The Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Texas Rangers in a World Series that few fans would have predicted. Whilst the Rangers were widely expected to have a strong season, Arizona was among the rank outsiders to go all the way. Nevertheless, they have defied the MLB odds and thoroughly deserve their place in the final.
After a disastrous 110-loss 2022 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks came into the 2023 campaign with low expectations. Whilst their regular season was far from perfect, they did squeeze into the playoffs as the National League’s sixth seed wild card.
Amazingly, the Diamondbacks then swept both the Milwaukee Brewers and LA Dodgers on their way to the National League Championship. The fairytale looked to be over as they went 3-2 behind to the Phillies, but two superb road wins flipped the script and sent the Diamondbacks into the unlikeliest of World Series places.
Like their opponents, the Rangers also had a 100+ loss record in 2022. However, some astute off-season moves raised fans' expectations heading into this season. Despite some key injuries and a late season dip, they qualified for the playoffs in fifth place in the American League.
In a playoff run that draws many parallels with Arizona’s, the Rangers swept the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, before taking seven games to beat the Houston Astros in the American League final.
The two teams have played each other on 46 previous occasions, with the Rangers holding a four game lead. The sides met four times in the 2023 regular season, with Arizona winning three of the encounters.
As you would expect, the Arizona Diamondbacks are outsiders for Game One and can be backed at +163 for the win. The Rangers are favored to win and most sites have them priced at around -163.
Simply put, anything can happen in a World Series, so we are predicting the Diamondbacks to spring a surprise and take an early lead in the series. Their side is full of young stars, who will play with freedom and are unlikely to feel the pressure that typically comes with such a huge occasion. Meanwhile, the Rangers will have to cope with the unexpected pressure of being favorites to bring home a title.
This is likely to be a very close game, but given their youthful side and fairytale season, we think the value lies with the Diamondbacks.
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