LIVE: Rangers vs. D-backs World Series Game 3 on FOX

October 30th, 2023

PHOENIX -- The D-backs came dangerously close to sweeping the Texas two-fer at the start of this World Series, but after the gut punch delivered by Corey Seager and Adolis García in Game 1 on Friday night, they were more than satisfied to get off the mat and earn the split on Saturday night.

Now, in Game 3 on Monday night at Chase Field, it’s the Rangers’ turn to try to spoil somebody’s home cooking, as they have been wont to do.

The Rangers got beat, plain and simple, in Game 2, but as we’ve already seen in this Series and throughout October, they’re always a swing or two away from turning a game on its head. And their 8-0 record on the road in this postseason -- tied with the 1996 Yankees for the best such record for a team with eight or more road games -- speaks for itself.

“History serves us well, for sure, going on the road,” Rangers rookie left fielder Evan Carter said. “We have all the confidence in the world that we're going to show back up and be ready to go.”

Texas will send likely Hall of Famer Max Scherzer to the mound against the D-backs franchise for whom he made his big league debut way back in 2008, and, more specifically, against rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who has had a surprisingly splendid October for Arizona.

In best-of-seven postseason series with the current 2-3-2 format, teams have split the first two games 87 times. The team that played those games at home still went on to win that series 48 times (55%). In any best-of-seven series tied at 1-1, the Game 3 winner has eventually taken the series 68 of 99 times (69%).

Here’s what’s on tap for Game 3:

When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 3 is live now from Chase Field, airing on FOX.

The Fall Classic is available in the US on MLB.TV with authentication to a participating Pay TV provider. Games are available live internationally (except in Canada). Full game archives will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.

Who are the starting pitchers?
Rangers: RHP
Scherzer didn’t appear in the last few weeks of the regular season or the first two rounds of the postseason as he was sidelined with a teres major strain in his right shoulder. He returned for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros, allowing five runs in four innings. He also started Game 7, allowing two runs in 2 2/3 innings. After both starts, Scherzer insisted that he had more in the tank, and manager Bruce Bochy confirmed that he should be ready for a full workload in his next start.

“He could give us length,” Bochy said. “I've talked to him about this. He's comfortable pretty much throwing like he normally does. Maybe not quite as long as he's been, over 100 pitches or whatever, but pretty close.”

D-backs: RHP
Pfaadt played a pivotal role in the D-backs' comeback in the National League Championship Series. After Arizona dropped the first two games, the rookie right-hander steadied the ship by striking out nine batters over 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3. Pfaadt then struck out seven over four strong innings in Game 7. It’ll be interesting to see how long manager Torey Lovullo sticks with Pfaadt, who has typically been asked to just get through the order two times.

“I've been going 18 [batters], plus or minus four,” Lovullo said of Pfaadt’s usage. “That's what I've adopted late in the season, so we'll continue to march on toward that. … He has shown a lot and has earned the right to potentially pitch a little bit deeper in the game, and I'll read and react.”

What are the starting lineups?
Rangers: With another right-hander on the mound for Arizona, Bochy made just one tweak from his typical lineup, flipping García (three-hole) and Carter (cleanup). Mitch Garver remains in the fifth spot at designated hitter, and as expected, Bochy is sticking with Marcus Semien at leadoff despite the second baseman's continued struggles this postseason.

Though it’s unclear how deep the D-backs will let Pfaadt go, it’ll be interesting to see how Bochy plans to utilize his bench given Carter’s issues against left-handed pitching.

D-backs: With the Rangers starting a righty in Scherzer, Arizona is rolling with its Game 1 lineup -- Corbin Carroll leads off, and Ketel Marte is out of the two-spot. Those are the only tweaks from a Game 2 lineup that erupted for nine runs on 16 hits.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Rangers: With the off-day on Sunday, the majority of the Rangers’ bullpen should be in good shape for Game 3 in Arizona, especially as Bochy avoided his club’s high-leverage arms in the Game 2 blowout loss.

The high-leverage trio of Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and José Leclerc will be a full go, and Bochy has continued to use Will Smith on a matchup basis. Converted starters Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning and Cody Bradford will be available for long relief, but Martín Pérez is likely down after tossing 39 pitches in Game 2.

D-backs: Between running away with Game 2 on Saturday and the off-day on Sunday, Lovullo will have his full allotment of relievers at his disposal. That means left-hander Joe Mantiply will get the first high-leverage look against the tough left-handed bats -- Seager and Carter -- near the top of Texas’ order. Fellow southpaws Kyle Nelson and Andrew Saalfrank are the next options. Meanwhile, right-handers Ryan Thompson and Kevin Ginkel will look to bridge the rest of the gap before turning to closer Paul Sewald.

Any injuries of note?
Rangers: Reliever Jonathan Hernández has been left off the roster in every postseason series due to a right lat strain, an injury that Bochy said was sustained during Game 162, when Hernández tossed one perfect inning with two strikeouts in Texas’ 1-0 loss to Seattle.

D-backs: Outfielder Jake McCarthy was removed from the roster just before Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series after suffering a strained right oblique. He is not expected to return.

Who’s hot, who’s not?
Rangers: Most of the Rangers’ offense struggled in Game 2, though Garver launched a solo homer to score the only run of the game. Carter has reached safely in all 14 of his postseason games this year, and Jung has a hit in four of his last five postseason games.

Semien’s struggles continued with a 1-for-4 night, and Taveras is hitting just .213 this postseason.

D-backs: Marte has recorded a hit in each of Arizona’s 14 games this postseason -- and all 18 of his career playoff games. That’s the longest hitting streak by any player in postseason history. Pham has seemingly turned a corner, hitting a home run in Game 1 before going 4-for-4 in Game 2. He entered the World Series having gone just 2-for-24 (.083) with 10 strikeouts over his previous seven games.

At the other end of the spectrum, Walker is just 5-for-44 (.114) over his past 13 games, though he hit three balls with an exit velocity greater than 100 mph in Game 2 -- and was robbed of a pair of hits.