After a walk-off winner and extra innings in Game One of the World Series on Friday, Saturday sets up to be a pivotal game for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they look to return home with a split and not allow the home standing Texas Rangers to get up in the series 2-0.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers (-162, 8.5)
Merrill Kelly gets the start for the Diamondbacks, who ahead not been the same pitcher on the road compared to at home, posting a 3.69 ERA on the road between the regular season and playoffs with nine strikeouts and 1.3 home runs allowed per nine innings between the while getting 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings with a 2.59 ERA at home this season.
The Rangers counter with Jordan Montgomery, who’s biggest struggles this season has come at GlobeLife Field, posting a 3.76 ERA compared to a 2.91 ERA at all other ballparks this season.
Montgomery also has not gotten a lot of strikeouts all season long, posting 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his regular season starts as a member of the Texas Rangers and in the playoffs that number has dipped to 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings. While Montgomery’s 2.16 ERA in the postseason is eye popping, the lack of strikeouts has his fielding independent at a 3.42, an indicator that regression might be coming.
The Diamondbacks have relied on small ball all season as they are just 22nd in the league in home runs per at-bat, but are fourth in the league in fewest strikeouts per game and second in the league in stolen bases.
By comparison, the Rangers are just 27th in stolen bases, but lead the league in runs per game at home with just over 5.9 per game and their 1.8 home runs per game in Arlington is the second-most in the league, behind the Atlanta Braves.
The Diamondbacks have also generated much more offense at home than on the road, posting 4.7 runs per game on the road compared to 4.45 runs per game at home this season and in the postseason have notched just 3.25 runs per game at home compared to just under 4.8 runs per game on the road.
With the Diamondbacks 18th during the regular season in bullpen ERA and the Rangers 24th in this category with both teams exhausting more of their bullpen than expected with Game One going into extra innings, Game Two sets up to be another high scoring affair.
The Play: Diamondbacks vs. Rangers Over 8.5