Preview: Game #99, Diamondbacks vs. Cubs

Thearon W. Henderson

Back to Chase, where a seven-game homestand starts today, beginning with the first of four against the Chicago Cubs. Time for the D-backs to take it out on a weak opponent - even weaker than at the start of the day.

chc_medium

Chris Rusin
LHP, 0-0, 8.10
ari_medium

Tyler Skaggs
LHP, 2-1, 4.03 ERA

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. A.J. Pollock, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Aaron Hill, 2B
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Cody Ross, LF
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Didi Gregorius SS
  9. Tyler Skaggs, P

To no great surprise, the team optioned Euby de la Rosa to Reno this afternoon, to make way for Tyler Skaggs. On the Cubs side, scheduled starter Matt Garza was traded to the Rangers this afternoon, so he has been replaced by Rusin, who has made one, thoroughly unsuccessful start this season. Definitely helps our cause to be facing him rather than Garza, and it's important for the D-backs to take advantage of the weakened starter. The Dodgers will be facing the Blue Jays in Toronto, and that game will be getting under way in a few minutes, so we'll be cheering on our Canadian cousins in that.

There was a discussion in one of the Gameday Threads over the weekend about the difference between the stats for Goldschmidt in D-backs wins and losses. Obviously, you'll find this for all teams and, likely, almost all players. But let's dig a little deeper and see if there are D-backs who splits are significantly greater than normal - if you like, they could be seen as the engine-room that drives the team's results. To start with, as a baseline, the NL line in a win is .288/.354/.465, an OPS of .820. But in a loss, it's only .215/.273/.319, all the way down at a .592 OPS. That's more than I'd have expected: put another way, when teams lose, they hit like Cliff Pennington has since 2012.

The Diamondbacks are quite a bit less than the league average difference of 238 points, coming in at 190 points. The lowest gap is the Mets, who hit 172 points better when they win, with the larges being the Braves, more than double that, all the way up at 345 points, with an .880/.535 split. Here's the full break down for the Arizona offense, in their games so far.

Split GS PA AB R H HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
in Wins 51 2050 1808 277 515 50 259 17 17 184 352 .285 .351 .441 .792 .327
in Losses 47 1736 1582 128 348 30 119 12 8 121 348 .220 .278 .324 .602 .262

A couple of indicators stick out. Interesting to note that our BABIP is 65 points higher in victory than defeat. Part of that may be just "good luck" [I'm thinking, for example, of Cody Ross's bloop two-run single yesterday, which provided the margin of victory], but it may also be a higher percentage of line-drives as we square up pitches. If you are looking for a particular indicator, however, here's a good one. In wins, we have a K:BB ratio of below two; in losses, it's close to three. If we look at that for the results this season, this is what we find.

  • K:BB below two: 25-10
  • K:BB between two and three: 13-16
  • K:BB above three: 13-21

Something to keep an eye for this series, I think, see if it gives us an early marker of how we'll do in any particular games. Now, if we break it down by individual players, the chart below shows what we see, sorted in descending order of OPS difference. Note that Tony Campana has yet to come to the plate in a Diamondbacks defeat. The team total below won't quite match the sum of these, because they also include pitchers.


Wins Losses

AB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip AB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip Diff
Tony Campana 10 .300 .364 .300 .664 .429 0




.664
Paul Goldschmidt 192 .391 .469 .745 1.214 .430 170 .218 .302 .329 .631 .262 .583
Eric Hinske 22 .227 .370 .455 .825 .286 30 .133 .161 .167 .328 .200 .497
Cody Ross 147 .327 .377 .483 .860 .358 119 .185 .256 .235 .491 .216 .369
Willie Bloomquist 35 .371 .436 .429 .864 .394 37 .216 .250 .270 .520 .229 .344
Gerardo Parra 197 .325 .385 .513 .897 .366 178 .230 .286 .315 .601 .273 .296
Jason Kubel 100 .310 .381 .430 .811 .397 94 .160 .245 .277 .522 .214 .289
Didi Gregorius 128 .305 .382 .484 .866 .333 110 .236 .286 .300 .586 .281 .280
Adam Eaton 9 .222 .300 .444 .744 .250 16 .188 .278 .188 .465 .273 .279
Wil Nieves 36 .417 .450 .472 .922 .500 34 .294 .314 .353 .667 .333 .255
Team Total 1808 .285 .351 .441 .792 .327 1582 .220 .278 .324 .602 .262 .190
Alfredo Marte 16 .188 .350 .250 .600 .250 27 .185 .214 .259 .474 .263 .126
Martin Prado 194 .273 .324 .402 .726 .275 174 .241 .290 .339 .629 .259 .097
Aaron Hill 64 .297 .328 .516 .844 .308 57 .246 .362 .386 .748 .265 .096
Eric Chavez 80 .325 .396 .500 .896 .369 67 .269 .275 .552 .828 .245 .068
Cliff Pennington 111 .234 .317 .270 .588 .286 93 .215 .247 .290 .538 .264 .050
A.J. Pollock 156 .244 .289 .429 .719 .277 122 .262 .300 .393 .693 .316 .026
Miguel Montero 167 .216 .316 .299 .616 .256 148 .243 .320 .385 .705 .295 -.089
Josh Wilson 33 .152 .200 .182 .382 .217 27 .259 .333 .444 .778 .316 -.396

If it seems that we win when Goldschmidt hits well, that's because we do. When he's hitless, the Diamondbacks are 7-22. When he gets exactly one hit, we are 21-16. When has a multi-hit game, Arizona's record is 22-9. When he homers, we've gone 14-4. Among the regulars, Ross and Kubel also hit better when we win: or, if you prefer, we win when they hit better. At the other end of the spectrum (and discounting Wilson's small sample size), we see that Miggy hits 89 points worse when we win, which is kinda weird.

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