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Preview, #69: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Philadelphia Phillies

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The D-backs have been the best base-running team in the league thus far. But they have slowed down in the stolen-base department of late.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Daniel Descalso - LF Odubel Herrera - CF
David Peralta - RF Howie Kendrick - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Aaron Altherr - LF
Jake Lamb - 3B Tommy Joseph - 1B
Chris Owings - SS Maikel Franco - 3B
Brandon Drury - 2B Michael Saunders - RF
Chris Iannetta - C Andrew Knapp - C
Reymond Fuentes - CF Freddy Galvis - SS
Zack Godley - RHP Jerad Eickhoff - RHP

The D-backs come into today's came in Philadelphia with a score of 18.9 BaseRunning Runs Above Average (BsR) - good enough for close to two additional wins. That's the best in the majors, and is also already the best mark in franchise history, surpassing the 18.2 BsR figure set in 2016. Which, in turn, surpassed the previous high of 13.2 set in 2015. Yes, the three best seasons in team history have all come since the appointment of first-base guru Dave McKay in 2014. It's particularly striking since the team he took over was terrible on the base-paths: the 2013 D-backs were worth -18.8 BsR, so close to four wins worse than this season's model.

It's likely no surprise that the uber-smart Goldschmidt leads the team, with a score of +5.6 The third, fourth and fifth places are probably no shockers either: Peralta, Owings and Fuentes. But in second place we find - and you might want to prop yourself up against something before proceeding - Yasmany Tomas. Yes: he's rated at +3.3, which is more than three times the base-running value A.J. Pollock has provided this season, in not many more plate-appearances (180 vs. 163). You probably won't be shocked to find two of our three catcher at the bottom, in Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann, though Iannetta has acquitted himself reasonably well (+0.5).

However, the team does seem to have reined in the actual base-stealing of late. In April, they stole 32 bags, the second-most for any month in franchise history (behind August 2016, when they swiped a mind-boggling 42, in 46 attempts). In May, that number was cut in half, to just 16, albeit at the same 80% rate of success. We're now into the second half of June, and the team has eight stolen-base in 13 attempts. Does this indicate that teams have become a lot more watchful? Perhaps. We'll also see if the return of A.J. Pollock, who starts his rehab in Reno tonight, will have a positive impact in this area.