The 2023 World Series will occur between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers. Game 1 begins at 7:05 pm CDT on Friday, Oct. 27 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Who would have thought this would be this season’s championship game four months ago?
Both teams have endured exceptional one-year turnarounds to get to the Fall Classic. In 2022, the Diamondbacks finished 74-88, and the Texas Rangers won 68 games. These two teams won 42.9% of games last season. That’s the second-lowest combined winning percentage in the previous season by World Series teams.
Look back just a year before that. Arizona was tied for the worst record in baseball (52-110), while the Rangers lost over 100 games (60-102). It’s incredible how both teams utilized quick turnarounds, and are now competing on baseball’s biggest stage.
Let’s begin with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona made the 2023 playoffs on the second-to-last day of the season. Narrowly securing the No. 6 seed in the National League, the team had plenty of doubters. In fact, the team has been underdogs in every game of the postseason so far, yet is 9-3 when it matters most.
Since the MLB playoff format changed to six teams last season, the No. 6 seed has advanced to the Fall Classic both times. The Philadelphia Phillies made its miraculous run to the 2022 World Series in 2022, before losing to the Houston Astros in six games.
Arizona defeated the Phillies in a thrilling seven-game series in the National League Championship Series to advance to this season’s World Series.
After losing the first two games in Philadelphia, the Diamondbacks’ magical run continued at Chase Field.
All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte etched himself in Arizona Diamondbacks’ history during Game 3 by hitting a walk-off single to center field. The hit gave the Diamondbacks their first win of the NLCS, and the city of Phoenix some hope for the series.
Marte’s walk-off was only the third in Diamondbacks’ postseason history. The previous two happened during the 2001 season — Tony Womack walked off the St. Louis Cardinals to send Arizona to the NLCS, and Luis Gonzalez ended the World Series with a walk-off against Hall of Fame closer, Mariano Rivera.
Arizona’s magical run continued in Philadelphia, where the Diamondbacks gave the Phillies their only two home losses of the postseason in Games 6 and 7.
The bullpen — backed by Kevin Ginkel, Ryan Thompson and Paul Sewald — continued their postseason dominance and threw nine scoreless innings. The pitching staff surrendered only three runs to the Phillies’ powerful lineup in the final two games.
Future National League Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll dominated in the Game 7 win. Carroll finished 3-4, with two RBI and two stolen bases in the 4-2 win. While Carroll hadn’t attempted a stolen base in the previous six games, the rookie proved that speed kills in Game 7.
Carroll was one of only three players to accumulate 50+ stolen bases during the regular season.
The Texas Rangers advanced to the World Series by defeating division rival Houston Astros in seven games.
The 30-year-old slugger mashed a total of five home runs, including two in the win-or-go-home Game 7. Garcia easily took home the ACLS MVP, and will look to continue smashing in the Fall Classic.
The ALCS was eerily similar to the 2019 World Series. For the second time in MLB postseason history, the road team won every game of the series. The Astros have been on the wrong side of history on both occasions.
The result isn’t nearly as surprising as one might think. The Astros finished only 39-42 at Minute Maid Park during the regular season. If the team would have finished the job and repeated as World Series champions, it’d be the first time in MLB history that the winner finished below .500 at home during the regular season.
The Rangers outscored Houston at home 20-6 during Games 6 and 7 to make their first World Series trip since 2011.
The Wild Card for the series is starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who has battled injury during the postseason. Scherzer returned to the rotation for the ALCS but has allowed seven earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings pitched.
Will the Rangers win their first World Series in franchise history, or will the Diamondbacks continue their underdog run to their first World Series win since 2001? The 2023 World Series will make history for either the Diamondbacks or Rangers.
Game 1 takes place Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:05 pm CDT at Globe Life Field. Zac Gallen will start for the Diamondbacks, while Eovaldi will start for the Rangers.
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