With a 5-0 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, the Rangers claimed their first World Series championship in franchise history. They took the series four games to one, splitting the first two contests at Globe Life Field in Texas before winning all three at Chase Field in Arizona.
The franchise was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, before moving to Arlington in 1972. The Rangers won back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and ’11 but lost in the World Series both years. They held the second-longest championship drought in baseball, a title that now falls to the Brewers, who have not won a World Series in their 55-year history. The Guardians, having last won a World Series in 1948, still hold the longest championship drought in the game at 75 years and counting.
Including Milwaukee, there are now just five franchises that have yet to win a World Series: the Brewers, Padres, Mariners, Rockies, and Rays.
The Rangers took fate into their own hands over the past two seasons, signing stars like Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jacob deGrom, and Nathan Eovaldi to large contracts to accelerate their competitive window. They burst out of the gate in 2023, going 17-11 (.607) in April and 52-39 (.571) in the first half. General Manager Chris Young remained aggressive at the trade deadline, adding Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery to replenish a depleted rotation. The moves paid off, and the Rangers finished 90-72 with a +165 run differential. Although they lost the division crown on a tiebreaker, they swept their way to the ALCS and dethroned the Astros in a thrilling seven-game series. Just two years removed from a 102-loss season, the Rangers are World Series champions.
Seager was named World Series MVP for his dominant offensive performance against Arizona. In five games, he smacked three home runs, driving in six. The star shortstop led all players in the World Series in Win Probability Added (WPA), scoring a run in all four Texas victories. Overall, he hit .318 with a 1.133 OPS in the postseason. It is his second time winning World Series MVP honors, after previously taking home the award in 2020 with the Dodgers.
Additional hitters from the championship team who merit special recognition for their postseason performance include Adolis García and Evan Carter. On the pitching side, Montgomery and Eovaldi offered particularly praiseworthy performances, as did Josh Sborz and José Leclerc. García led the team with eight home runs and a whopping 22 RBI throughout the playoffs, taking home ALCS MVP honors. Unfortunately, his postseason ended early after an oblique strain in Game 3. Carter, the rookie phenom, was an integral part of the team’s offense despite making his MLB debut this past September. He is only 21 years old.
Eovaldi made six starts across the four series, going 5-0 with a 2.95 ERA. Montgomery was similarly dominant, appearing in six games (five starts) and posting a 2.90 ERA of his own. Meanwhile, Leclerc and Sborz were a lethal combination out of the bullpen. Leclerc, the longest-tenured player on the roster, was reliable as ever, pitching in 13 contests and putting up a 3.29 ERA. Sborz, for his part, showed up seemingly out of nowhere, tossing 12 innings and giving up just one run, good for a 0.75 ERA. Over the past three years with Texas, he has a 4.98 ERA. However, his underlying numbers have long suggested he is better than his ERA, and with his performance this postseason, he proved that to be true.
Manager Bruce Bochy collects his fourth World Series title, having won with the Giants in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Funnily enough, his Giants beat the Rangers to win it all in 2010. The long-time manager came out of retirement to join the Rangers in 2023, a surprising move at the time, but clearly a shrewd decision.
With the World Series wrapped up, it’s time for the offseason to officially begin. Teams can start making trades on Thursday, and they will be able to sign free agents on Monday. That’s also the deadline for teams to make option decisions, to issue qualifying offers, and to add players from the 60-day injured list back to the 40-man roster. The non-tender deadline is November 17.