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Series Preview # 27: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Two powerhouses in the National League square off in Los Angeles. First place for the division is on the line, as well as the best record in the Senior Circuit. Let’s see what we can expect!

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Be honest. Did any of you expect that the Dbacks would be fighting for first place in the NL West in a series in July, with the third best record in all of baseball? … I know I didn’t. I did think that they had a fair chance of being good, but I didn’t ever expect them to be this good. But here we are Diamondbacks fans, watching our beloved team take on the Dodgers for first place and the best record in the National League. Here’s what we can expect!

Now, this three game series does have first place implications riding on it. But that is only possible if the Dbacks sweep the Dodgers in Los Angeles, and that is going to be one difficult task. But regardless of place or record, this series will be a dog fight. The Dodgers have the best record in the NL at 55-29, while the Diamondbacks have the second best record at 52-31. So a sweep one direction or the other is highly unlikely in my opinion, which means that two wins will be a big success for one team.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Patrick Corbin vs. Clayton Kershaw

Well this sucks. I am pretty sure that Kershaw is actually an alien that has been sent from some distant planet to rule the National League West, and that is what he has done for years… This year is no different. Kershaw is unbeaten in his last 11 starts, is 12-2 on the year with a 2.32 ERA, with 135 K’s in 116.1 innings and a 0.91 WHIP. Yep, alien. Corbin on the other hand has been very human this year. He is 6-7 with a 4.67 ERA over 90.2 innings with a WHIP north of 1.50. He has gotten back on track after feasting on some weaker opponents, and pitched well his last time out against a tough St. Louis Cardinals squad. This will be his toughest test yet, so let’s hope that he fares well.

Game 2: Zack Godley vs. Alex Wood

Alex Wood has apparently realized his potential, and has really taken off this year. He is an astounding 9-0 with a miniscule 1.83 ERA across 12 starts and 73.2 innings. I am sure that having Clayton Kershaw as a left handed mentor has really helped him turn into the pitcher that he is becoming. Opposing Wood will be another surprising starter in Zack Godley. Zack has been a revelation this year, and has been extremely valuable in replacing Shelby Miller when he went down for the year with Tommy John Surgery. Godley has a very impressive 2.67 ERA across 64 innings with 59 strikeouts in his 10 starts. Godley’s personal success has been, and will continue to be, an imperative part of the team’s success. So let’s hope that he can continue his good work here in Los Angeles!

Game 3: Robbie Ray vs. Rich Hill

This may be the game with our best odds of victory, with one of our best starters taking on one of their worst. To say that Rich Hill is one of the Dodger’s worst starters however, is merely a testament to how well their pitching staff has performed in the first half. Hill has been worth 0.5 bWAR in his 11 starts, and has a 4.00 ERA to go with it, so it’s not like he is horrendous. Robbie Ray has enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, and it has resulted in his first All-Star selection (which was well deserved). Ray is on pace to have a season where he is worth 6.8 bWAR, has a 16-8 record, a 3.06 ERA, and 256 strikeouts over 200 innings. If he is able to get anywhere close to those projections, then his season will have been an overwhelming success. As far as this game is concerned, Ray was bumped up in the rotation order to give him a start against a Dodger’s lineup that is chalked full of left handed hitters. This is not only a good idea that puts Ray in a position to do well, but it also pushes Greinke back a day to miss a lineup that hit him hard the last time he faced them.


There really isn’t too much to say about these two offenses that hasn’t been said already. They are both well above average in most offensive categories, and actually have pretty similar numbers to each other. The Dodgers get on base a little more often and have a little more pop so far, but the Dbacks have the edge in batting average and speed based stats. Both teams are averaging more than 5 runs per game, and are second and third in the NL in that category as well as OBP and OPS. The only team that you could say has been better offensively with any certitude in the NL is the Washington Nationals.

Keys to Success

  • Since the Dbacks will be facing three lefties this series, Jake Lamb’s offense will be very important. Not only because the newly named All-Star will need to help contribute, but also because he will need to provide protection for Goldy this series.
  • Our left-handed starters against their left-handed hitters. We will have Corbin and Ray pitching in this series, and how well they fare against the Dodger lefties will play a big part in how well the team does. Especially considering that the Dodgers have big left-handed bats in guys like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson.
  • Not making mistakes. This means minimizing errors and not having any TOOTBLANS. If you want to beat a team as good as the Dodgers on the road, then you have to play clean and precise baseball.
  • Three left-handers and a catcher that is throwing out 40% of base stealers also means that the running game needs to be smart about when or against whom they run.


The optimistic side of me wants to say two out of three for the Diamondbacks, but the realistic and analytical side of me says two out of three for the Dodgers. Facing Kershaw is always an uphill battle for any team, and that is unfortunately how we start this series off. The Dodgers are playing with their hair on fire, and have a 33-11 record at home. But, even with all of that being said, the 2017 version of the Diamondbacks have proven me wrong and continue to surprise everyone. So here is to hoping that yet another surprise happens, and we destroy the Doyers on their own turf!


How Many Wins for the Dbacks?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (54 votes)
  • 43%
    (105 votes)
  • 25%
    (62 votes)
  • 8%
    (21 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now