

This year marks the second year of MLB's expanded postseason format, with six teams from each league making it to the playoffs. The success of wildcard teams, like the Diamondbacks and Rangers, has sparked debates about the value of the regular season and the playoff format. However, the emphasis on dramatic postseason tournaments, driven by the pursuit of television and ticket revenue, seems to be what the American audience prefers. Baseball, unlike English soccer, has long embraced this approach.

In the end, it's all about the excitement and unpredictability of postseason baseball, and that's what keeps fans engaged. The World Series, once a simpler affair, has evolved into a grand spectacle, celebrating the champions of the game. Baseball's unique charm lies in its ability to deliver unexpected thrills and upsets, and that's what keeps us tuning in with our TV remotes and rapt attention.
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