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Preview, #43: Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

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The D-backs seek to keep it going, as they look for a fourth win in a row, opening the series at Petco.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

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.