World Series G3: Rangers-Diamondbacks preview, props, prediction

Field Level Media

October 30, 2023 at 6:23 pm.

The Texas Rangers have a big edge in experience on the mound as they send three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star Max Scherzer against Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Pfaadt in Game 3 of the World Series.

It’s a pivotal game after the D-backs grabbed home-field advantage with their split in Texas. However, the Rangers did win all four games at Houston in the American League Championship Series.

Arizona could easily be up 2-0 in the series if not for Texas shortstop Corey Seager’s game-tying home run in the ninth inning of Game 1. The D-backs lack a lot of postseason history, but they’re seizing the big moments and won’t be intimidated by Scherzer, who was 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in two ALCS starts.

Prediction: Diamondbacks 6, Rangers 4

The D-backs are 1.5-run underdogs at home by BetMGM, where they have drawn just 31 percent of the run-line bets and 16 percent of the money.

However, for the third consecutive game, their moneyline has been attractive to the public. Arizona has been backed by 62 and 65 percent of the action, respectively, as their odds have moved from -105 to -110.

Pfaadt Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100 at BetMGM): This has been the most popular player prop at the book ahead of Game 3. The rookie struck out nine in helping Arizona beat Philadelphia 2-1 in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, and then backed it up by fanning seven in just 4.0 innings in Game 7.

Scherzer, 39, has totaled 6 2/3 innings this postseason, but he has pitched 140 innings over 29 career playoff appearances (24 starts) with a 7-8 record and 3.86 ERA.

“He could give us length. I’ve talked to him about this. He’s comfortable pretty much throwing like he normally does,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “Maybe not quite as long as he’s been over 100 pitches, whatever, but pretty close.”

Pfaadt has been a revelation for the Diamondbacks and manager Torey Lovullo, who tabbed the 25-year-old to start Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia last week. Pfaadt delivered, allowing two runs in four innings.

Pfaadt, in Game 3 of the NLCS with his team facing a 2-0 series deficit, shut out the Phillies on two hits with nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Arizona won that game at Chase Field.

“You want to be as consistent as possible, and I think that’s where the routine comes into play, and just follow that to a ‘T’ and trust your ability,” Pfaadt said after Game 2 of the World Series.

The Diamondbacks got four hits from designated hitter Tommy Pham in Game 2 on Saturday.

“It’s something that you dream about as a kid. I would say, I would definitely think throughout, if my career would end in, let’s say, a few years from now, I would say that I dreamt about playing … in the World Series,” Pham said.

“I don’t think we play this game without the intentions of winning a World Series, especially when you have a team that you feel like you have a special group that could compete for a World Series.”

Second baseman Ketel Marte, after years in relative obscurity with Arizona as a hitter, extended his playoff hitting streak to a major league record 18 games.

The world also is getting to see what makes rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll one of the game’s more dynamic players.

Rookie outfielder Evan Carter, 21, is 3-for-9 in the World Series for the Rangers. Two months ago, he was playing for the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate.

“That feels like three years ago at this point,” Carter said. “Time’s flown by. It’s crazy that it’s almost November now. This is the farthest I’ve ever played baseball before. But where else would you rather be?

“This is every ball player’s dream. This is where you want to be at and the stage you want to play on. So, gosh, how fun is this? This is great.”

ALL  |  NFL  |  College Football  |  MLB  |  NBA