2023 MLB Baseball World Series Opening Odds, Favorites & Betting Lines: Rangers and Diamondbacks set to clash

Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a grand slam against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning during game six of the ALCS for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Minute Maid Park.

It’s been a long season filled with passion, excitement, and even some haymakers (I’m looking at you, Tim Anderson). But at last, we’re down to the final two teams remaining. The Texas Rangers defeated the Houston Astros to win the American League pennant, while the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off a stunning upset and beat the Philadelphia Phillies to earn its second National League pennant in team history. So while we won’t have the Braves, Dodgers or Orioles in the Fall Classic, make no mistake — this World Series will be exciting.

The Rangers are in search of their first World Series title in club history, and the Diamondbacks are looking to prove the doubters wrong en route to an unexpected World Series title. Let’s dive right into this World Series matchup and see which team is favored, the Game 1 lines, and why each team could hoist the Commisioner’s Trophy next week.

MLB World Series Opening Odds

Here are the odds for each team to win the World Series, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Texas Rangers -174
Arizona Diamondbacks +146

First things first, let’s discuss why the Rangers are listed as such a heavy favorite. For starters, the Rangers have home-field advantage. Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 will be in Texas, and those specific games at home are crucial. Winning the first 2 games of the series could put the opposing team into panic mode, so leaving your home field up 2-0 puts the team in an excellent position to win the series — especially since the other team can’t win the series without the setting switching back to where it was in the first place.

Also, if this series goes the distance, Game 7 will be in Arlington, which is about the biggest advantage you could get. The reason the Rangers earned home-field advantage was not because of seeding or head-to-head matchups, but because of their success in the regular season. Home-field advantage in the World Series is decided based on the winning percentage in the regular season. The Rangers won 90 games while the Diamondbacks won 84, so the advantage goes to Texas.

Lastly, the Rangers seem to have the upper hand in the starting rotation and lineup. I wouldn’t necessarily give either team the bullpen advantage since the Texas arm barn has been shaky and the Diamondbacks bullpen is still a little questionable. Oddsmakers have factored all of these aspects into their odds, and the Rangers have come out as the heavy favorites.

MLB World Series Game 1 Odds

Now that we’ve broken down the series odds, let’s go game-by-game and see the current odds for Game 1 of the World Series.

Arizona Diamondbacks ML (+136) vs Texas Rangers ML (-162)

Neither the Diamondbacks nor the Rangers have announced a starting pitcher for Friday yet, which isn’t too surprising. I’m expecting that announcement to come at some point tomorrow, but more than likely it will be Zac Gallen for the Snakes and Jordan Montgomery for the Rangers. Gallen last pitched in Game 5 of the NLCS and got rocked by the Phillies, which raised his postseason ERA to 5.24 with a 1.48 WHIP. Home runs and walks have been the main cause for concern since he’s allowed 6 home runs and 9 walks in 4 postseason outings.

Countering Gallen is Montgomery, who has taken on the role of ace for the Rangers. The lefty is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in 5 postseason appearances, and his most recent appearance was in relief in Game 7. In Game 7 of the ALCS, Bruce Bochy decided to use Montgomery as the first arm in relief since he’s been the most reliable arm of the Texas staff in the postseason. Even with his relief appearance on Monday, the lefty should be 100% for his outing on Friday.

Why the Texas Rangers could win the World Series

So far in the postseason, the Rangers have defeated the Rays, Orioles and Astros. All three of those teams had better odds to win the World Series than the Rangers. But postseason baseball rewards the hotter team and the lineup that can win on the road. The Rangers can check off both of those boxes since their lineup is hitting .265 with a .344 on-base percentage and a .825 OPS through 12 postseason games. Also, the Rangers are a perfect 8-0 on the road in the playoffs. Texas has essentially eliminated the opposition’s home-field advantage.

A big reason for that has been their red-hot offense, but also the elite starting pitching they possess. Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi and Max Scherzer are seasoned veterans who don’t get scared by the bright lights of the playoffs. Plus, Montgomery and Eovaldi have been two of the best pitchers in the entire postseason. With a veteran group of players and home-field advantage in the World Series, the Rangers could absolutely win the first Fall Classic in franchise history.

Why the Arizona Diamondbacks could win the World Series

What does every postseason series the Diamondbacks have played in have in common? Arizona was the underdog and won. The Snakes were ranked as the second-worst team entering the playoffs, only ahead of the Miami Marlins, and the Diamondbacks have continued to be the surprise of the season. Arizona swept the Brewers in the Wild Card round, swept the Dodgers in the Divisional round and beat the Phillies in 7 games in the Championship round. In summary, the Diamondbacks are resilient. The Snakes are battle-tested and have come out stronger than ever. Their starting rotation, made up of Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Brandon Pfaadt, has done a remarkable job against some of the best offenses in baseball, and the Rangers are no different from the Dodgers or Phillies.

Plus, the Arizona bullpen has been unexpectedly spectacular with a 2.94 ERA and a .226 batting average against in 12 games. The Diamondbacks have been underdogs since Opening Day, and they’ve proven that being listed as a favorite is meaningless. The next era of Diamondbacks baseball is upon us, and the Snakes are just 4 wins away from a World Series title.

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