THE 2023 World Series will pit two gritty wild-card teams that have proved deadly on the road against each other when the Texas Rangers play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Game One on Friday.
Home field advantage may not mean much to the Rangers, who lost three home games but won four at Minute Maid Park in dispatching the defending champion Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series (ALCS).
The Rangers, who are seeking their first World Series championship, started the playoffs red hot, hammering the Tampa Bay Rays in two road games and emerging victorious from the wild card round.
They followed that up by sweeping the 101-win Baltimore Orioles in the Division Series before overcoming the Astros in Game Seven of the ALCS to capture the franchise’s third pennant.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy will send ace Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for Game One.
The 33-year-old righty was dominant at the start of the year before missing more than a month with a forearm strain. He struggled upon his return but has found his form again in the playoffs.
Mr. Eovaldi will look to silence a Diamondbacks club that has had an equally stunning run to reach Major League Baseball’s biggest stage.
The “D-backs” finished the regular season 16-games behind the Dodgers in the NL West but after sweeping the Brewers in two games in Milwaukee, did the same to heavily-favored Los Angeles in the NLCS.
It appeared they might have run out of steam when they dropped their first two contests to the Philadelphia Phillies but they roared back, winning Games Six and Seven in the manic atmosphere of Citizens Bank Park for the NL pennant. — Reuters