When the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals opened the season on a late March afternoon, no one had this World Series matchup in their MLB playoff predictions.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were +5,000 in the NL West odds, let alone in the World Series odds. The Texas Rangers had higher aspirations with its pitching rotation overhaul, but both of those star acquisitions got hurt, which sapped those feelings until Texas went on the run they're currently on. Now the Diamondbacks and Rangers meet tonight in the first game of the World Series, and what a ride MLB odds bettors are in store for.
What's the best bet in this matchup? Find out in our free MLB picks and predictions for Friday, October 27. And don't forget to check out our World Series Game 1 player props and predictions, as well as our Corey Seager props spotlight!
Diamondbacks vs Rangers Game 1 odds: Moneyline, run line, Over/Under
Diamondbacks vs Rangers Game 1 odds
Diamondbacks vs Rangers picks and predictions
This Texas Rangers offense has been smoking, and everyone knows it.
Astros manager Dusty Baker was brief when describing it. "They can hit," Baker said after being eliminated. "They can really hit. I don't like tipping my cap to anybody. But, when somebody, like, beats the hell out of me, then what else are you going to do?"
This Rangers power can make you want to quit. Astros pitcher Cristian Javier entered Game 7 against the Rangers with a 0.82 ERA in the postseason. He ended Game 7 with a 4.09 ERA after recording just one out. That's what the Texas offense can do to you. That should be a scary thought for Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen when he takes the mound against them. As my best bet, I'm grabbing the Rangers to strike early and lead after five innings tonight.
We have heavily documented Gallen's home/road splits throughout the season, but they are, again, a topic here. They were a story in the NLCS when the Phillies attacked him early with eight hits and five earned runs, and they've been a story all season. In the comforts of Chase Field, he's looked like a Cy Young winner, pitching over 100 innings with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Away from home, he's looked like a back-end of the rotation pitcher with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
You can have your theories about why this is the case, but whatever conclusion you make, it's reasonable to say that these issues would be heightened when he's pitching in his first career World Series. It doesn't help that the matchup is less than ideal.
Texas has led this postseason with a run value of 7.9 against the fastball, and they'll see plenty of it tonight with Gallen on the mound. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are known for early-count swings, which puts pressure on opposing pitchers and tends to produce a cascading effect for the power bats down in the lineup.
Adolis Garcia has been out of his mind over the last few games. He has homered in four straight postseason games and hit two in Game 7, which was a catalyst to getting here. In case you're wondering, the record for most consecutive games with a home run is six. He'll have a decent chance to continue chasing the record tonight, facing a pitcher ranking in the Bottom 5% in hard-hit rate.
The other side of the Rangers leading after five innings is, of course, starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. He poses quite a problematic matchup for this Arizona lineup. The backbone of Eovaldi's success has been an elite ground ball rate that climbs over 50% and is in the Top 10% of the league. That's a problem for Arizona as they've been susceptible to the ground ball all season; they enter this matchup with the third-highest rate in the league. It doesn't help that they've yet to see him this season, either.
Take Texas to cover the run line early. It's a nice discount against my projected price of -133. They have a decent pitching advantage at the mound, and oh yeah, that guy managing their team in Bruce Bochy is quite good in the postseason.
My best bet: Rangers F5 -0.5 (-118 at bet365)
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Diamondbacks vs Rangers same-game parlay
We only have so many baseball games left this season, so why not go for a big cash here when we pair our best bet with two other legs?
The first is Garcia to go deep again; if you read the above, it should be self-explanatory. Garcia may have his best matchup over the last few games, and he's on the streak of his life. Here's hoping that Gallen takes a bold approach and pitches in the zone to him.
The last leg is Semien to get two hits. Semien is primed to bust out in this World Series, so I placed a World Series MVP odds future on him at the price of +1,400 this morning. There's just too much looming positive regression for the player who may be the best hitter on the Rangers roster. He's hitting well below his career numbers this postseason, and I expect him to start changing that tonight.
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Diamondbacks vs Rangers World Series odds
Diamondbacks vs Rangers moneyline and Over/Under analysis
I have no idea how the young Diamondbacks team will react to this moment, but I have some evidence that provides an expectation. I talked about this above, but the first two games of the NLCS looked like too big of a stage; who's to say this one will be any different? At least to start the series, that is.
The D-backs have certainly gotten my respect, but I'm inclined to trust a more veteran-led team in Game 1 of the World Series. I made the Rangers a -176 moneyline favorite here, which means there is some value on the current price. The pitching advantage can't be understated, given where the game is being played, and Texas has looked more steady throughout the postseason. Arizona did take three of four games this season that the two had head-to-head, but tonight's starting pitchers never squared off.
I lean to the Over 8, but I think you'll get a better number live. My total was 7.8, however, there's a reasonable chance that Gallen's efforts on the mound could spiral, which could tilt things quickly.
We talked about the Rangers' supremacy against the fastball above, but in general, this offense has been dynamic all postseason. It posted a 124 wRC+ and averaged 5.5 runs against an objectively better pitching staff in the ALCS. The question becomes more about if the D-Backs can do their part, and that's really in doubt. There is more value on the Rangers team total of Over 4, widely available anywhere from -110 to -115. They are coming off a series in which they hit 15 home runs and certainly have a pitcher who could serve them up. That should aid this getting home.
Diamondbacks vs Rangers Betting Trend
The Texas Rangers have hit the 1st Five Innings (F5) Moneyline in 90 of their last 161 games (+26.76 Units / 12% ROI). Find more MLB betting trends for Diamondbacks vs. Rangers
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Diamondbacks vs Rangers Game 1 odds and prop bets
|Game 1 run line:
|Diamondbacks +1.5 (-145) / Rangers -1.5 (-125)
|Game 1 moneyline:
|Diamondbacks (+150) / Rangers (-164)
|Game 1 total:
|Over 8 (-115) / Under 8 (-105)
|Run in the first inning:
|Yes (-104) / No (-122)
|Yes (+725) / No (-1,250)
|Diamondbacks total runs:
|Over 3.5 (-115) / Under 3.5 (-111)
|Rangers total runs:
|Over 4.5 (-106) / Under 4.5 (-120)
Diamondbacks vs Rangers game info
|Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
|Friday, October 27, 2023
|8:03 p.m. ET
|Where to watch:
Zac Gallen (2-2, 5.24 ERA): Had it not been for his road struggles, Gallen would be very much in the discussion to win the NL Cy Young award. But as we mentioned above, those splits have been terrible. Gallen has a nice pitch mix, but when you throw the fastball as much as he does (49.3%), you'll be susceptible to the hard-hit ball, and Gallen has been. He ranks in the Bottom 3% of average exit velocity and Bottom 5% of hard-hit rate. He enters this one off a six-inning, four-earned run performance against the Phillies.
Nathan Eovaldi (4-0, 2.42 ERA): I have enjoyed watching the maturation of Eovaldi as he just turned in the best season of his career. Like his counterpart, he too dishes a look of fastballs and, because of that, has issues with the hard-hit ball. Those issues are lessened, though. Eovaldi has managed to stay in the Bottom 30% of hard-hit rate. Rather than have these issues take over games, he's been able to employ some damage control. His split-finger has provided a nice counter to a fastball that has given him some issues, as it's produced a 35% whiff rate. He'll enter this one off a 6 1/3-inning, two-earned run performance against the Astros.
Diamondbacks vs Rangers injury report
Diamondbacks vs Rangers weather
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