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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #30: Beat the streak

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Most playoff teams will lose five games in a row at some point in the season. Six? Not so much.

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Robbie Ray
LHP, 1-1, 4.97
Adam Conley
LHP, 1-1, 3.67
Jean Segura - 2B J.T. Realmuto - C
Brandon Drury - 3B Martin Prado - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Christian Yelich - LF
Welington Castillo - C Giancarlo Stanton - RF
Yasmany Tomas - LF Marcell Ozuna - CF
David Peralta - RF Chris Johnson - 1B
Chris Owings - CF Derek Dietrich - 2B
Nick Ahmed - SS Adeiny Hechavarria - SS
Robbie Ray - LHP Adam Conley - LHP

The Diamondbacks seek to avoid being swept by the Marlins, and end their losing streak at five this evening in Miami. Five consecutive losses isn't necessarily fatal to a team's playoff chances. But teams that go longer tend not to be playing in October. Here's how the 10 post-season teams from last year stacked up, in terms of their longest losing streak, and how many separate runs of 5+ defeats they had:

Put another way, of the 47 times major-league teams lost six or more games in a row last year, barely 10% (five) were inflicted on the one-third of sides that made the playoffs. The Diamondbacks history reflects this: the four times we have avoided a six-game losing streak are 2013, 2007, 2001 and 1999, in all but one of which campaigns we reached the post-season. So if not decisive, avoiding them is another indicator of talent - as you'd expect. A "true" .500 team has a 72.5% chance of a 6-game losing streak, somewhere in a 162-game season. But for a "true" 90-win team, that drops to fractionally less than 50%, matching the five such streaks seen by then ten playoff sides last season.

Today, as they attempt to avoid that sixth loss, the D-backs will get spark-plug Jean Segura back in the lead-off spot, after missing a couple of days due to his hip injury. They'll also be hoping Robbie Ray can get back on track. Right now, the D-backs do not have a single starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.60, which is not a good thing, needless to say.

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