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Preview #118: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Houston Astros

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Zack Greinke takes the mound, as a home-and-away series against the Astros starts at Chase.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
George Springer - CF Gregor Blanco - LF
Jose Altuve - 2B A.J. Pollock - CF
Josh Reddick - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Yulieski Gurriel - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Alex Bregman - 3B J.D. Martinez - RF
Marwin Gonzalez - SS Daniel Descalso - 2B
Derek Fisher - LF Ketel Marte - SS
Juan Centeno - C Jeff Mathis - C
Collin McHugh - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

It looks like the bump in attendance did not end with the summer pass’s expiration. While I’ll likely hold off any more detailed analysis until the next road-trip, the team is now 94,000 ahead of attendance at Chase Field, compared to the first 60 games last year. That’s 1,567 per game up, which would translate over the course of the season to an increase of 125,000. This would be the biggest season since 2012, and depending on what happens the rest of the way, they have a shot at surpassing that. The team need an increase of about 141,400 to surpass 2012, which would then be the best home attendance since 2008.

Of course, the hordes of bandwagon Cubs fans over the weekend didn’t hurt at all. As noted, comparing crowds against the same series last year (y’know, when there were still on that 108-year streak of futility), there was a bump of over 10,000 per game. We will happily take their money. I suspect, however, things will be significantly quieter at the old ballpark this evening and for tomorrow’s day game. We played the Astros in a similar, two-game Monday and Tuesday set last year, and the total crowds across those games was barely forty thousand (40,354).

Still that provides a nice yardstick against which we can compare the attendance this evening. The year-on-year increase per game is actually the sixth best in the majors. The teams ahead of us are all enjoying competitive seasons (unexpectedly so, in a couple of cases), except for the Braves, who have that shiny new stadium to play in. That’s also the only thing stopping MLB attendance this year from being down on last year. Though the amount across the other 29 ballparks works out at only about 200 per game, so no big deal.