It wasn’t pretty — and it potentially came at a pretty steep cost, pending the prognoses of both Max Scherzer and Adolis Garcia — but the Texas Rangers put themselves back in the driver’s seat of this World Series with a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 3. Now Texas will try and put the hammer down, while the D-backs look to even things back up in Game 4 on Tuesday night. First pitch from Chase Field is set for 8:03 p.m. ET. The pitching situation will be touch-and-go for both teams: After burning Jon Gray in relief last night, the Rangers will go with lefty Andrew Heaney (10-6, 4.15 ERA) to start (and likely Dane Dunning to follow) here, while lefty Joe Mantiply (2-2, 4.62) will lead what figures to be a full bullpen game for Arizona.
The D-backs enter as narrow -115 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Texas at -105. The run total is set at 9.5.
Rangers vs. Diamondbacks World Series Game 4 picks: Tuesday, Oct. 31
Questionable: OF Adolis Garcia (oblique)
Out: SP/RP Tommy Henry (elbow)
Andrew Heaney vs. Joe Mantiply
It looked like Bruce Bochy was lining up Gray to go in Game 4, but Scherzer’s early exit scuttled that plan and forced Texas to go back to the Heaney/Dunning piggyback. That combination worked pretty well in the ALDS against the Orioles, when the two combined for 5.2 innings of two-run ball in a big road win. It didn’t fare nearly as well against the Astros in the next round, however, with six runs allowed over 3.1 innings in an eventual 10-3 loss. Bochy has only used the two in mop-up duty since, but now they’ll be charged with the bulk of the innings in their team’s biggest game to date. Heaney was his usual up-and-down self during the regular season, eventually getting pushed out of the rotation after the deadline acquisitions of Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery. He’s faced the D-backs once previously this year, allowing six runs on four hits (including three homers) and four walks in 4.2 innings of work way back in May.
It’ll be all hands on deck for Torey Lovullo’s club here — just as it was in Game 4 of the NLCS, when a parade of eight different relievers held down the fort in a dramatic comeback win over the Phillies. Mantiply started that game as well, getting things going with one scoreless inning of work. Arizona will likely ask the same of him in this spot, with maybe a second inning after that if the lefty really sails through the first. If there’s good news here for the D-backs, it’s that the big three of Ryan Thompson, Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald didn’t pitch yesterday and should be rested and ready. If Lovullo needs multiple innings, he could turn to former starter Ryne Nelson (8-8, 5.31 ERA in the regular season) in relief.
Heaney’s strikeout prop tonight is set at 2.5, which just feels too high given the context. First, there’s the matter of how long Heaney will actually be allowed to pitch in this game: The lefty hasn’t thrown more than 3.2 innings in this postseason, and that came multiple weeks ago now against Baltimore. He likely won’t be asked for much more than one turn through the lineup, giving him only three innings or so at best to rack up three strikeouts. Then there’s the fact that Heaney simply hasn’t been very good of late: He was lit up by Arizona the last time he started against them, hasn’t cleared this K total in a single outing since back on Sept. 15 and he’s struck out exactly one batter in his six postseason innings so far.
Pick: Heaney under 2.5 strikeouts (+105)
The pitching matchup tonight would suggest something of a slugfest, but I continue to ride the unders in this series. Two late-inning outbursts sunk us in Games 1 and 2, but we finally cashed in Game 3, despite Scherzer’s early exit and Brandon Pfaadt getting knocked around a bit. Arizona’s bullpen has been nails all October long, and they held a dangerous Phillies lineup relatively in check in a similar situation in the NLCS. This just has the feeling of a tight, relatively low-scoring series, with neither lineup in too much of a groove right now, and while Heaney is cause for concern, the D-backs just don’t have the kind of firepower to let them put up crooked numbers consistently.
Pick: Under 9.5
In a battle of bullpens, I have more faith in Arizona’s, which has proven to be deeper and more trustworthy throughout these playoffs. Texas has been awfully sketchy outside of Josh Sborz and Jose Leclerc, and I think asking the likes of Heaney, Dunning, Cody Bradford and Co. to get through the first six or seven innings is asking for trouble. Back the D-backs at almost even money to even this series up.
Pick: Diamondbacks -115