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The 2023 World Series is set and it's a matchup that very, very few would've ever expected. The 90-win Texas Rangers, the fifth seed in the AL, are taking on the 84-win Diamondbacks, who were the last team in the playoff field. 

Heading into the season, the gambling over/under win total for the Rangers was 81.5. The Diamondbacks' was 76.5. Only eight teams were lower than Arizona while there were 15 teams with a higher number than the Rangers, including the White Sox, Guardians and Cardinals

It is truly a double upset of a World Series and that's all kinds of fun. Here are some more items of note about the 2023 Fall Classic. 

This is the first-ever World Series between these two teams

A fresh matchup! 

The Rangers are making their third trip to the World Series. They played the Giants in 2010 and Cardinals in 2011. The Diamondbacks have only been once before and that was the 2001 victory over the Yankees in the seven-game classic. 

It feels pretty cool to have a World Series matchup we've never seen before. In fact, it's been happening a lot lately ... 

This is the fifth straight season with a new matchup

If it sounds familiar to say that we've never had this World Series matchup before, that's because we've been able to say it rather frequently in recent years. 

Last year was the first-ever Astros-Phillies bout in the Fall Classic, just like 2021 was the first between the Astros and the Braves, 2020 was the first between the Rays and Dodgers and 2019 was the first between the Nationals and Astros. The 2018 duel between the Dodgers and Red Sox was the second between the two franchises, though the first time was 1916 when the Dodgers were actually the Brooklyn Robins. In 2017, it was a fresh pairing, just like 2016 and 2015 and 2014. 

Add it up and that's nine of the last 10 years we've seen a first-time World Series matchup. That's pretty fun. If variety is the spice of life, there's more cayenne on the way. 

Still no repeat champ

The last time Major League Baseball had a repeat champion was 2000. Rangers left fielder Evan Carter wasn't even born yet! He was born in 2002, the year the Angels would win their only title. 

The streak of not having a repeat champion will continue, as obviously the Astros won the title last season and were just bounced in the ALCS. Sure, we've seen things like the Giants winning three titles in a five-year span and an awful lot of Dodgers and Astros in the World Series lately, but it is pretty fun that no team repeats anymore. 

The other major sports leagues haven't experienced this. While baseball's streak will extend to 23 seasons this year, here are the longest in some other sports: 

  • NFL: Believe it or not, the NFL is working on its longest streak ever right now. The New England Patriots went back-to-back in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, so it's 18 straight. 
  • NBA: The Golden State Warriors went back to back in 2017-18, so it's fresh. The NBA rarely goes long without seeing repeat champs. The longest streak came from 1970-87 (18), but there were still a ton of Lakers and Celtics titles in there, just not in consecutive seasons. The current streak is 5. 
  • NHL: The Tampa Bay Lightning repeated in 2020-21, so the current streak is only 2. From 1999-2016, they had 17 straight non-repeat champs.
  • WNBA: They actually went from 2002 until this season, but the Las Vegas Aces have currently won back-to-back titles. The streak got to 20.
  • College football: Georgia is currently the two-time defending champ. There was a streak of nine before last season. It's trickier with how champs used to be determined, but I can get to 15 without a repeat champion (1980-94). 
  • Men's college basketball: As things stand, we haven't seen a repeat champ since Billy Donovan's Florida Gators in 2006-07. That's 15. The longest streak was 18, from John Wooden's UCLA (1967-73) until Coach K's Duke team in 1991-92. 

The Rangers have never won the World Series

It's a good trivia question to throw around if you're with a group of friends who happen to be baseball fans. How quickly can you name the teams with no World Series titles? 

There is only one with zero pennants and that's the Seattle Mariners. This season marks the third pennant for the Rangers (2010, 2011, 2023), but they've never hoisted that pesky piece of metal. The Colorado Rockies won the 2007 NL pennant but have zero titles. The Milwaukee Brewers won the AL crown in 1982 and have zero World Series championships. The Rays have two pennants (2008, 2020) and no titles. Same with the Padres (1984, 1998). 

Will the Rangers win the title and whittle the field of never-champs down to the Mariners, Rockies, Brewers, Rays and Padres? 

The Diamondbacks have only one World Series title

As noted, the D-backs won it all in 2001, so they are 1-0 in the World Series and have a shot to add a second title. The list of teams to never win the World Series is above. The teams to win it just once? The Nationals (2019), Angels (2002) and Diamondbacks (2001). The D-backs are looking to elevate themselves into the group of two-time winners, which has the Phillies (2008, 1980), Guardians (1948, 1920), Astros (2022, 2017), Mets (1986, 1969), Royals (2015, 1985), Blue Jays (1993, 1992) and Marlins (2003, 1997). 

Texas hosting World Series (again)

The state of Texas is on a run of having the World Series played there. Take a look: 

  • 2017: The Astros were in it 
  • 2018: None
  • 2019: The Astros were in it
  • 2020: The neutral-site World Series took place in Texas
  • 2021: Astros. 
  • 2022: Astros, again.
  • 2023: The Rangers are in it.

That's five straight and six of seven in the state.  

Rangers playing World Series game Globe Life

Take note of the 2020 World Series above. It went six games, but the Rangers weren't in it. Game 1 on Friday will be the first World Series game played in Globe Life Field which involves its tenant, but it'll be the seventh World Series game played there overall.