It’ll be nice for the World Series to actually get going on Friday. It’s not just that I miss watching baseball, but the discourse surrounding this particular matchup has not been all that fun — the forced retirement of Chris Russo notwithstanding.
Yet here we are. The 90-win Rangers squaring off with the 84-win Diamondbacks. Ratings beware! Tremble in your designer pants, TV executives!
Here are my best bets for Game 1 on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
I won’t sugarcoat it. Gallen hasn’t pitched well so far in the playoffs. Arizona’s ace is rocking a 6.93 FIP over 22.1 innings of work, as his strikeout rate has plummeted (13.5%) and his HR/9 has skyrocketed (2.42). Still, in a weird way, that almost makes this prop more appealing to me. Despite those struggles, Gallen has thrown five innings in every single one of his postseason outings, recording at least 16 outs in three of the four starts. Torey Lovullo is going to give his All-Star and Cy Young candidate every opportunity to have an impact in this series. That’s the kind of leash you earn after registering a 3.04 ERA and a 3.16 FIP across your last 394.0 regular season innings.
In fact, some of those regular season innings came against this exact Rangers team. Gallen saw Texas twice during 2023, with the right-hander looking quite good versus a daunting lineup. In 12.0 innings, Gallen posted a 3.00 ERA even with horrendous BABIP luck. The 28-year-old also managed an eye-popping 17.0 K/BB ratio. Gallen’s proven he can beat the league’s best. He’s specifically proven he can best the Rangers. At plus-money, I’m more than willing to back Gallen in Game 1.
World Series Props
This might seem too obvious, yet I’m honestly shocked Carroll’s sitting at plus-money. The rookie stole 54 bases during the regular season — more than twice as many as anyone on the Rangers and more than three-times as many as anyone currently in Texas’ starting lineup. The Rangers are a station-to-station team. Can you really blame them? They can hit a home run at seemingly any time. The Diamondbacks are the opposite. They’ll need to lean on their speed to create havoc on the base paths, something we saw in spades when Carroll stole a pair of bases in Game 7 of the NLCS.
Those were the outfielder’s only steals against Philadelphia, but that was far more about Carroll’s inability to consistently get on base than a philosophy shift. However, Carroll is still in possession of a .396 OBP in his 54 postseason plate appearances. He’s too good to have another series that underwhelming. He’ll be running free against Texas. Meanwhile, the Rangers, who don’t want to run to begin with, will also have to deal with the presence of Gabriel Moreno — the catcher that led the league in Baseball Savant’s caught stealing above average metric. They’re not going anywhere.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.