|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||SAN DIEGO PADRES|
|Gregor Blanco - CF||Manuel Margot - CF|
|David Peralta - RF||Cory Spangenberg - LF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Wil Myers - 1B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Yangervis Solarte - 2B|
|Yasmany Tomas - LF||Hunter Renfroe - RF|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Ryan Schimpf - 3B|
|Chris Owings - SS||Austin Hedges - C|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Taijuan Walker - RHP||Jered Weaver - RHP|
The Diamondbacks have yet to win a series on the road this season. Admittedly, part of that is because the first quarter of their 2017 schedule has been solidly home-heavy, with only 16 of the first 42 games taking place away from Chase Field. But those 16 games have not been kind to the D-backs, having gone 0-4-1 in the five road series to date. That has seen losses to the Giants, Padres, Nationals and Rockies, with the only non-loss being a split of the four-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, from April 14-17.
Of course, you don't have to be great at home to make the playoffs, Of the 162 post-season outfits since the D-backs entered the league in 1998, 34 have lost on the road, down to the 2015 Astros, who went a woeful 33-48 outside Houston. But Arizona's current 6-10 records is actually worse than that, equating to somewhere round about a 30-51 record over a full season. Despite their good home form, it seems safe to say that the D-backs could use with picking up a few more wins elsewhere. This series against the Padres represents a golden opportunity, since they have the worst record in the majors. NOT at least winning this set would strengthen some suspicions our contention hopes are a mirage.
After a solid April, featuring a K:BB ratio of 33:7 in 29.2 innings, Walker seems to have taken a step or two back in May. His three starts thus far have had a K:BB of only 10:8 over 16.1 innings, though his ERA has actually been fractionally lower this month, at 3.86, compared to 3.94. That's despite a higher BABIP for the month as well, up to .339 from exactly .300 in April. I get the feeling that something isn't going to last here. That strikeout to walk ratio and BABIP are not generally compatible with a sub-four ERA. So either Walker starts striking out a few more people, and getting more balls turned into outs, or the ERA will head up. But playing the Padres, in Petco, should be conducive to success, I hope.