Arizona is a +145 underdog at bet365 Sportsbook Arizona, and expect righty Zac Gallen to make the start. Texas is a -170 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, and their probable starting pitcher is Nathan Eovaldi.
Please join me as I break down the MLB odds and share my best prediction for Friday’s Game 1 World Series matchup between Arizona vs. Texas.
Diamondbacks’ Remarkable Play-Off Run
Arizona didn’t win the National League West and was forced to win three series for the right to meet the Rangers in the World Series.
The Diamondbacks swept Milwaukee in their NL Wild Card series, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, and won the final two remaining games away games to defeat Philadelphia in seven games.
Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen will make the start Friday against the big Rangers bats. Gallen has an 87-at-bat history against this collection of Rangers, and it’s a good one–Texas slashes .256/.281/.384/.665 with two home runs and 25 strikeouts over 87 at-bats.
Gallen was the preseason front-runner to win the Cy Young Award, and he delivered with a 17-9 record alongside a 3.47 ERA and 220 strikeouts during the regular season. He’s 2-2 during this postseason but has lost his last two starts with a 5.24 ERA and 13 punchouts over 22 ⅓ frames on the bump.
Arizona has clubbed 18 home runs during the postseason. However, in 401 at-bats, they’ve also struck out 116 times, a big jump from the fourth-best 20% strikeout rate they enjoyed during the regular season.
Ketel Marte has led Arizona during their playoff schedule, and he’s cracked a team-high 19 hits and tied with Christian Walker for the second-most RBI. Alek Thomas leads the club with four postseason dingers. Likely NL Rookie of the Year, Corbin Carroll has 13 hits during the postseason but needed a three-hit game during Game 7 to break out of a 3-23 slump during the NLCS.
Rangers Favorite to Win World Series
Texas is a -170 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona to win the 2023 World Series.
The Rangers failed to win the AL West but swept the favored Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card series and followed that up with a three-game sweep over favored Baltimore. Texas needed seven games to eliminate Houston and is now four wins away from winning the World Series.
Texas expects righty Nathan Eovaldi to start Friday. He’s 4-0 during the playoffs, with a 2.42 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 22 playoff innings. Those numbers were strikingly different from the 12-5 record with 132 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA over 144 regular season innings.
Eovaldi has seen a few of the Diamondbacks, and they’ve slashed ..333/.400/.500/.900 with a pair of home runs, seven RBI, and nine strikeouts over 36 at-bats.
The Rangers have blasted 22 homers, 113 hits, and 104 strikeouts in 426 postseason at-bats. Their strikeout rate is a tad below their season average, which could become a factor in this series.
Adolis Garcia has carried this team offensively throughout the playoffs. The Rangers right fielder has clubbed seven bombs with 17 hits and 20 RBI during the postseason. Corey Seager has 15 hits with three home runs and a dozen walks. Marcus Semien has 10 hits but is batting just .192 during October.
Diamondbacks vs. Rangers Prediction
The Rangers are a -166 favorite to win this game at DraftKings. That’s the number DraftKings initially placed on the betting board, which hasn’t budged since Thursday morning. The total is set for eight runs, and that number hasn’t moved, but you will pay -105.
Barstool Sportsbook has 8.5 runs for -130, and .30 cents is too much juice to pay for the hook.
Eovaldi has been great during the postseason but didn’t pitch this well leading up to his postseason run. The veteran righty surrendered 17 earned runs, five home runs, and 20 strikeouts over 19 innings, but the Rangers were still 4-1.
Texas is 1-3 at Globe Life Park, and their not winning at home is concerning. Arizona posted a 41-40 away record during the regular season and is 6-2 as the away team during these playoffs.
Meanwhile, Gallen has struggled over his previous two playoff starts, and except for his first two playoff appearances, his postseason numbers aren’t very good.
Gallen is striking out four fewer hitters per nine innings than he had during the regular season, with one more walk and two more home runs allowed per nine frames. It hasn’t been pretty at times, and Arizona is 2-2 when their ace takes the hill during the postseason, and he faces a Rangers offense that mashes.
Finally, I expect Gallen to bounce back and pitch a Game 1 gem. Gallen had consecutive bad outings twice during the regular season and threw a shutout in his very next start. The Rangers have not played well at home during the postseason and meet an Arizona club with a 6-2 record during the postseason. Let’s take a chance on Arizona +145 at bet365.
My Best Bet: Arizona +145 at bet365
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