Major League Baseball’s 119th World Series will be played between two teams that nobody thought would make it this far.
On Opening Day, the Rangers had the 22nd-best odds to win the World Series at +5000, and the Diamondbacks with the 26th-best at +12500.
Flash Forward six months and one of the two will take home baseball’s ultimate prize.
The Texas Rangers are back in the World Series for the first time since the heartbreak of 2011 and will be looking to secure the franchise’s first championship.
Earlier in the season, Rangers superstar shortstop Corey Seager said: “Coming from LA where the team hasn’t won in 30 years and seeing what that did for a city and then finding out they’d [The Rangers] never won here was really exciting for me, that’s something you hope to be able to give to a fanbase”.
Seager and his teammates are now four wins away from parading the streets of Arlington but said wins won’t come easy against a feisty Ariziona Diamondbacks team.
Arizona’s path to the fall classic has run through some of the giants of the National League.
The D-Backs swept the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card round before upsetting the division champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and downing the highly favored Phillies for the pennant.
Slam Dunk NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll leads the way for Ariziona offensively after slashing .296/.396/.455 so far this postseason. Alongside Carroll are all-stars Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Geraldo Perdomo, and star veterans Ketel Marte, and Christian Walker.
On the pitching side of things, the top NL CY Young candidate Zac Gallen leads a pitching staff that also features Merrill Kelly and rookie Brandon Pfaat who started Game 7 of the NLCS.
Texas and Arionza met four times in the regular season with the Diamondbacks winning three of the four.
When Rangers fans think about those four games, they likely remember the 4-3 loss on August 21st which saw both Aroldis Chapman and Will Smith blow saves en route to a D-Backs walkoff.
However, with that being said, it all comes down to this, Baseball’s biggest prize could be heading to DFW for the first time ever.
Here are three keys to the Rangers capturing their first World Series Championship.
1 Semien, Seager turn the page – After struggling for much of the ALCS against the Astros, the Rangers superstar middle infield duo needs to get going if Texas wants a chance to claim the title.
- Eovaldi, Montgomery stay strong – The Rangers have won 7 out of the 8 games started by either Nathan Eovaldi or Jordan Montgomery. With the inconsistencies in the rest of the rotation, the Texas power duo will need to continue their elite play.
Sborz, Chapman, and Leclerc hold down the back end – Jose Leclerc and Josh Sborz have been lights out in the back end of the bullpen and they will need to continue that in the Fall Classic however, Aroldis Chapman very well could be the x-factor in this series. If he can get going, you have to feel good about where the back end of the pen is at.
Overall, this is going to be a very good World Series that could come down to the 6th or 7th game. Most major outlets so far have the Rangers coming out on top but in a close late series.
As for my prediction, I think this is going to be a competitive series and Game One will be huge in determining a winner.
Ultimately, I have the Rangers winning this series in six games.