|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Chris Taylor - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|Corey Seager - SS||Ketel Marte - SS|
|Justin Turner - 3B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Cody Bellinger - 1B||J.D. Martinez - RF|
|Yasiel Puig - RF||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Austin Barnes - C||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Curtis Granderson - LF||Daniel Descalso - 2B|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Jeff Mathis - C|
|Yu Darvish - RHP||Zack Greinke - RHP|
This is exactly the same line-up, top to bottom, which scored 11 runs against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night. As noted in the preview, Mathis catches Greinke, and Daniel Descalso will still be getting the start at second-base, despite Brandon Drury’s late-inning three-run home-run off the bench in Game 2. With Yu Darvish potentially being the only right-handed pitcher the Diamondbacks will see in this series, Lamb is the obvious choice to play third-base, and also hits higher up the order than he did in the second game.
In terms of batter vs. pitcher match-ups, there’s a lot more familiarity on the Greinke side than Darvish. Curtis Granderson has a startling 73 plate appearances against Zack. Those are mostly from his days as a Detroit Tiger, though he also faced him with both New York clubs, before coming to the Dodgers. Hasn’t really helped though, with Granderson’s OPS being a tepid .666. If there’s one man in the Los Angeles line-up around whom Greinke needs to be careful, it’s Corey Seager, who is 6-for-11 with a pair of home-runs, more walks (5) than strikeouts (3), and a 1.869 OPS. Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner also have a career OPS above a thousand. So, the usual suspects...
Nobody on the D-backs have even had 20 plate appearances against Darvish: indeed, the entire roster combined has ten fewer versus the Japanese starter, than Granderson alone has facing Greinke! But this is a sword that cuts both ways, of course: he’ll be no more familiar with Arizona’s hitters than they are with him. David Peralta is 2-for-2 and Ketel Marte 2-for-4. Small sample size, of course, yet it might be one of the factors which helps explain why they are at the top of the line-up.
Keys to the game
- Greinke needs to Greinke. Something like his last two starts against the Dodgers, where he threw six and seven innings of one-run ball, would be nice.
- Stringing together good at-bats. So far, the Dodgers have had thirty AB with runners in scoring position; the Diamondbacks, only eight.
- Shutdown bullpen work. It would be nice to be able to roll straight through Greinke, Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney to victory.
- Don’t panic. To quote Frank Herbert, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.”
- #BeatLA. We’ll take care of tomorrow, whenever it may be necessary!