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Preview, #54: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Pittsburgh Pirates

After the tantalizing snatching of defeat from the jaws of extra innings yesterday, how will the D-backs respond?

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Chris Owings - SS Jordy Mercer - SS
David Peralta - RF Josh Harrison - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Josh Bell - 1B
Jake Lamb - 3B David Freese - 3B
Yasmany Tomas - LF Francisco Cervelli - C
Brandon Drury - 2B Andrew McCutchen - CF
Chris Herrmann - C Jose Osuna - RF
Reymond Fuentes - CF Gift Ngoepe - 2B
Robbie Ray - LHP Ivan Nova - RHP

The line-up definitely skewing left-handed today, with southpaw hitters Chris Herrman and Rey Fuentes joining the line-up. Perhaps a bit surprised to see Fuentes preferred over the other southpaw, Gregor Blanco. Blanco has been given the thankless task of filling in for A.J. Pollock, and has been doing a decent enough job, at least in the on-base department. Blanco's OBP for the season is .333, which I was surprised to discover is almost the same as Pollock's .337. It's the power department where the Diamondbacks particularly miss A.J. His ISO (SLG minus BA) is twice as much as Blanco, at .156 compared to .078.

Ray has been excellent over his last two outings, not giving up a run in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He has only allowed four hits over that time, covering 14.2 innings, with four walks and fifteen strikeouts, so it has been a combination of BABIP good fortune (.125) and actual domination. The bizarreness of Ray's road split continues to grow as a result. With five starts each, he has a road ERA of 0.81, having allowed three earned runs in 33.1 innings, with 43 strikeouts. Fortunately, his next two starts come in Pittburgh and Miami, so if the current trend continues, we can expect good work there, before he has to return to Chase and the awkward 6.75 ERA there.