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Game #116 Preview: 8/16, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Atlanta Braves

Spin the Wheel O' De La Rosa! Where will it land?

Chris Coduto/Getty Images
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 10-5, 4.55
Shelby Miller
RHP, 5-9, 2.48
Ender Inciarte - CF Michael Bourn - LF
Aaron Hill - 2B Cameron Maybin - CF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Nick Markakis - RF
David Peralta - LF A.J. Pierzynski - C
Welington Castillo - C Adonis Garcia - 3B
Jake Lamb - 3B Jace Peterson - 2B
Yasmany Tomas - RF Joey Terdoslavich - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Andrelton Simmons - SS
Rubby De La Rosa - RHP Shelby Miller - RHP

A win today for De La Rosa would be his 11th victory this year. Not exactly a landmark, but it would equal the high posted by any Arizona pitcher last season, when Josh Collmenter got 11 wins. Of course, a starting pitcher only has control over less than half of the factors that go into deciding whether or not he receives a decision. He can't control unearned runs, bullpen performance or what the hitters do in his games. That certainly plays into Rubby being our winningest pitcher so far, because he has received an average of 5.57 runs of support per game, which is most in the National League by almost half a run. Here are the totals for our current, regular starters:

  1. Rubby De La Rosa: 5.57
  2. Jeremy Hellickson: 4.41
  3. Patrick Corbin: 4.38
  4. Chase Anderson: 3.35
  5. Robbie Ray: 2.93

Yeah, pity poor Ray, because the DIamondbacks have given him three runs or fewer in nine of Ray's 14 starts - and, unsurprisingly, the team has lost every one of those. In contrast, they have scored six or more for De La Rosa in 10 of his 23 outings, including two 11's, a 13 and a 14. Ray, meanwhile, has received 16 runs of support since the All-Star break, in six starts. Hopefully, however, the offensive trend will continue this afternoon in Atlanta, and the Diamondbacks will kick off this road-trip by winning the series in Atlanta. That ain't easy: the Braves have won five of the last seven home series played, including a defeat of the Dodgers and a sweep of the Mets.

But, of course, whether Rubby's five-game unbeaten streak continues, will also be decided by where the Wheel O' De La Rosa lands this afternoon. The last couple of outings have been alright I suppose, but like a volcano going unusually quiet, I sense it's only a matter of time before "something" happens. And that something is as likely to be a complete-game shutout as it is to be an epxc meltdown of King Felix proportions! That's why they keep playing the games, and that's why we keep watching....