The 2023 World Series Primer

October 27, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

Big sports weekend on deck. The watch-list is a monster, and we love it. There\’s hoops, hockey, and football for days. But first, we’ve got some World Series prep work to do. Let’s get ready for the unlikely 2023 Fall Classic featuring two Wild Cards and a showdown in the southwest.

Letter Rip!


The 2023 World Series Primer

Photo: Carmen Mandato / Getty Images

Rangers & Diamondbacks (By the Numbers) Before the 2023 Fall Classic

Here. We. Go. After 162 games from from April to October laid the foundation for the MLB Playoffs, only two teams remain. You might’ve had Texas pegged for reaching the World Series, but you didn’t have Arizona. Over those 162 games, it came down to just one win that put the Diamondbacks into the postseason as the National League’s 6th seed. Arizona (82-78) is attempting to set the record as the team with the worst regular-season winning percentage to win the World Series. How about that? The previous record belongs to the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (83-77). Those raking Rangers have the advantage on paper, but the D-Backs have struck down two giants thus far.

Game 1 of the seven-game Fall Classic gets underway tonight, and we’ll have a fun finale of baseball for the next week. Here’s a snapshot of both World Series clubs to help you get ready for the 2023 Fall Classic.

World Series Team Comparisons

Texas Rangers (AL)

Season Record: 90-72 (AL 5th Seed)

Playoff Record: 9-3

Batting: .263 Avg. (2nd)

Runs Scored: 881 Runs (3rd)

Home Runs: 233 HRs (T-3rd)

Pitching: 4.28 ERA (18th)

Defense: 716 Runs Allowed (13th)

Roster Breakdown: It’s hard to argue against the fact that the Rangers are the better team on paper. They just are. And their roster screams it. Adolis Garcia (7), Corey Seager (3), Josh Jung (3), and Nathaniel Lowe (3) are raking homers. And while the pitching hasn’t been perfect, it’s nearly impossible to beat the Rangers’ depth on the mound in a seven-game series. Arizona will have to face Jon Gray, Nathan Eovaldi, Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer. Toss in the closer of a batter’s nightmare in Aroldis Chapman, and it’s an uphill battle for the D-Backs.

Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)

Season Record: 84-78 (NL 6th Seed)

Playoff Record: 9-3

Batting: .250 Avg. (14th)

Runs Scored: 746 Runs (14th)

Home Runs: 166 HRs (T-22nd)

Pitching: 4.48 ERA (20th)

Defense: 761 Runs Allowed (20th)

Roster Breakdown: The D-Backs are a fun team to watch, but not quite as flashy as their World Series counterparts. They’re full of youth with an underdog mentality, featuring rookie of the year Corbin Carroll, and a few veterans sprinkled throughout the lineup, like Tommy Pham and Evan Longoria. The difference-maker for Arizona has been their pitching core of Brandon Pfaadt, Zac Gallen and a bullpen that’s been clutch. Combine the pitching with some breakout bats and a playoff full of home runs (13), and the D-Backs went from playoff longshots to World Series contenders.

Fun Run Facts: The Rangers (71 runs) have scored 20 more runs than the Diamondbacks (51 runs) in the playoffs despite both teams playing the same number of games (12).

 World Series Schedule

Gm 1: D-Backs at Rangers (Fri. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 2: D-Backs at Rangers (Sat. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 3: Rangers at D-Backs (Mon. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 4: Rangers at D-Backs (Tues. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 5: Rangers at D-Backs (Wed. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 6: D-Backs at Rangers (Next Fri. 8:03 pm ET)

Gm 7: D-Backs at Rangers (Next Sat. 8:03 pm ET)

*All Games on FOX

Read More

MLB: A World Series Title Hinges on These 8 Players

SI: Diamondbacks Eager to Continue Defying Doubters in World Series

FOX Sports: World Series Preview: Rangers-Diamondbacks — Who’s Got the Edge?



Bills Breathe Sigh of Relief

Photo: Kathryn Riley / Getty Images

Buffalo Gets Back in the Win Column After Surviving Hail Mary to Beat Bucs (24-18)

Two teams trending downwards met for the Week 8 Thursday nighter, and the tough times continue in Tampa Bay. The Bills got back in the win column with a 24-18 win in Buffalo, but the Bucs made it interesting late. Tampa Bay trailed 24-10 until they tacked on a touchdown and two-point conversion with three minutes left in the 4th. The Bucs forced a punt to get one last shot, but Baker Mayfield’s Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete.

Josh Allen and Buffalo were held to a field goal and a goal-line stop in the first half, or the Bills could’ve went for 34-plus. Allen dashed for a touchdown and threw for two more, and the Bucs (3-4) have now dropped three straight and four of their last five. Luckily for Tampa Bay, they’re still firmly in the race for the NFC South. Meanwhile, the Bills (5-3) have bounced back after a loss for the third time this season.

QB Comparison

J. Allen (BUF): 31/40, 365 total yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

B. Mayfield (TB): 25/42, 256 total yards, 2 TDs

Other Top Performers

RB R. White (TB): 16 touches, 109 yards

RB J. Cook (BUF): 15 touches, 73 yards

WR G. Davis (BUF): 9 receptions, 87 yards, 1 TD

Watch: Allen, Bills Take Down Bucs on TNF (24-18)

Read More

ESPN: Josh Allen & Bills Get Back on Track in Thursday Night Win Over Bucs

B/R: Bills Offense Unlocked, But Buffalo Must Target Defense at Trade Deadline

Yahoo! Sports: Bucs Punter Jake Camarda Smacks Bills Player With Helmet Swing in Scuffle



Same Dame, Still Ticking

Photo: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

Damian Lillard (39 Points) Shines in Milwaukee Debut; Kevin Durant (39 Points) Also Goes Off, But LeBron Gets Last Laugh

Not that anyone really thought Damian Lillard would lose a step, but just to make sure, he didn’t. Dame Time made a splash in his Milwaukee debut on Thursday, leading Bucks with 39 points and a dagger 3 in the final moments of a win against the 76ers (118-117). His signature step-back put the Bucks in control when it mattered most. Lillard finished 9-for-20 and a perfect 17-for-17 from the free-throw line. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 23 points and 13 boards, and the Bucks look scary good. Philadelphia got 31 points from Tyrese Maxey as they try to fill the void — and answers the questions — of James Harden’s absence. More coming. But for now, Dame Time and the Greek Freak are 1-0.

Watch: Lillard Drops 39 in Bucks Win Over 76ers (118-117)

Durant Makes History But LeBron & Lakers Top Suns

In Thursday’s nightcap of a primetime doubleheader, the Lakers and Suns met for a West Coast showdown between two legends. Kevin Durant scored 39 points to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the all-time scoring list (26,947 points). He led the shorthanded Suns — without Devin Booker or Bradley Beal — but LeBron James  (23-9-8) got the last laugh at home, scoring two driving layups in the final minutes to seal the win (100-95). It’s quite ridiculous what LeBron can still do at 38 years old in Year 21. I still have Michael Jordan as the G.O.A.T., but MJ wasn’t doing this at 38. Both the Lakers and Suns are 1-1 to start the season.

Watch: KD Drops 39, But LeBron & Lakers Get Last Laugh (100-95)





The Weekend Must-Watch List

Welcome to spooky season, and that means sports. It’s all five major pro sports alive and well for one giant show. From World Series to football and basketball to hockey, this weekend has it all. One might say this is the biggest sports weekend of the year. Let’s do it!

 World Series

Gm 1: D-Backs at Rangers (Fri. 8:03 pm, FOX)

Gm 2: D-Backs at Rangers (Sat. 8:03 pm, FOX)

 NFL Week 8 (Sunday)

Rams at Cowboys (Sun. 1:00 pm, FOX)

Patriots at Dolphins (Sun. 1:00 pm, CBS)
Jets at Giants (Sun. 1:00 pm, CBS)

Jaguars at Steelers (Sun. 1:00 pm, CBS)

Browns at Seahawks (Sun. 4:05 pm, FOX)

Bengals at 49ers (Sun. 4:25 pm, CBS)

Bears at Chargers (Sun. 8:20 pm, NBC)

Full NFL Week 8 Schedule

 College Football Week 9 (Saturday)

#1 Georgia at Florida (Sat. 3:30 pm, CBS)

#8 Oregon at #13 Utah (Sat. 3:30 pm, FOX)

#20 Duke at #18 Louisville (Sat. 3:30 pm, ESPN)

#3 Ohio State at Wisconsin (Sat. 7:30 pm, NBC)

Full College Football Schedule


Heat at Celtics (Fri. 7:30 pm, ESPN)

Warriors at Kings (Fri. 10:00 pm, ESPN)

Knicks at Pelicans (Sat. 7:00 pm, NBATV)

Jazz at Suns (Sat. 10:00 pm, NBATV)

Full NBA Weekend Schedule


Blackhawks at Golden Knights (Fri. 6:00 pm, NHLN)

Red Wings at Bruins (Sat. 7:00 pm, NESN)

Flames at Oilers (Sun. 7:00 pm, TBS)

Full NHL Weekend Schedule


Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (Sat. 10:15 am, ESPN+)

Man. City vs. Man. United (Sun. 11:30 am, Peacock)

Napoli vs. AC Milan (Sun. 3:45 pm, Paramount+)

USWNT vs. Colombia (Sun. 5:30 pm, TNT)

*All Times ET

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