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Preview: Game #110, Diamondbacks @ Red Sox

What? We get to play consecutive games in the same state? There's a novel concept... Second of a three-game series in Boston, as Patrick Corbin tries to give Arizona its first series win since before the break.

Gail Oskin


Patrick Corbin
LHP, 12-2, 2.24

Jake Peavy
RHP, 8-4, 4.28

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, CF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, DH
  5. Martin Prado, 3B
  6. Cody Ross, RF
  7. Jason Kubel, LF
  8. Wil Nieves, C
  9. Cliff Pennington, SS
    + Patrick Corbin, P

Certainly fair to say that Cody Ross enjoyed his return to Fenway, and given his statements about feeling lied to by Red Sox management, I'm sure last night's four hit, nine-base performance was particularly satisfying for him. Ross's value for the season is creeping up: it's at 1.9 bWAR, which is tied for third among our position players, behind Goldschmidt and Parra. fWAR has him a little lower, at 1.4 fWAR, but considering his average over the past four years was 1.5 bWAR/1.7 fWAR, it looks likely he'll end up being decent enough value for his $6m salary this year. Whether he'll be worth the $9.5 million due in 2014 and 2015... we'll have to wait and see.

Kubel, on the other hand... Dead last by fWAR, at -1.1, and ahead only of Adam Eaton at -0.4 bWAR. How bad has Kubel been? That fWAR is the same as Eric Byrnes put up in 2008, when he had tears in both hamstrings. To find the last time any D-backs outfielder posted a lower fWAR, we have to go back to 2005, when Jose Cruz was worth -1.5. The others who've done so previously are: Brent Brede and Karim Garcia (both -1.5 in 1998) and the all-time lowest, Quinton McCracken's -1.6 in 2003 - mostly the result of his 39 OPS+, over 115 games. Only two NL batters in the past 30 years have had a lower OPS+ with as many games played. so maybe Jason's not that bad.

Today marks the debut of Jake Peavy for Boston, and I'm sure their fans will be looking forward to that. Arizona has had mixed fortunes against Peavy, but it's doubtful whether past performance will have any impact today, since the last time they met was over four years ago. Gerardo Parra is the only survivor of that line-up, with Miguel Montero on the DL currently. Peavy got the win in 2009, with seven innings of two-run ball. Amusingly, Heath Bell got the save in that game, but is now on the other side. Conversely, Stephen Drew started at shortstop against Peavy then, and will probably be manning the position this afternoon for Boston.

Elsewhere, the Dodgers and Cubs are in action, with LA up by one in the fifth inning. All five teams in the National League West won yesterday, which can't have happened too many times this season. No, I'm not going to check. For this afternoon, hopefully Corbin will be able to keep the Red Sox offense in check better than Delgado did yesterday, and the Ross/Goldschmidt pairing continue to enjoy Fenway's friendly dimensions.