|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Logan Forsythe - 2B|
|David Peralta - RF||Corey Seager - SS|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Justin Turner - 3B|
|Chris Owings - SS||Chris Taylor - LF|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Austin Barnes - C|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Enrique Hernandez - 1B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|Rey Fuentes - LF||Trayce Thompson - CF|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Rich Hill - LHP|
It goes without saying that it would be nice to win the series finale in Los Angeles tonight. But failing to do so, would certainly not be the end of the world. Even if that would, admittedly, likely be a near-fatal blow to our hopes of winning the division, it will have little to no effect on our overall playoff chances. Indeed, if you look at Fangraphs’ Playoff Odds chart, we are now fractionally more likely to reach the playoffs than we were before losing these two games in Los Angeles. On our off-day July 3, we were at 93.3%; we currently sit at 93.4%.
That’s because our two nearest rivals for the wild-card spots, the Rockies and Cubs, both already lost today, against the Reds and Brewers respectively. So their losses are in the books - and were arguably more damaging, being at home as well as against weaker opposition. Both Colorado and Chicago have lost two of their last three, so if the D-backs can win tonight. they will have lost precisely zero ground over that pair. Even if we don’t, they will now have three fewer games on the schedule to make up the remaining ground. That increasingly benefits the team in the leading position, i.e. the Diamondbacks, as the rest of the schedule tends to zero as a limit.
But it would still be nice to come home with a win. I particularly would like to see Robbie Ray get back on track, since his last three starts have been a marked chore, in comparison to the brilliance of the month before that. He walked five batters last time out, which is largely why it took him 122 pitches to get through six innings, a combination not seen by a D-backs starter in over 13 years, since knuckleballer Steve Sparks in 2004. That’s not the kind of name with whom Ray should be linked. Let’s get back to the Randy Johnson comparisons tonight, please.