This is how the World Series shaped up

The Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games to win their first World Series title in team history. Prior to their win, the two teams each headed into the Fall Classic with expectations to come out on top. Here is a run down of what each team was leaning on after their Championship Series victories.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Starting from Opening Day, the Diamondbacks were defying expectations. Just a season ago, the team finished fourth in the National League (NL) West with a record of 74-88. Fast forward to present day, and the team is led by NL Rookie of The Year favorite Corbin Carroll, entering the playoffs via wildcard and finding themselves on the biggest stage. 


The Diamondbacks never make the game easy. The offense grinds out at bats, gets the pitch count up and does whatever it takes to get on base. Once they get on base, they remain active until all three outs are recorded. Players such as Carroll and Christian Walker are keeping the Rangers active, with nine combined stolen bases in the postseason so far. As much as they love their small ball, Arizona still has some slugging potential in their lineup. The team has hit 20 out of the park so far in October. Their combination of small ball and power offense make them a threat whenever they are in the batter’s box. 

They are more than just an offensive threat, however. Merrill Kelly has shined for the Diamondbacks, posting a 2.25 ERA and 0.83 WHIP through 24 innings and four games. Brandon Pfaadt is another name turning heads this October. In four games, he has put together a quality resume with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 16.2 innings pitched. After an underwhelming regular season, Arizona is more than happy to get this level of production from him right now with their ace, Zac Gallen, struggling to find consistency so far. And although he has been subpar in October, the New Jersey native is a first-option level pitcher when performing his best.


One element that could have prevented Arizona from taking this series was their youth and lack of experience. Being led by a 23-year-old in Carroll, there is legitimate concern that this team may get blinded by the bright lights that is the World Series. However, the majority of the roster has seemingly responded to the postseason like any other baseball game. 


The Diamondbacks will always find ways to create offense and put runs on the scoreboard. However, their pitching isn’t as certain. With Gallen struggling to play up to his potential, and other names pitching better than anticipated, the fate of this team fell on the pitching staff. If they were able to hold Texas to a few runs per game, this team should have been in a great position to win the World Series. 

Texas Rangers 

Also coming off a lackluster season in 2022, the Rangers have rapidly upgraded their roster for this very moment. After acquiring ace pitcher Jacob DeGrom in the winter, the flame throwing righty’s season came to an abrupt end after getting Tommy John surgery in June. Texas did not let this injury halt their momentum though. At the trade deadline, the front office acquired a hefty load of pitching reinforcement, with Max Scherzer, Jordan Montgomery and Aroldis Chapman. With one of the best pitching rotations in baseball, the Rangers were crowned victors for the first time in team history. 


The Rangers have several players on this team with experience in the World Series. Scherzer was an important piece for the 2019 champion Washington Nationals. Nathan Eovaldi almost single-handedly won the 2018 World Series for the Boston Red Sox, with his elite performance in every game he was put in. Chapman excelled as the main reliever for the 2016 Chicago Cubs. These are just a few names on this roster with experience in the biggest moments. 


Although they have come up big in clutch moments, the Rangers have had a tendency to go cold at the plate, relying on home runs to keep them in the game. As great as home runs are, it is difficult to solely rely on them in the biggest games. Adolis Garcia has been on a tear, collecting the most RBIs ever by a single player in a postseason. However, Texas needed to get offensive production by more players if they want to stay competitive in the final games of the series, and they did.


Recently returning from an injury hiatus, Scherzer can really make or break the World Series for the Rangers. When he’s on, he is one of the best pitchers to ever play. However, his physical status and conditioning may or may not be at peak level. If he is pitching with peak, or near-peak physicality, Arizona will struggle to get on base against the future Hall of Famer. 

In the end, the proven veterans for the Rangers prevailed, winning their first Commissioner’s Trophy in their 63-year history. Despite this, the Diamondbacks will go into next season with a mix of youth and experience, seeking their second-consecutive NL title.


Featured photo courtesy of @Rangers, X