Fresh off of a sweep of the Mets, the Diamondbacks charged into San Diego and laid a beat down on the Padres for the first two games of the series (outscoring them 19-2). But they fizzled out at the left hand of Clayton Richard and lost the final game of the three game series. Despite the loss, the Dbacks have had a very successful week, going 5-1 and holding on to second place in the NL West, two games behind the Rockies. They head back home for a quick three game series with the Chicago White Sox before heading back out on the road to Milwaukee. Let’s see what we can expect from the upcoming series!
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 26-19 (Second place NL West)
- Chicago White Sox: 20-22 (Fourth place AL Central)
Recent Successes or Failures:
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 7-3 in their last 10, and recently finished a 5-game win streak.
- Chicago White Sox: 5-5 in their last 10, and just took three of four from the Mariners in Seattle.
After a relatively consistent showing from the Arizona offense in the Mets series, they went back to their roots and went feast or famine in San Diego. Fortunately, there were two feasts and one famine. In the first two games they scored a whopping 19 runs, with 13 of those coming in the first innings alone. However, in the final game of the series, they only managed to score one lonely run off of Clayton Richard. Still, it was nice to see the AZ offense pick up on the road, because up until now they have been nothing short of abhorrent away from Chase field.
But, now they are back at Chase Field for this series, where they are a fantastic 18-8 at home this year, where they are averaging over 6 runs per game, and are triple slashing a hot .297/.362/.515 as a team. That is good enough for a sOPS+ of 131. They lead baseball in hits and stolen bases and are also top 5 in OPS, SLG, and TB. Unfortunately they are also fourth in strikeouts and second in LOB. Although this is likely because they have played more games than most teams, these are still two of the main weaknesses that plague this club early in the year.
The White Sox offense is averaging 4.51 runs per game and is about league average in almost every category. Leading the offense for Chicago is Avisail Garcia who is triple slashing .350/.393/.599 with 8 HR and 34 RBI. Jose Abreu is doing his normal thing being on pace for 30+ HR, and former Diamondback Matt Davidson has hit 8 HR for the club too. Todd Frazier has been struggling since his transition over to the AL, and is really struggling early on this year (hitting below the Mendoza line).
- Game 1: Miguel Gonzalez vs. Zack Greinke
- Game 2: Dylan Covey vs. Patrick Corbin
- Game 3: Jose Quintana vs. TBD
Miguel Gonzalez has pitched well for the White Sox so far this year, but he has not been outstanding. His ERA has been an average 4.29, but he has a well below average K/9 of 5.36 and opposing hitters are hitting .276 against him. Zack Greinke has been every bit the ace that we hoped for since he signed his record deal with Arizona, and hopefully that streak continues. Greinke is 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 66 strikeouts across 58.1 innings. I would imagine that we have to have the pitching advantage in this one.
Dylan Covey has not pitched well at all so far in 2017. He has a horrific 7.64 ERA and is 0-3 across 35.1 innings in his 7 starts. He only has 21 strikeouts this year, and opposing batters are hitting a whopping .322 against him. Corbin in his own right, has struggled recently too. While he has been about league average with a 4.38 ERA, 51.2 innings, 42 K, and a 1.42 WHIP, he seems to have been fading in and out of effectiveness all year long.
In the last game of the series, Jose Quintana will take on a starter that is yet to be determined. The Dbacks do not know who will be pitching that day yet because of Taijuan Walker’s recent (and somewhat unexpected) move to the DL. There are quite a few different players that could be taking that spot, and I honestly have no speculation as to whom it might be. I think that Braden Shipley makes the most sense, seeing as he has pitched well in Reno this year and he already had a start in the majors this season. Archie Bradley seems like a long shot since the team has conveyed how much they like him in the bullpen right now, but he could get a shot. And the last option in my mind would be Anthony Banda. I think that is a very unlikely scenario because reasons. Whoever it is that will be taking on Quintana will have a tough task. Jose has a 3.92 ERA in 57.1 innings and has a respectable 53 strikeouts to go with it. This one might be a little tough to win.
The Diamondbacks have been playing well lately, and they are coming home where they have hit very well all year long. They are fresh off of a 5-game win streak and they have their ace leading off the series. We will miss seeing Chicago’s best pitcher in Derek Holland, and other than Quintana, their pitchers don’t scare me too terribly much. I think that the Dbacks will take two out of three this series, and will head off to Milwaukee with a 28-20 record, and still in second place in the NL West. If the Dbacks are serious about contending this year, this is the kind of series where anything less than two wins would be unacceptable. One out of three would be very annoying, and zero out of three would be a huge punch to the gut. You can’t expect a series sweep (although that would be nice), but I think that two out of three for a “contending” team is reasonable.
How Many Wins for the Diamondbacks this Series?
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