Grab your shorts and sunglasses as we head to the desert as the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the 2023 World Series.
Texas could, and should, be down 2-0 in this series and facing some daunting MLB odds. If it weren't for some late-inning heroics from Corey Seager and an eventual walk-off home run from Adolis Garcia in Game 1, the Rangers would be on the ropes.
The second meeting of the series was tightly contested early, while the starters remained in the game, and both delivered six or more innings. However, when the Rangers' bullpen took over, so did Arizona's offense. Now, we head to a pivotal third meeting between these two with the series knotted and World Series odds tightened up.
What's the best bet in this matchup? Find out in our MLB picks for Monday, October 30.
Rangers vs Diamondbacks Game 3 odds: Moneyline, run line, Over/Under
Rangers vs Diamondbacks Game 3 odds
Rangers vs Diamondbacks picks and predictions
Even if you had this World Series matchup, you're lying if you had this pitching duel pegged for Game 3.
None would have imagined future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer making his first start of the series this late, and you certainly didn't have rookie phenom Brandon Pfaadt throwing for Arizona. You also wouldn't have thought it would be Pfaadt who you'd trust more than Scherzer.
But that's the case based on what we've seen so far this postseason. Pfaadt has been dominant, holding his opponents to two or fewer runs over three consecutive starts. Meanwhile, Mad Max has seen pitch counts and lack of strength limit him after returning from a muscle strain (an injury doctors thought would end his season) as he failed to go more than four innings in either of his two postseason outing. Can he deliver here? You'd be a fool to doubt him if you ask the Rangers players.
"He's arguably the greatest pitcher of all time — he's in that conversation," Rangers catcher Austin Hedges said. "You can argue that he is it, and there's a reason, and it's obvious: the mental wherewithal to respond to things, to the adjustments he's made from being a young pitcher to a veteran pitcher to an older pitcher. Guys don't just do what he is capable of doing at 39 years old with that many miles on his arm and with all the accolades he has. Why are you even hungry? And he's the hungriest guy here."
If Max is "right," there's massive value on the Under tonight. That's because Max being "right" is him being close to the pitcher Hedges described. I'll back him to shine here, and that's a testament to who he's been throughout his career. I have a projected number of 7.5, which makes the widely available total of 9 a wide edge and one that I have to take. Scherzer's last start in these playoffs came in a Game 7 when manager Bruce Bochy's quick hook limited how deep he could go. Although he gave up two earned runs, he looked much better from the eye test.
He created more whiffs, flashed some fastball velocity close to 99, and looked closer to vintage Max. He'll have no pitch count this evening, so how deep he can go is based on how effective he can be.
On paper, I expect some success. Arizona's been extremely good at putting the ball into play this season, as its whiff and swing rates sat near the bottom of the league.
Usually, that would be an issue for Scherzer. However, that fails to capture what his slider has produced. It's been his putout pitch this year, and the DBacks will field a lineup with five players owning a whiff rate above the league average against it. I expect Max to lean on this pitch to navigate this lineup with minimal damage.
We focused so much on Scherzer here because, for me, it's the entirety of the handicap. That's because Pfaadt has been a model of consistency in October, and I'm just not expecting that to change.
After getting the jitters of his opening playoff game out of the way against the Milwaukee Brewers, Pfaadt has allowed just two earned runs across three starts. He should again succeed tonight with a dominant sweeper that has produced an +8 run value. It's also a pitch that just two Ranger players hit or above the league average against.
Take the Under tonight. History tells us we're due for a low-scoring affair, and the pitchers on the mound say the same.
My best bet: Under 9 (-112 at FanDuel)
Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site.
Rangers vs Diamondbacks same-game parlay
We'll take our best bet and throw it in a highly-correlated same-game parlay.
The first leg is Pfaadt to get five strikeouts. It goes back to the sweeper dominance, and this Rangers lineup struggles against it. Also, a substantial part is Pfaadt growing confident and easily going Over this number in back-to-back starts.
The second leg is Max to also get to this number. If my handicap here is "Max being Max," then he should get to this number with ease. He finished the regular season eclipsing it in four of his last five starts. And if he leans on the slider, which we established is a pitch the D-backs struggle against, he can overcome Arizona's lack of swing-and-miss.
Best MLB bonuses
Marte 1+ hit
-230 BOOSTED to +100! Claim Now
Carroll, Marte, Moreno 1+ hit each
+185 BOOSTED to +220! Claim Now
Marte, Carroll, Seager 1+ hit each
+165 BOOSTED to +200! Claim Now
Marte, Carroll, Seager 1+ hit each
+150 BOOSTED to +180! Claim Now
25% boost on one Game 3 bet
e.g. -112 BOOSTS to +111! Claim Now
Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Rangers vs Diamondbacks World Series odds
Rangers vs Diamondbacks moneyline and Over/Under analysis
I don't have much of a lean here, but Texas' postseason dominance on the road certainly makes you think about backing them.
The Rangers have now tied the 1996 New York Yankees for the most consecutive postseason road wins at eight. It's remarkable what they've accomplished, so much so that you can't chalk it up to some weird coincidence.
They'll be playing in front of a crowd that hasn't seen a World Series game in 22 years. Any other team and you'd wonder how they'll manage in such an environment, but these are the places where Texas thrives.
You also give the Rangers the pitching edge if Max is right. Pfaddt has been incredible this postseason, but Max Scherzer is still Max Scherzer. We're still not sure where he is in his progression, but if that last ALCS start got him closer, then watch out. I projected the Rangers as -110 favorites, and that's the consensus price, so I don't see much value in the current number. Because of that, a side is a pass here; however, that's the direction I'm leaning.
A fun trend to consider? Since 2014, World Series teams that have scored two or fewer runs in their prior game are on a 22-8 run in the following game. If you blindly bet such teams, you'd be up 16.45 units.
We're on the Under tonight. It's our best bet.
Historically, we've seen World Series games become lower-scoring the deeper we get into the series. However, a more consistent trend is what happens in World Series games with a total set at 8 or higher. Over the last 14 years, World Series games have gone Under at a 16-10 clip in these instances.
We're in a unique position tonight of having two straight games lined 8 or higher with two straight going Over. If we're "due" based on historical trends, then this is the spot.
Rangers vs Diamondbacks Betting Trend
The Arizona Diamondbacks have hit the 1st Five Innings (F5) Team Total Under in 51 of their last 90 games (+7.62 Units / 7% ROI). Find more MLB betting trends for Rangers vs. Diamondbacks
Kentucky: Mobile sports betting is live!
Check out the best Kentucky sportsbook promos, with a number of odds boosts and offers available!
21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Rangers vs Diamondbacks Game 3 odds and prop bets
|Game 3 run line:||Rangers -1.5 (+140) / Diamondbacks +1.5 (-166)|
|Game 3 moneyline:||Rangers (-110) / Diamondbacks (-110)|
|Game 3 total:||Over 9 (-110) / Under 9 (-110)|
|Run in the first inning:||Yes (-120) / No (-105)|
|Extra innings:||Yes (Odds) / No (Odds)|
|Rangers total runs:||Over 4.5 (-110) / Under 4.5 (-120)|
|Diamondbacks total runs:||Over 4.5 (+105) / Under 4.5 (-135)|
Rangers vs Diamondbacks game info
|Location:||Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Monday, October 30, 2023|
|First pitch:||8:03 p.m. ET|
|Where to watch:||FOX|
Max Scherzer (0-1, 9.45 ERA): It's not much of a surprise that Scherzer has struggled after returning from injury. He's a pitcher who needs his fastball velocity to succeed, and a muscle strain reduces some of that strength required to do so. He may have gotten it back in his last start, though, which could bode well for tonight
Brandon Pfaadt (0-0, 2.70 ERA): Pfaadt's underlying numbers aren't precisely the most kind to the results that he's produced. A hard-hit rate, barrel rate, and exit velocity in the bottom 20% of the league tend to tell the story. Pfaadt has had trouble keeping the ball in the park, but he's succeeded of late. He comes into this one beaming after allowing two earned runs in three combined starts.
Rangers vs Diamondbacks injury report
Rangers vs Diamondbacks weather
Stay updated with the latest picks, odds, and news! Tap the to add us to your favorites on Google News to never miss a story.