When the Texas Rangers lost the 2011 World Series, it seemed their franchise was cursed.
They were one out away in Game 6 that year. Then Nelson Cruz couldn't catch David Freese's fly ball to right field, allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to tie it. The Cardinals eventually won in extra innings and then took Game 7. It was heartbreaking for Rangers fans.
The Rangers were established in 1961, and they have never won a World Series. It didn't seem like it would happen this season, either. They opened as a 50-to-1 long shot to win a championship at BetMGM. Even as the playoffs started, they were 18-to-1.
Wary Rangers fans won't want to hear the history of teams that are up 3-1 in the World Series. Only six of 47 teams up 3-1 in the World Series didn't win the championship. Texas fans might point out the six that did blow it before the 41 that didn't.
The Rangers have also won 10 road games in a row, an MLB record. Maybe they'll be more comfortable closing it out in Arizona on Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks have Zac Gallen on the mound, and while he's one of the best pitchers in baseball, he hasn't been great in a few weeks. The Rangers have Nathan Eovaldi scheduled to take the mound.
If you believe in the Diamondbacks still, they're +800 to win the World Series. Rangers fans might never recover if that ticket cashes.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
NBA has 13 games
It's a full night in the NBA, and the most compelling game could be the late one.
The LA Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers. That's always a fun game, but it could have extra importance if James Harden makes his Clippers debut. The Lakers are currently 5.5-point favorites. That seems a bit high, whether Harden plays or not.
That's the second game of the ESPN doubleheader, and the first game is a fun one, too. The 2-1 New Orleans Pelicans take on the 3-1 Oklahoma City Thunder in a matchup of two intriguing teams off to good starts. The Thunder are 3.5-point favorites.
Best of the rest
There are a couple of MAC college football games on Wednesday. Ball State takes on Bowling Green (-5.5), and Kent State is at Akron (-4).
The NHL has just four games. The matchups aren't great either, with the Dallas Stars at the Calgary Flames probably the best of the lot. The Stars are -135.
What's the best bet?
I do think the Rangers close out the World Series on Wednesday, but I'll look elsewhere and take the Minnesota Timberwolves as 2.5-point home underdogs against the Denver Nuggets. It's hard to go against a 4-0 Nuggets team, but they also aren't going undefeated, and this seems like a matchup the Timberwolves will treat like a playoff game. I like them to pull the upset.