A capsule look at the best-of-seven World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers:
Schedule: (All times EDT) Game 1, Friday, at Arlington, Texas, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 2, Saturday, at Arlington, Texas, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 3, Monday, Oct. 30, at Phoenix, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 4, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Phoenix, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 5, Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Phoenix, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 6, Friday, Nov. 3, at Arlington, Texas, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 7, Saturday, Nov. 4, at Arlington, Texas, 8:03 p.m. (Fox).
Season Series: Diamondbacks won 3-1.
Playoff Entry: Wild Card.
Manager: Torey Lovullo (seventh season).
Top Hitters: OF Corbin Carroll (.285, 25 HRs, 76 RBIs, .868 OPS, 54/59 SBs, 116 runs), 2B Ketel Marte (.276, 25, 82, .844 OPS), 1B Christian Walker (.258, 33, 103, .830 OPS), LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (.261, 24, 82, .772 OPS).
Projected Rotation: RH Zac Gallen (17-9, 3.47 ERA, 220 Ks, 210 IP in 34 starts), RH Merrill Kelly (12-8, 3.29 in 30 starts), RH Brandon Pfaadt (3-9, 5.72, 22 HRs in 96 IP).
Key Relievers: RH Paul Sewald (3-2, 3.12 ERA, 34/39 saves with Mariners and Diamondbacks), RH Kevin Ginkel (9-1, 2.48, 4 saves), RH Ryan Thompson (1-2, 3.82, 1 save with Rays and Diamondbacks), LH Andrew Saalfrank (0-0, 0.00 in 10 games), LH Joe Mantiply (2-2, 4.62), RH Miguel Castro (6-6, 4.31, 7 saves in NL-high 75 games).
Series Story: A nine-game losing streak left the young Diamondbacks 57-59 on Aug. 11, but they recovered. Despite totaling three runs while dropping their last four regular-season games, Arizona squeezed into the final playoff spot before taking off on 9-3 postseason roll to become the second consecutive No. 6 seed to win the National League pennant.
Making their first playoff appearance since Lovullo’s debut season in 2017, the Diamondbacks swept the division-champion Brewers and Dodgers before overcoming 2-0 and 3-2 deficits against defending NL champion Phillies in the NLCS. Arizona held Bryce Harper & Co. to three runs over the final 18 innings to win Games 6 and 7 in Philadelphia, where the Phillies had been 12-2 over the past two postseasons, including 11-0 in NL playoff games.
Impressive turnaround under GM Mike Hazen after the Diamondbacks lost 110 games in 2021 and finished 74-88 last year. Their only previous World Series berth came in 2001, when Arizona — in the franchise’s fourth season — edged the New York Yankees in a classic seven-game thriller.
Marte was the NLCS MVP after batting .387 with 12 hits, four doubles, a triple and three RBIs. His 19 hits in a single postseason are a club record. He’s hit safely in all 16 career postseason games, the longest streak in NL history and second in major league annals to Derek Jeter’s 17-game run for the Yankees.
Gallen is 2-2 with a 5.24 ERA in four postseason outings after getting roughed up in the NLCS. Kelly went 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in three playoff starts. Pfaadt, a rookie, has come on with a 2.70 ERA and 22 strikeouts against three walks in 16 2/3 innings.
No-name relief corps has been an October revelation, and the Diamondbacks figure to go with a bullpen parade in Game 4 just like in the NLCS. Sewald is perfect in six postseason save chances. He and Ginkel have combined for 24 strikeouts in 17 scoreless innings.
The Diamondbacks split two games at Texas in early May and swept a pair at home from Rangers in August, including an 11-inning victory on consecutive doubles by Geraldo Perdomo and Tommy Pham off Will Smith. Gallen whiffed 11 over six innings of one-run ball to win the series finale that came during an eight-game skid for Texas.
The Rangers hold a 28-25 edge in regular-season matchups.
Arizona bench coach Jeff Banister won AL West titles in first two seasons of tenure as Texas manager from 2015-18.
Playoff Entry: Wild Card.
Manager: Bruce Bochy (first season).
Top Hitters: SS Corey Seager (.327, 33 HRs, 96 RBIs, 1.013 OPS in 119 games), RF Adolis García (.245, 39, 107, .836 OPS), 2B Marcus Semien (.276, 29, 100, .826 OPS in 162 games, led AL with 122 runs and 185 hits), 3B Josh Jung (.266, 23, 70, .781 OPS in 122 games).
Projected Rotation: RH Nathan Eovaldi (12-5, 3.63 ERA in 25 starts), LH Jordan Montgomery (10-11, 3.20 in 32 starts with Cardinals and Rangers), RH Max Scherzer (13-6, 3.77 in 27 starts with Mets and Rangers), LH Andrew Heaney (10-6, 4.15).
Key Relievers: RH José Leclerc (0-2, 2.68 ERA, 4 saves), RH Josh Sborz (6-7, 5.50), LH Aroldis Chapman (6-5, 3.09, 6 saves, 103 Ks in 58 1/3 IP with Royals and Rangers), LH Cody Bradford (4-3, 5.30 in 20 games, 8 starts), RH Dane Dunning (12-7, 3.70 in 35 games, 26 starts), LH Will Smith (2-7, 4.40, 22 saves).
Series Story: In their first playoff appearance since 2016, the streaky but resilient Rangers won the franchise’s third American League pennant to reach the World Series for the first time since consecutive trips in 2010 and 2011. It was quite a turnaround under Bruce Bochy and GM Chris Young after the Rangers lost 102 games in 2021 and went 68-94 last year for their sixth straight losing season.
One of six major league teams without a World Series title — Colorado, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay are the others. Texas led the AL West most of the year but squandered the division crown to rival Houston with a loss at Seattle on the final day of the regular season.
That left the Rangers with the No. 5 seed in AL playoffs and sent them across the country to open the playoffs at Tampa Bay, part of a two-week trip that took them to four cities — two on each coast. But they swept the Rays and AL East champion Orioles, the two winningest teams in the AL this season, while starting playoffs with seven straight wins — six on the road. Then they dropped all three home games to the Astros in the AL Championship Series before rebounding in Houston, totaling 20 runs in Games 6 and 7 to dethrone defending World Series champs in Lone Star State showdown. It marked the second time in major league history road team won every game in a best-of-seven postseason series.
Texas joined the 1996 New York Yankees as the only clubs to win their first eight road games in a postseason. Which, of course, earned the Rangers home-field advantage in the all-wild card World Series because they had a better regular-season record than Arizona.
The 68-year-old Bochy, who came out of retirement to manage the Rangers, is looking for his fourth championship after leading San Francisco to World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He is the first skipper to win the LCS with three different teams, after guiding the Padres and Giants to NL pennants.
García, the ALCS MVP, homered in the final four games and set a record for RBIs in a postseason series with 15. He hit seven homers in playoffs, and his 20 RBIs were the most in postseason history prior to the World Series.
Eovaldi is 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts this postseason. Montgomery is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA, including a Game 7 victory in relief against the Astros.
Scherzer was drafted by the Diamondbacks and spent his first two seasons with Arizona from 2008-09 before the three-time Cy Young Award winner was traded to Detroit.
Leclerc has taken over the closer role from struggling the Smith, earning three saves in 10 appearances during playoffs.
Poised rookie outfielder Evan Carter has provided a huge boost since making his big league debut on Sept. 8, less than two weeks after his 21st birthday.
Two times Texas was one strike from winning the 2011 World Series before the Cardinals rallied twice to win Game 6. St. Louis then took Game 7 for the title.