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Game #101 Preview: 7/31, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Houston Astros

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After the thrilling excitement which was the trade deadline, it's back to game action for the Diamondbacks, as they seek to win their sixth in a row.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 8-5, 4.52
Scott Feldman
RHP, 4-5, 4.54
Ender Inciarte - RF Jose Altuve - 2B
A.J. Pollock - CF Carlos Gomez - CF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Carlos Correa - SS
David Peralta - LF Preston Tucker - LF
Welington Castillo - C Evan Gattis - DH
Jake Lamb - 3B Colby Rasmus - RF
Yasmany Tomas - DH Luis Valbuena - 3B
Chris Owings - 2B Marwin Gonzalez - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Jason Castro - C

It's the last game of July, and a victory for Arizona would make it the best month in the season, giving them a record of 13-11. Even a defeat, leaving us exactly at .500 for the month, would put it in a tie with June, when we went 14-14. We've been nothing if not consistent this season: regardless of tonight's result, each one of the four months to date will see the Diamondbacks having a record within two games either side of .500. That's quite a contrast to last season, when at this point, we had been everywhere from ten games below, to actually posting a pair of winning months.

That's why our record at this point is "only" six games up on last season. However, that gap is likely to grow as we move through August and September, because last year's Diamondbacks were totally wretched in the final couple of months. We went 16-37 in August and September last season - the worst record in the majors over that time by a full four games - so there's definitely plenty of scope for improvement this time round. Oh, yeah: and a win tonight would also take the Diamondbacks back to their old friend of... one game below .500, for the first time in three weeks, since dropping the opener in New York, starting a six-game skid.

Tomas gets his turn at DH for this one, with Paul Goldschmidt - inexplicably, not a San Diego Padre at the trade deadline - anchoring the rest of the offense. De La Rosa had his best outing as a Diamondbacks last time, with eight scoreless innings, but we all know the only thing consistent about Rubby this year has been his inconsistency, so we'll spin the Wheel O' De La Rosa again, and see where it lands. If it's anywhere near the spot it ended his previous start, we've got a good chance of making it six in a row.