An Unlikely Matchup in the MLB World Series

The 2023 Major League Baseball World Series has been decided. The American League sent the Texas Rangers, and the National League sent the Arizona Diamondbacks to the 121st playing of the Fall Classic, which goes back to 1903. The two are quite an unlikely matchup, however considering the odds-on favorites were the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres. 

Texas ended the regular season at 90-72, tied for the AL West Division title, but lost to the in-state rival Houston Astros because Texas went 4-9 against Houston in the regular season. The Rangers shockingly swept the 99-63 Tampa Bay Rays and the 101-61 Baltimore Orioles to reach the AL Championship Series, then beat Houston in seven games. In 2021 and 2022, Texas went 60-102 and 68-94 respectively. 

The Diamondbacks, a story in their own right, swept both the Milwaukee Brewers and the Dodgers to get to the National League Championship Series. There, they beat the Philadelphia Phillies in seven games to make it to the first World Series for the first time since 2001, when they won against the Yankees in seven games. Arizona won just 84 games, yet still got here. This was after they lost 110 games in 2021 and 88 in 2022. 

Arizona won the season series 3-1, but Texas leads the all-time series 28-25, having first played each other on June 22, 1998, when Arizona won 6-0 as part of their inaugural season. Some of these players, like Rangers outfielder Evan Carter weren’t even born yet. Game 1 was won on Friday October 27, at Globe Life Field in Arlington by the Rangers 6-5 in 11 innings after an Adolis Garcia walk-off Home Run.

Former Red Sox outfielder Tommy Pham was the star of the show in game 2 in the Diamondbacks 9-1 win when he went 4-for-4, with two doubles and scored two runs, where he became the 12th player to go 4-for-4 in a World Series game.

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