The Arizona Diamondbacks will travel to play the Texas Rangers in Game One of the 2023 World Series on Friday night at 8:00 EST, just as we all predicted. These two teams took down last year's participants in the Fall Classic and did so in thrilling fashion, with both series going the full distance. The Diamondbacks and Rangers seemed an unlikely matchup, even as recent as last Saturday. Both teams faced elimination down three games to two and had to win two games on the road. Against all odds, they got it done, and we are set for the 119th World Series tomorrow night.
Ketel Marte set a major league record by hitting safely in his first 16 postseason games. He has been hot even going back to the Los Angeles Dodgers series. In his last 10 games, the NLCS MVP has 17 hits and is slashing .378/.391/.600. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., one of the few Diamondbacks with playoff experience, has also performed well the past two series going 11-for-40 with three doubles and a couple of home runs. Geraldo Perdomo has been a threat at the bottom of the lineup. He currently has a three-game multi-hit game streak and has been adept at working counts. Alek Thomas hit maybe the biggest home run of the year for Arizona in the eighth inning of Game Four to even the series.
Arizona's two aces, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have not looked great. While Kelly got it done in Game Seven, Gallen lost twice to the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing nine runs in 11 innings. Brandon Pfaadt found his strikeout mojo against the Phillies. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks' bullpen has been excellent. Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald have yet to allow a run in the playoffs. They have combined for 17 innings with a 24/3 K/BB rate. Throw in Ryan Thompson along with lefties Andrew Saalfrank and Joe Mantiply, and Torey Lovullo has plenty of reliable arms to call on.
What the Rangers have going for them is offense. They scored 39 runs in the seven-game series against the Houston Astros and have plated 71 players in 12 games during the playoffs. Adolis Garcia went ballistic in the ALCS with five home runs and 15 RBIs en route to an ALCS MVP. Nate Lowe, Jonah Heim, Josh Jung, and Corey Seager all chipped in two bombs apiece to help the Rangers bludgeon the Astros.
Texas is a different animal as they carry six starters who can work multiple innings whenever called upon. The top three will be Nathan Eovaldi for Game One, Jordan Montgomery, and Max Scherzer. Eovaldi and Montgomery have been borderline unbeatable in the postseason. The two aces have combined for a 2.29 ERA with a 45/8 K/BB rate while going 7-0. With Martin Perez, Jon Gray, Dane Dunning, and Andrew Heaney all expected to be on the roster, the Rangers have the luxury of not using a true bullpen game.
Much of this series' outcome will come down to the Arizona bullpen against the Rangers' stout lineup. How taxed are the relievers from the Dbacks? Can they keep it going for another week? Texas has the luxury of longer-lasting pitchers in their arsenal, and Bruce Bochy is no stranger to the World Series as this is his fifth. Texas wins their first World Series title.
2023 World Series Winner: Texas Rangers in 5 Games
World Series MVP Pick: 1B Nate Lowe
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