The 119th World Series
Today will mark the 119th renewal of the World Series featuring the American League Champion Texas Rangers and the National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks. The Fall Classic was first played in 1903, and has taken place every year except 1904, when the National League champion New York Giants and their manager John McGraw refused to play the AL champs, the Boston Red Sox, and in 1994, when the season ended on August 11th due to the players’ strike.
Entering this year’s Fall Classic, the American League holds the overall lead in the World Series, 67-51.
• The National League has won eight out of the last 13 and 10 of the last 16 with wins by the Cardinals in 2006, the Phillies in 2008, the Giants in 2010, the Cardinals in 2011, the Giants in 2012 and 2014, the Cubs in 2016, the Nationals in 2019, the Dodgers in 2020 and the Braves in 2021.
• Since the Yankees won three straight World Championships from 1998-2000, the NL holds a narrow lead over the AL with an 12-10 record in the Fall Classic. However, over a longer span in the World Series, the AL has taken 14 of 27 since 1996; 17 of 31 starting in 1991; and 22 of 40 times beginning in 1983.
The Diamondbacks are into the World Series for the second time in franchise history, after defeating the New York Yankees four games to three in the 2001 World Series.
• Arizona made the 2023 Postseason as a Wild Card after finishing second place in the NL West with an 84-78 record.
• The Diamondbacks swept the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series two games to none, swept the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series three games to none, and beat out the reigning NL Pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies four games to three in the NLCS.
Can You Take Me Higher?
The Rangers are back into the World Series for the third time in franchise history after previously appearing in 2010 and 2011, losing both times to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
• To make the World Series this season, Texas finished 90-72 entering the Postseason as a Wild Card after losing the head-to-head tie-breaker for the AL West title to the Houston Astros.
• Texas swept the Tampa Bay Rays two games to none in the Wild Card Series, swept the Baltimore Orioles three games to none in the Division Series, and won the ALCS four games to three against the Astros.
Let’s Get Wild
This year’s Fall Classic will mark the third matchup of all Wild Card teams in Major League history. Previously the 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals and the 2002 World Series between the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants featured all Wild
• Since the Wild Card format began in 1995, 16 Wild Card teams have reached the World Series including both of this year’s Pennant winners.
• Of the 16 Wild Card teams to make the World Series, seven teams have emerged as the World Series Champion with the eighth team guaranteed to come this year.
• The seven teams to win the World Series as a Wild Card are the 2019 Washington Nationals; the 2014 Giants; the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, the 2004 Red Sox, the 2003 and 1997 Florida Marlins; and the 2002 Angels.
ARIZONA STARTING PITCHER – Zac Gallen
Age: 28 (8/3/1995)
Birthplace: Somerdale, NJ
College: North Carolina
Drafted: 3rd Round in 2019 by STL
2023 Regular Season: 17-9, 3.47 ERA
2023 Postseason: 2-2, 5.24 ERA
Gallen has made four starts this Postseason going 2-2 with a 5.24 ERA, 13 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP…Opponents are batting .282 with 24 hits and six home runs…Started Game 2 of the Wild Card Series at Milwaukee, Game 2 of the NLDS at Los Angeles, and Games 1 and 5 in the NLCS against Philadelphia…Earned the win on 10/4 as the Diamondbacks clinched the Wild Card Series and again on 10/9 to gain a 2-0 lead in the NLDS… Took the loss in both of his starts during the NLCS.
• 10/4 at MIL: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (100 pitches, 66 strikes)
• 10/9 at LAD: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (84 pitches, 53 strikes)
• 10/16 at PHI: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (88 pitches, 51 strikes)
• 10/21 vs. PHI: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO (93 pitches, 55 strikes)
Against the Rangers
Will face Texas for the fourth time in his career and third time this season. Is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA (7 ER/17.2 IP)…Took a no-decision on May 2 at Globe Life Field and took the win at home on August 22.
On the Road Again
Went 5-6 away from Chase Field this year, pitching to a 4.42 ERA (53 ER/108.0 IP) in 18 starts…Three of his four Postseason starts have come on the road…He is 2-1 with a 4.96 ERA (9 ER/16.1 IP)
Went 17-9 with a 3.47 ERA (81 ER/210.0 IP), 220 strikeouts, a 1.12 WHIP, and a .238 opponents’ average…Set career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts…Was named National League pitcher of the week on April 16th after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts across two starts…Tossed a 3-hit shutout on September 8th at Chicago (NL)… It was the second shutout of his career after also going the distance in a 7.0 inning game at the Braves on April 25, 2021.
Show Me What You Got
Gallen relies on six pitches:
• 4-Seam Fastball – 49.3%, .237 opp. AVG
• Curveball – 22.7%, .210 opp. AVG
• Changeup – 13.9%, .210 opp. AVG
• Cutter – 10.3%, .333 opp. AVG
• Slider – 3.4%, .261 opp. AVG
• Sinker – 0.4%, .400 opp. AVG
Now in his fifth season in the Majors, Gallen has amassed a 39-31 career record with a 3.21 ERA…Attended the University of North Carolina from 2014-2016…Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2016 First-Year Draft… Traded to the Miami Marlins on December 12, 2017 with LHP Daniel Castano, OF Magneuris Sierra and RHP Sandy Alcantara in exchange for OF Marcell Ozuna…Traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 31, 2019 in exchange for infielder/outfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr…Made his Major League debut on June 20, 2019 at St. Louis, tossing 5.0 innings… Earned his first career win on July 24, 2019 at Chicago (AL), tossing 7.0 scoreless innings.
TEXAS STARTING PITCHER – Nathan Eovaldi
Age: 33 (2/13/1990)
Birthplace: Houston, TX
College: Alvin High School (TX)
Drafted: 11th Round in 2008 by LAD
2023 Regular Season: 12-5, 3.63 ERA
2023 Postseason: 2-2, 5.24 ERA
Eovaldi has made four starts this Postseason going 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA (7 ER/26.0 IP), 28 strikeouts and a 0.96 WHIP…Opponents are batting .216 with 21 hits and two home runs…Started Game 2 of the Wild Card Series at Tampa Bay, Game 3 of the ALDS against Baltimore, and Games 2 and 6 in the ALCS against Houston…Has earned a win in each of his first four starts this Postseason.
10/4 at TB: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO (98 pitches, 68 strikes)
10/9 vs. BAL: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO (98 pitches, 76 strikes)
10/16 at HOU: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO (91 pitches, 62 strikes)
10/21 at HOU: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (88 pitches, 51 strikes)
Against the Diamondbacks
Will face Arizona for the first time since 2016. Has made eight appearances against the D-backs with four starts…Is 3-0 with a 2.78 ERA (10 ER/32.1 IP).
Home Sweet Home
Went 6-3 with a 3.70 ERA (27 ER/65.2 IP) in 12 starts at Globe Life Field this season. Has only made one start at home this Postseason, closing out the Rangers’ ALDS sweep of Baltimore. Regular Season Went 12-5 with a 3.63 ERA (59 ER/144.0 IP), 132 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and a .225 opponents’ average in 25 starts…Tossed a shutout on April 29th against New York (AL), allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts…Threw a complete game again on May 23rd at Pittsburgh, allowing one run on six hits with five strikeouts…Struck out a season-high 12 batters on May 11th at Oakland, marking the seventh 10-strikeout game of his career.
Eovaldi relies on five pitches:
4-Seam Fastball – 37.2.3%, .234 opp. AVG
Split Finger – 27.7%, .196 opp. AVG
Cutter – 17.6%, .238 opp. AVG
Curveball – 13.5%, .200 opp. AVG
Slider – 4.0%, .303 opp. AVG
Now in his 12th season in the Majors, Gallen has amassed a 79-73 career record with a 4.10 ERA… Attended the University of North Carolina from 2014-2016…Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2008 First-Year Draft out of Alvin High School (TX)…Traded to the Miami Marlins on July 25, 2012 along with RHP Scott McGough in exchange for SS Hanley Ramirez and RHP Randy Choate…Traded to the New York Yankees on December 19, 2014 along with OF Garrett Jones and RHP Domingo German in exchange for RHP David Phelps and INF Martin Prado…Signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a Free Agent on February 14, 2017…Traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 25, 2018 in exchange for LHP Jalen Beeks…Signed with the Texas Rangers as a Free Agent on December 27, 2022. Made his Major League debut on August 6, 2011 at Arizona, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits as a member of the Dodgers…Earned his first career win in his first career start.