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The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers share more in common than reaching this year's World Series. They're both wild-card teams that were the underdog in the Wild Card Series, Division Series, and Championship Series. They both lost 100-plus games as recently as 2021. They both put an end to long pennant droughts this season.

The D-backs and Rangers are also similar in that their postseason rotations are top heavy. Arizona has leaned on Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, with rookie Brandon Pfaadt serving as the No. 3 starter. The Rangers have leaned on Nathan Eovaldi and Jordan Montgomery, with Max Scherzer stepping in as the No. 3 after returning from his major teres strain sooner than expected. Both clubs are expected to employ a bullpen game in Game 4.

For the Rangers, Eovaldi and Montgomery have done tremendous work while carrying a heavy workload. Those two have started 10 of the club's 14 postseason games and they combined to throw 61 2/3 innings, or nearly half the team's 128 innings in October. Eovaldi and Montgomery have been excellent. The rest of the staff? Not so much. Here are the postseason numbers:


Eovaldi + Montgomery


61 2/3




Everyone else


66 2/3




Every team can lean on their top pitchers heavily in the postseason, all the off-days allow it, and Eovaldi and Montgomery have answered the bell. The Rangers are doing exactly what they should do. Give the ball to those two as much as possible, like the D-backs have done with Gallen and Merrill (they've started nine of Arizona's 14 postseason games).

Eovaldi started Game 1 of the World Series and Montgomery started Game 2. Unless the Rangers use them on short rest, we won't see either until Game 5 on Wednesday. The "everyone else" you see in the table has to cover Games 3 and 4, including Scherzer, who has allowed seven runs in 6 2/3 innings this postseason and will start Game 3 on Monday.

The D-backs are in the same boat, they have to rely on "everyone else" in Games 3 and 4, though their everyone else has been pretty darn good this postseason: 2.79 ERA in 74 innings by everyone other than Gallen and Kelly. The rest of Arizona's pitching staff has stepped up in the way the rest of the Rangers' pitching staff has not yet.

Texas has gotten this far with less than stellar work from their non-Eovaldi and Montgomery starters. No reason it can't continue. That said, the path to the franchise's World Series championship gets much easier if Scherzer & Co. step up with their performance. This deep into the postseason, Eovaldi and Montgomery need more help than they've gotten.