An Unlikely Matchup Entering Game 1 of the World Series

Game 1 of the 2023 MLB World Series will be held tonight in Arlington, Texas at Globe Life Field as fans will watch a matchup between what most people believe to be an extremely unlikely pairing. Following their wins this past week against the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks have secured their spots in the World Series. This is the first time the MLB saw both World Series teams win games 6 and 7 of the Championship Series while on the road. 

A Fall Classic few saw coming

The Rangers and Diamondbacks are an extremely unlikely pairing entering the World Series, as both teams have struggled in recent years and neither team has appeared in the World Series in over a decade. This will be the Rangers’ third appearance in a World Series as the team previously competed in the series in 2010 and 2011. Despite these appearances, the Rangers have yet to win a World Series Title, and the team is hoping that their third time’s the charm. 

Being one of the newest additions to the MLB in 1998 as an expansion team, the Diamondbacks started their franchise off strong by appearing in the 2001 World Series and clinching the title over the New York Yankees. While the Diamondbacks have won a World Series title, the team has not appeared in the World Series since 2001.

A matchup that had 1,750 to 1 odds when wagering opened last fall

Looking back at MLB preseason predictions, the Diamondbacks are clearly the underdog entering the World Series as they began the season with 125-1 odds of winning the title. The Rangers also were not heavily in favor of winning the title, but they had a better chance with 50-1 odds. During the preseason, the odds that these two teams would be the World Series matchup was 1,750-1. 

Just two years ago, the Rangers and Diamondbacks both finished in last place in their respective divisions. Both teams had over 100 losses that year as the Rangers ended the regular season 60-102 and the Diamondbacks ended 52-110. Following the 2021 season, the Rangers spent $561.2 million that offseason on various free agents that would help turn their team around. 

As the teams enter Game 1 of the World Series, the Rangers are heavy favorites entering the game as they are favored to win it all at -170. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are entering Game 1 at +140. 

Despite the Diamondbacks’ odds entering Game 1, the team has continuously surprised the baseball world. The Diamondbacks tied with the Miami Marlins in having one of the worst records of any team that made the playoffs, with a record of 84-78. This unlikely underdog quickly improved their performance as they continued winning each playoff round and secured a spot in the World Series.

The Rangers and Diamondbacks have both come a long way since the 2021 season and have rightfully earned their spots in tonight’s World Series game. As the Diamondbacks have continuously been the underdog this entire season, it will be interesting to see how the team competes throughout the World Series and if they will manage to take the baseball world by storm and win the 2023 World Series. 

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