Although the Arizona Diamondbacks choked away Game 1 of the World Series, they responded with a 9-1 win against the Texas Rangers in Game 2.
Now, they’ll head home for the next three MLB matchups in Arizona. The Diamondbacks can win out at home and wouldn’t have to return back to Texas. But one loss in the series would result in the Diamondbacks returning to Texas for Games 6 and 7 if the Rangers don’t sweep on the road.
The Diamondbacks rarely hit lefties. But they did enough against Jordan Montgomery and found a way against that Texas bullpen. They’ve added more than 20 hits in the first two baseball games of the series and will now have the home fanbase behind them in Game 3.
With that said, the Rangers and Diamondbacks at sitting at a pickem at -110 on the moneyline for Monday’s matchup. Meanwhile, the total is 9, with both sides priced at -110.
After Arizona’s Game 2 victory, the Diamondbacks are now sitting at +110 to win the World Series, while the Rangers are at -140.
Let’s take a look at the Diamondbacks vs Rangers preview for Game 3 of the World Series.
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
Day/Time: Monday, October 30, 8:03 p.m. ET
Line: Rangers -110/Diamondbacks -110
Concern For Semien?
Marcus Semien signed a 7-year, $175 million contract with the Texas Rangers in late 2021, heading into the 2022 MLB season. That was when the Rangers started to build a competitive team for moments like this.
Semien was terrific this year. He hit a .276 average, with 29 home runs and 100 RBIs. He even had a .826 OPS.
However, in the MLB postseason, he’s hit below .200 with just 11 hits and eight runs in 58 at-bats. The Rangers have had a lot of red-hot bats. But the leadoff hitter hasn’t been one of them. Although he had nearly 30 home runs in the regular pro-baseball season, Semien hasn’t hit one home run in October. He’s also struck out eight times, with six walks and only two RBIs.
Corey Seager, Evan Carter, Adolis Garcia, and Josh Jung have stepped up. But if the Rangers want to win the World Series, they’ll need their leadoff hitter to find his power before the World Series concludes.
The Hits Keep Coming!
The Diamondbacks added 16 hits in their Game 2 victory over the Rangers. In that baseball matchup, they scored nine runs and struck out just twice.
However, most of the hits weren’t extra bases. Instead, there were only four extra-base hits and 12 singles from the Arizona lineup.
In Game 1 against the Rangers, despite losing, the Diamondbacks smacked eight hits. Therefore, they’ve got 22 hits in two games against the Rangers.
Unlike other MLB teams in the postseason, the Diamondbacks have proven that they can win games without the long ball. They just did it in Game 2 and did it many times in other games this baseball postseason. They’ll have games where they’ll beat you with the long ball and others without needing extra-base hits.
That’s the most fascinating thing about this Arizona lineup. It’s also one of the reasons why they’re in the postseason despite almost missing out on the playoffs in the first place.
Check out our Diamondbacks vs Rangers preview for Game 3 of the World Series.
⚾ Game 3⚾
Monday, 8:03 p.m. ET
Max Scherzer vs. Brandon Pfaadt
Will Postseason Woes Continue for Scherzer?
It might be a bit overblown. However, Max Scherzer hasn’t always come through in the clutch during the postseason. The ace pitcher has had a 3.86 career ERA in the MLB postseason through 29 games. He’s also gone 7-8 in 24 games started while allowing a 1.15 WHIP.
Since his return to the mound in the Houston series, Scherzer has thrown 6.2 innings. In those 6.2 innings, he’s allowed nine hits and seven runs, with six strikeouts and three walks. His ERA this postseason is 9.45.
Last year, he pitched one game for the Mets in the postseason and allowed seven earned runs in 4.2 innings, finishing with a 13.5 ERA.
He’s 39-years-old and aging. That comes with the territory. Therefore, in the postseason, he’s only struck out 20% of batters while allowing 33.3% of fly balls. Scherzer has also allowed 71.4% of hard contact in this year’s postseason.
Beyond that, Scherzer has allowed one home run in each start.
In World Serie Game 3, he’ll take on a Diamondbacks lineup that has a lot of potential. They’ve knocked over 20 hits in the first two games and have so many batters hitting at a high level against righties. Those batters include Alek Thomas, Ketel Marte, Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno, and Christian Walker. They’ve all played a major role in Arizona’s World Series quest.
How Good Is The Rookie?
While Texas will throw out their 39-year-old veteran, Arizona will ride with Brandon Pfaadt, a rookie pitcher.
Pfaadt finished with a 5.72 ERA in the regular MLB season. But he’s improved drastically throughout the season. In the postseason, he hasn’t been phased.
Pfaadt has a 2.70 ERA through 16.2 innings in the postseason. He’s started four games but hasn’t thrown more than 70 pitches in any start. Therefore, he’ll likely pitch his typical five innings and let the bullpen take care of the rest.
Pfaadt hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any start this 2023 MLB season. However, he’s only finished more than five innings in one game. But through those 16.2 innings in the MLB playoffs, Pfaadt has added 22 strikeouts with only three walks.
He’s also pitched in some big spots, including the first game of the playoffs and the NLCS Game 7. That’s also why he didn’t have the chance to go deeper in MLB games this postseason.
He’ll face a Texas lineup with six batters hitting for power consistently, including Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia, who have led the team throughout the playoffs.
Pfaadt will also face a fellow rookie in Evan Carter, who has come up big for the Rangers throughout the playoffs. He’s got postseason MLB player stats with a .311 average and an OPS of .992, batting third in the Texas lineup.
After looking at the Diamondbacks vs Rangers preview, we like the MLB lines with the Diamondbacks at -110. The postseason MLB schedule is more manageable against Max Scherzer for the Diamondbacks.