This World Series Matchup Was Very Unlikely

And yet here we are: Diamondbacks will play Rangers, starting Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
This World Series Had 1,750:1 Odds Last Fall
Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Houston. The Rangers won 11-4 to win the series 4-3.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Tell the truth: How many people picked Arizona and Texas to meet in the World Series? A Rangers-Diamondbacks matchup had 1,750 to 1 odds when wagering opened last fall. But in an era when 12 teams make the playoffs, sustained excellence over the six-month regular season has become a boarding pass, not the journey, leading to a Longshot Series that opens Friday night at Globe Life Field, the AP reports. "Once you get into the big dance, anything can happen," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said before Tuesday night's 4-2 win at Philadelphia advanced Arizona to its first World Series since 2001. "Throw it all out the window. The teams that get in deserve to be in." The Rangers and the Diamondbacks are both two years removed from last-place finishes and 100-loss seasons.

All the glamour teams are watching at home: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves stumbled in the Division Series, defending champion Houston was ousted by Texas, and the New York Yankees didn't even make it to the postseason. Instead, Major League Baseball has its third all-wild card meeting. A Grand Canyon vs. Lone Star finale of second-place teams played in air-conditioned ballparks under retractable roofs—potentially the first all-indoor Fall Classic. Both prior all-wild card matchups went seven games. The Los Angeles Angels beat the San Francisco Giants in 2002 and Bruce Bochy's Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in 2014 for their third title in five years. (More on the unlikely matchup here.)

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