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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #147: Divisional battles

Games until the blessed end of the season: 16.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Kenta Maeda
RHP, 14-9, 3.28
Zack Greinke
RHP, 12-6, 4.54
Chase Utley - 2B Jean Segura - 2B
Corey Seager - SS Chris Owings - SS
Justin Turner - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Yasmani Grandal - C Welington Castillo - C
Josh Reddick - RF Yasmany Tomas - RF
Howie Kendrick - LF Brandon Drury - LF
Joc Pederson - CF Mitch Haniger - CF
Kenta Maeda - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

The Diamondbacks won the season series against the Rockies, and have a shot at doing so against the Padres as well, being 6-7 there with home and away sets of three left to play. However, there will be no such success against the Giants and Dodgers, whose continued ownership of Arizona largely explains why we're tied with the Padres for last-place. We finished the year 6-13 against the Giants, and with three games left against the Dodgers, are already guaranteed to have lost the season series, since the score is currently 6-10 there. Putting those two together, we are 12-23, barely winning one game in three against those two sides.

That all adds up to 28-39 with nine left to play, which is considerably worse than last season. In 2015 the D-backs actually had a winning record against the rest of the division. They were 39-37 overall, beating the Rockies and Giants; again, however, it was the Dodgers who owned the D-backs, with a 6-13 record there. That's still better than the woeful record from 2014, when Arizona lost fifteen of the nineteen games played against Los Angeles. All told, since the beginning of that year, the Diamondbacks are 16-38 against the Dodgers, with an ERA of 4.87. That isn't actually our worst W% against a NL opponent over that time (which would be the 4-13 vs. Washington).

But what it is, is the worst record of any major-league team against a division rival over the past three seasons. Here are the most unbalanced match-ups:

  1. D-backs vs. Dodgers (16-38)
  2. Phillies vs. Mets (16-34)
  3. White Sox vs. Royals (17-36)
  4. Twins vs. Royals (18-36)
    Brewers vs. Cardinals (19-38)
    Padres vs. Dodgers (18-36)
    Braves vs. Nationals (18-36)

The Dodgers' presence twice likely goes a long way to explain their recent domination of the division. When you have a 74-34 record against half the teams in it, that's a nice cushion against the rest of the teams.