The 2023 World Series continues on Tuesday night, as the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks meet for a pivotal Game 4.
The first game of the series turned out be an instant classic, with the Rangers winning in dramatic fashion in extra innings. The D-backs bounced back in Game 2, dominating Texas en route to a 9-1 victory.
Four-time All-Star and 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager crushed a two-run homer in third inning which proved to be all the Rangers need for a 3-1 victory. The Rangers also benefited from a strong pitching performance from its bullpen.
The Rangers enter Game 4 with 2-1 lead, but Arizona is looking to pick up their first home win of the series.
In recent history, a 2-1 lead has not necessarily meant the team holding the advantage will win or lose the series. Last year, the Houston Astros trailed 2-1 entering Game 4, but went on to win the title. The Atlanta Braves held a 2-1 lead over the Astros in 2021, and manged to win the World Series.
However, a 3-1 lead has proved to be much for difficult for teams to overcome. Teams who fall behind 3-1 in best-of-seven series have been eliminated 85% of the time.
The Rangers had to overcome injuries to starting pitcher Max Scherzer and outfielder Adolis García to improve to 9-0 on the road this postseason. Scherzer exited Game 3 with back spasms, while García was slowed with side tightness.
Andrew Heaney is the Rangers’ projected starter for Game 4 at Chase Field. The Left-hander finished the 2023 regular season with a 10-6 record and a 4.15 ERA. He has started two games this postseason, and appeared twice as a reliever.
Heaney has allowed four runs over his innings this postseason. The Rangers are probably not expecting Heaney to pitch deep into Game 4, and Dane Dunning will be the first pitcher to enter in relief.
Meanwhile, Joe Mantiply will take the mound for Arizona, but the D-backs are viewing Tuesday’s matchup as a bullpen game.
Its is unclear how many batters Arizona is expecting Mantiply to face, but D-backs manager Torey Lovullo is likely hoping the lefty can set the tone.
Seager will step to the plate at some point in the first inning. He has enjoyed a higher rate of success against right-handers than he has vs. left-handers. Seager’s career OPS against right-handers is .905, while his numbers drop by more than 100 points against south paws.
Once, Mantiply exits the game, the Diamondbacks will lean on their bullpen to absorb the rest of the innings.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Since Mantiply is left-handed, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy will likely move Robbie Grossman to the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The rest of Texas’ batting order should be relatively normal.
- Marcus Semien, 2B
- Corey Seager, SS
- Robbie Grossman, LF
- Adolis García, RF
- Mitch Garver, DH
- Jonah Heim, C
- Nathaniel Lowe, 1B
- Josh Jung, 3B
- Leody Taveras, CF
Arizona has kept the same lineup in the first three game of the series. Lovullo will likely adjust the top of the order by switching up Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte bat in the order since Heaney is a left-handed pitcher.
- Ketel Marte, 2B
- Corbin Carroll, RF
- Gabriel Moreno, C
- Christian Walker, 1B
- Tommy Pham, DH
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF
- Alek Thomas, CF
- Evan Longoria, 3B
- Geraldo Perdomo, SS
HOW TO WATCH?
First pitch of Game 4 of the Fall Classic is set for 8:03 p.m. ET. The game is airing on FOX. In the US, fans can also go to MLB.TV and watch the game after authenticating with a participating Pay TV provider.