Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
The 2023 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers could be one of the most unlikely fall classics ever. The D-Backs are the No. 6 seed in the National League, which means that two years ago, they would not have made the postseason. (That team, for the record, lost 110 games as such.) The Rangers were also a wild-card team, losing the AL West tiebreaker in the regular season. And both teams needed a full seven games to win the NLDS and ALDS, respectively.
This improbable World Series has intensified the collective cry from baseball traditionalists that the expansion of the MLB playoffs has devalued the regular season. In the last two seasons, the top-seeded teams were dispatched by a lower-seeded team in a best-of-3 first round series.
Still, the new format makes for an unpredictable and exciting October, highlighting how sometimes the best team doesn’t always win in baseball. Below are a number of statistics showing its unexpected matchup, along with other interesting notes and numbers:
0 – Number of World Series titles won by the Rangers since their founding in 1961 as the old Washington Senators. (The team moved to Arlington, Texas in 1972.) They are the oldest franchise without one—the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres are also winless. The Diamondbacks won one World Series, in 2001.
50-to-1 – BetMGM’s Rangers odds to win the World Series before Opening Day. Only the 1991 Minnesota Twins (80-to-1) and the 2003 Florida Marlins (75-to-1) since 1985 have beaten higher odds to win the World Series.
125-to-1 – The Diamondbacks’ odds of winning the World Series before Opening Day, making them the most unlikely team on record to win, if they can pull off the upset. The 2008 Tampa Bay Rays (150-to-1) are the only team since 1985 to reach the World Series with higher preseason odds.
174 – The combined wins between the Rangers (90) and Diamondbacks (84), which is the fewest in World Series history. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (83 wins) remains the worst regular season team to win the fall classic.
110 – The Diamondbacks’ losses in 2021, making them the first team in MLB history to lose multiple games and reach the World Series in two years. Amazingly, the Rangers’ 102 losses in 2021 are the second-most by a team that has changed and advanced to the World Series in two years. Four other teams have done it from 100+ losses: the 1914 Boston Braves, the 1967 Boston Red Sox, the 1969 New York Mets and the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. No team, however, has made the World Series the season immediately after losing 100 games.
10 – The number of 2023 All-Stars on the Rangers and Diamondbacks combined, the most for a World Series matchup since 2017 and tied for second most in the last 10 years. These two teams are sleepers, but not for lack of talent.
17 – Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte’s hitting streak continues, tied for longest in postseason history with Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter and Hank Bauer. He needed a hit in Game 1 of the World Series to break the record, and already holds the mark for consecutive playoff games with a hit to start a career.
$11.6 million – Marte’s salary, the highest in the Diamondbacks. In contrast, Texas paid four players each more than $25 million (Corey Seager, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Marcus Semien).
$251 million – The Rangers’ 2023 payroll, the fourth highest in baseball, per Spotter. The team with the higher payroll has won 13 of the past 17 World Series but the Astros bucked that trend last year.
$119 million – The Diamondbacks’ 2023 salary, the 21st highest in baseball. The only team ranked outside the top 20 to win a World Series in the last quarter of a century is the 2003 Marlins (25th).
$1.93 billion – SportyThe Rangers’ rating, which is 14th in MLB. This is the second year in a row that none of the 10 most valuable franchises have made the World Series.
$1.33 billion – SportyThe Diamondbacks’ valuation, which is 25th in MLB.
$1,735 – The average ticket sales price for the series, per TicketIQ, tracking 2016 ($4,557), 2017 ($2,938), 2022 ($1,947) and 2019 ($1,936). Tickets are more expensive, on average, for home games in Texas than in Arizona due to high demand for Games 6 and 7. However, interestingly, the price of admission is higher for Diamondbacks home games .
23 – Consecutive seasons without back-to-back MLB champions. This is longer than such streaks in the WNBA (20), NBA (18), NFL (18), NHL (17) and MLS (14). The last team to do it, and the only one in the last 40 years, was the New York Yankees in 2000, who did it three times.
2-0 – The Diamondbacks’ record against the Rangers in the regular season.
75 – The number of games MLB teams must play to reduce the randomness of a series result to the level of an NBA best-of-7 series, according to a study by the NFL senior director of data & analytics Michael Lopez with two companions. – authors.