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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #67: And, breathe...

Tonight's contest will have quite some way to go, if it's to match last night in terms of drama.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Kenta Maeda
RHP, 5-4, 2.70
Archie Bradley
RHP, 2-2, 5.22
Chase Utley - 2B Jean Segura - 2B
Corey Seager - SS Jake Lamb - 3B
Justin Turner - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B David Peralta - RF
Trayce Thompson - RF Peter O'Brien - LF
Joc Pederson - CF Chris Herrmann - C
Yasmani Grandal - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Howie Kendrick - LF Archie Bradley - RHP
Kenta Maeda - RHP Michael Bourn - CF

It's hard to quantify how "exciting" a baseball game is, but there's a number called "Leverage Index" which provides a fair approximation of it. Basically, it works based of Win Probability, and is based off the possible changes in WP and the odds of them occurring. If you want more details, you can have them, but the end result is a number which indicates how "on the line" the game is for a given at-bat. 1.00 is average; more than that indicates higher pressure situations. So, you can look at the average Leverage Index (aLI) over an entire game, as a measure of how exciting it was.

It we look at the aLI for our pitchers last night, you won't be surprised to learn this game ranked with the highest this season - the aLI was 1.823, the third most this year. [The highest, was the 1.921 in our 5-3 win over the Braves in 11 innings, on May 8] According to Fangraphs, the game peaked with Howie Kendrick's inning-ending flyout in the 8th, which had an LI of 6.92. However, it was much less stressful for our hitters: the aLI on that side was just .772, which is ranked 46th on the season - Jean Segura's RBI single to give us the lead, was the high-point there, but was only 1.62, so lower than the average at-bat for the Dodgers.

A big chunk of the difference is likely Los Angeles's futility with runners in scoring position: they were 0-for-11 there, which is obviously a lot of chances to affect the score. And in a game like last night, where there was never more than one run between the teams, each one had a lot of potential to change the game outcome. Arizona only had three at-bats with RISP - and the other two came in the seventh and eighth, after we had already taken the lead. All told, I'd be happier if we did not have to rely on that this evening. If Archie Bradley can keep the Dodgers from getting runners in scoring position, I think we can all agree, that would be preferable. Not sure my heart can stand another game like last night!