Arizona Diamondbacks (71-78) vs Los Angeles Dodgers (85-63)
Hey, that actually went pretty well. The D-Backs won 2 of 3 against the Giants in their last series, shutting out the Giants twice. The finale didn't go so well, with Arizona scoring their only run by way of a David Peralta homer in the 9th, but hey I'll take series wins all day. Sadly, the loss Sunday mathematically eliminated the D-Backs from making the playoffs, so :-(. I'd really like to see the next two weeks used as a proving ground for the young kids so we can get a better idea of who we will see on the 2016 Diamondbacks. The two position players I want to see are Peter O' Brien and Brandon Drury, both of whom tore it up in the minors. As for pitchers, I want to see Archie Bradley and Aaron Blair, but it seems like there's a chance they won't be seen again till next year.
Looks like the Dodgers will be winning the NL West again this year, and now are just looking to improve their seeding. With 2 weeks left to play and a magic number of 7, a playoff berth looks all but certain for LA. Their offense has been kinda meh this year, scoring 4.14 runs a game, good for 19th in the majors, but their pitching has been what got them to where they are. They are second in the majors in runs allowed per game, at 3.59.
- After being touted as a RoY candidate at the beginning of the year, Joc Pederson has seen his season go down the drain fast. He has batted .191 with 5 homers in the second half.
- The outfield for Arizona has been doing really well lately, batting about .337 with 3 homers in the last 2 weeks.
- The Diamondbacks have to face both Greinke and Kershaw, which is never fun.
- Goldy is still not doing Goldy things, with a .231 average in his last 12 games. Something strange is going on with him, which hopefully will be fixed by the start of next year.
The Diamondbacks are still staying off the injury list, as it seems they have for a while.
Jimmy Rollins has been out for 2 weeks with a sprained finger. He pinch hit twice over the weekend though, so I'd expect him to return to the lineup against the D-Backs. Third baseman Justin Turner left Saturday's game with knee soreness, and was not in the lineup Sunday. It's not believed to be serious, and he could return any day. We also won't see Yasiel Puig this series, who may not even be ready for the postseason after pulling his hammy in late August. Darn, I know how much we all look forward to seeing Puig.
Game 1: Jhoulys Chacin RHP (0-1, 2.95 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) vs Brett Anderson LHP (9-8, 3.35 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
Chacin is making his case to be a part of next year's rotation, allowing 2 earned runs in all 3 of his starts. Like I said last week, luck has played a part in his success. Opposing batters have a BABIP of .235 against him, a number which is sure to increase. When it does, expect that ERA to go up too.
Brett Anderson has provided some stability in a Dodgers rotation that was supposed to be just Kershaw, Greinke, and a bunch of question marks. Anderson has made 28 starts this year, and in only three of those starts has he allowed four or more earned runs. He has made 3 starts against the D-Backs this year, with a 2.87 ERA in those outings. Slight advantage to the Dodgers.
Game 2: Robbie Ray LHP (4-12, 3.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) vs Alex Wood LHP (11-10, 3.63 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Robbie Ray still can't figure out how to get deep into games. In has last 9 starts, he has finished the 6th inning in only 2. Ray just can't get anybody out quickly, constantly getting into 3 ball counts and giving up foul ball after foul ball. Since the beginning of August, he has taken an average of 19 pitches to get through each inning. At that rate, he'll have thrown 95 pitches at the end of the 5th inning. This has to change if he wants to be in next year's rotation.
After coming over from Atlanta at the deadline, Wood has not been spectacular, but has been a solid middle of the rotation guy. In his 9 starts for LA, just one has been bad. Lucky for the D-Backs, that one start came against Arizona, where he went 1.2 innings and gave up 8 runs. This matchup looks pretty even.
Game 3: Chase Anderson RHP (6-6, 4.52 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs Zack Greinke RHP (18-3,1.65 ERA , 0.85 WHIP)
Anderson is still struggling, his last start a 2 inning, 5 run outing. After starting out his season as the "ace" of the rotation, with a 2.83 ERA in his first 13 starts, things have gone down the toilet for Chase. He has a 6.72 ERA since allowing 8 runs on June 23 against the Rockies.
Greinke is one of the leading candidates for the Cy Young, and it will be extremely difficult to put up runs against him. We witnessed last week his dominance, when he went 8 innings and allowed 3 hits against the D-Backs. Not much needs to be said about him, that ERA speaks for itself. Huge advantage Dodgers.
Game 4: Patrick Corbin LHP (6-4, 2.99 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) vs Clayton Kershaw LHP (14-7, 2.18 ERA, 0.90 WHIP)
Corbin is looking like the ace the D-Backs need. In his last 5 starts, he has a 1.44 ERA and even with his pitch limit he's finished the 6th inning each time. I'm really looking forward to next year when Corbin's pitch cap is removed, and he can start pitching into the 8th and 9th innings.
This will be quite the matchup. After a few starts at the beginning of the year that cause some to wonder if Kershaw had lost a step, he has proved all those people wrong. If you want to be impressed, just check out his fangraphs game log page. Look at all those zeroes and ones in the earned run column! As with Greinke, it will be extremely difficult to put up any runs against him.
D-Backs win one of 4, but see promising signs from the September call-ups