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Series Preview #51, vs. San Francisco Giants

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With two weeks left in the regular season, can the Diamondbacks finish off a disappointing 2014 strong?

Ralph Freso

What's New?

After dropping six in a row to finish their NL West road trip, Arizona returned to Chase Field and had the bats wake up in taking two of three games from the Padres. Left hander Vidal Nuno got knocked around for six runs over five innings on Friday night, and it was all San Diego would need in the 6-5 win. Arizona's offense exploded out of nowhere on Saturday night, picking up six runs in the first two innings against Tyson Ross, then piling on four more runs in the easy 10-4 win. The offense was at it again in the series finale, as they picked up five third inning runs to power them to an 8-6 win. Arizona has won two in a row, and are now 31-44 at home this season. They are 61-88 overall, 24 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They have separated themselves for fourth place in the division, as they hold a two game lead over the Rockies.

Despite their successes of late, Arizona's offense has been dreadful in 2014. They rank 29th in wRC+ (84) and 26th in offensive WAR (10.3), batting .247/.302/.377 with a .300 wOBA. They also rank a dismal 25th in wRAA (-49.8). The pitching staff has struggled as well, ranking 25th in team ERA (4.18), 20th in FIP (3.87) and 25th in pitching WAR (9.7). They run into trouble in giving up the long ball, with the fifth-highest home run rate in the majors (1.00 HR/9).

San Francisco's offense is much improved in 2014, ranking eighth in wRC+ (103) and fourth in offensive WAR (23.4), batting .257/.314/.394 with a .312 wOBA. When looking at wRAA they are slightly above league average, ranking 14th at 3.3. As always, their pitching staff is excellent, ranking eighth in ERA (3.49) and tenth in FIP (3.56), but rank 28th in pitching WAR (8.4). They're one of the most skilled staffs in the bigs, ranking seventh in SIERA (3.52).

The Giants come to the desert after dropping two of three against the Dodgers to wrap up a 4-2 home stand. They've won six of their last ten, and are 40-32 on the road this season. They're currently 82-67, three games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They currently hold a three game lead for the wild card spot in the National League.

Like Father, Like Son

In Saturday night's 17-0 loss the the Dodgers, the Giants made major league history. When manager Bruce Bochy called to the bullpen for the right hander, he and his son Brett became the first father-son manager-pitcher duo in major league history. In a league that saw Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr., as well as brothers B.J. and Justin Upton share the same outfield, this is yet another phenomenal baseball oddity.

Bochy finished the night going 1.1 innings and surrendering two earned runs in the loss.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1, Monday 6:40 PT: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (8-10, 3.90 ERA, 3.88 FIP) vs. LHP Wade Miley (7-11, 4.28 ERA, 4.08 FIP)

Vogelsong was wild, but strong in his last start in giving up just two hits (and walking five) over 6.2 scoreless innings against Arizona in picking up the no-decision. He's 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks this season. Miley struggled with his command in his last start, lasting just two innings while giving up three earned runs in picking up the loss against the Giants. He is just 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA at home this season.

Game 2, Tuesday 6:40 PT: RHP Jake Peavy (6-13, 3.93 ERA, 2.73 FIP) vs. RHP Josh Collmenter (10-7, 3.67 ERA, 3.94 FIP)

Peavy was strong again in his last start, giving up just a run over 5.2 innings in the win over Arizona. He is 5-4 with a 2.29 ERA in nine starts since being traded to San Francisco at the trade deadline, with wins in five of his last six starts. Collmenter was great in his last start, throwing six shutout innings and giving up three hits against the Giants, and has a 0.65 ERA over his last four outings (27.2 innings). He is 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA at home in 2014.

Game 3, Wednesday 12:40 PT: LHP Madison Bumgarner (18-9, 2.91 ERA, 2.90 FIP) vs. RHP Randall Delgado (3-4, 5.48 ERA, 3.68 FIP)

Bumgarner was lights-out against Los Angeles on Friday, giving up just three hits over seven shutout innings while picking up the win. He's the fifth lefty to hit the 200-strikeout mark in franchise history. He's 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA in his career at Chase Field, and is 11-3 with a 2.00 ERA on the road this season. Delgado had a rough go of it in his last start, giving up three earned runs over four innings while picking up the loss against the Giants. He has a 3.00 ERA since returning to the starting rotation earlier this month.

Series Pick'em

The Giants are hungry in the playoff hunt, but I think Arizona still takes at least one of these three games. Miley could bounce back strong against Vogelsong, but Collmenter is the best pitcher Arizona has going right now and I expect him to continue that trend. Delgado needs to get his confidence back, but probably won't do so in the rubber match of this series.