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The Arizona Diamondbacks' 4-2 win over the Phillies last night secured their World Series ticket, setting up a preseason betting odds dream matchup with the Rangers. We'll take a closer look at the financials of our 2023 matchup, then take a quick ride through the financial matchups in each of the last 10 World Series.


Texas Rangers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Rangers bring the 4th highest payroll ($251M) into this year’s Fall Classic, including a $510M middle infield in Corey Seager & Marcus Semien. Texas also compiled the 3rd most Injured List money in 2023, thanks in large part to Jacob deGrom’s arm injury. The Rangers pumped $828M into their past two free agencies.

Texas carried a $55M active starting rotation this season (not including the likes of Scherzer, deGrom, Gray, & Odorizzi due to injury), & a bullpen that relied heavily on Jose Leclerc & WIll Smith’s combined $10M. The Rangers’ 5-man outfield rotation accounted for only $4.8M this season.

Arizona becomes the latest inexpensive team to get to the finish line, carrying the 21st highest payroll in 2023 ($119M). Only 1 player (Ketel Marte) carried a 2023 salary larger than $10M, while 57% of the roster was comprised of players in pre-arbitration status. Young phenom Corbin Carroll already has his early extension (8 years, $111M through 2030), while it seems only a matter of time before Gabriel Moreno & Christian Walker (to name a few) get theirs.

The Diamondbacks have value all over their roster, including a $15M starting rotation (Gallen, Kelly, Nelson, Pfaadt), a closer (Sewald) they acquired at the deadline at a $1.3M salary, and a starting outfield of Carroll, Pham, & Thomas that accounted for just $3.8M on their books this season.

From a Starting 9 standpoint, the Rangers are poised to throw out a 1-9 that combined for $72.4M this season (85% of which belongs to Seager & Semien). Arizona's projected 1-9 accounted for just $34.2M this season.


Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Houston’s #8 ranked payroll ($183M) defeated Philadelphia’s 4th ranked payroll ($244M) 4 games to 2. Philly snuck into the World Series through the back of the bracket, but their roster held no surprises on the books. Massive deals for Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, JT Realmuto, Nick Castellanos, & Kyle Schwarber became worth every penny down the stretch. Houston, meanwhile, actually shedding a few financial pounds in 2022, with Carlos Correa & Greinke coming off the books for starters.


Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros

The #10 payroll Braves ($152M) defeated Houston’s 5th ranked payroll ($194M) 4 games to 2. Freddie Freeman’s final hurrah in Atlanta was a storybook finish, while this young Braves group (Acuna, Albies, Riley) was about to be paid handsomely. Houston now had big deals for Jose Altuve & Zack Greinke on their books, putting them near the $200M mark for their first time.


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The #1 payroll Dodgers ($125M) defeated Tampa’s incredible #28 ranked payroll ($28M) 4 games to 2. The biggest financial gap on our books saw the Rays bring a roster that contained only 1 player (Charlie Morton, $5.5M) with a salary north of $5M. Still, this young and feisty group couldn’t grasp control of a series against a Dodgers group that was worth $100M more, due in large part to the acquisition of Mookie Betts before the season.


Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros

The #7 payroll Nationals ($172M) defeated the 8th ranked payroll Astros ($167M) 4 games to 3. While Washington’s win was a huge surprise, they didn’t come out of nowhere financially speaking, with large deals for Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, & Ryan Zimmerman all on the books. Strasburg would opt-out, and re-up into what has been a mess of a situation for the Nationals ever since. New deals for Justin Verlander & Michael Brantley, plus increased arbitration salaries for Gerrit Cole & George Springer finally vaulted Houston into Top 10 status.


Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The #1 payroll Red Sox ($227M) defeated the 3rd ranked payroll Dodgers ($199M) 4 games to 1. This was the highest combined World Series matchup we have on the books, as Boston was carrying sizable contracts for David Price, JD Martinez, and Rick Porcello, while LA were amidst $400M worth of contracts for Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp still.


Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The #17 payroll Astros ($138M) defeated the 1st ranked payroll Dodgers ($259M) 4 games to 3. This was the official breakout season of the Astros as we still know them, including the acquisition of Justin Verlander at the August waiver deadline. The Dodgers squandered a “super-team” from a payroll perspective, carrying 7 players with a salary north of $10M this season. 


Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians

The #5 payroll Cubs ($184M) defeated the 18th ranked payroll Indians ($106M) 4 games to 3. Chicago was bolstered by an expensive starting rotation (Lester, Lackey, Arrieta, Hammel), and a savvy deadline acquisition to the back of their bullpen in Aroldis Chapman. Cleveland was playing on house money with pre-arbitration salaries for the likes of Jose Ramirez & Francisco Lindor. Ramirez would sign his first extension the following March


Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets

The #13 payroll Royals ($126M) defeated the 18th ranked payroll Mets ($115M) 4 games to 1. The matchup featured only 1 player on the books at $20M+ (David Wright), and only 4 at $10M+ (Alex Gordon, Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon). Kansas City was a .500 team a year later, and have been well under that mark ever since.