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Preview #119: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Houston Astros

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Surprise! Tuesday day baseball! It certainly came as a surprise to our scheduled recapper. :)

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
George Springer - RF Ketel Marte - SS
Alex Bregman - SS A.J. Pollock - CF
Jose Altuve - 2B Jake Lamb - 3B
Yulieski Gurriel - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Josh Reddick - LF J.D. Martinez - RF
J.D. Davis - 3B Chris Iannetta - C
Max Stassi - C Brandon Drury - 2B
Jake Marisnick - CF Chris Herrmann - LF
Brad Peacock - RHP Anthony Banda - LHP

Curious to see what crowds are like at Chase today. Yesterday was less than half of the average for the Cubs series - part of that being the weekend vs. the weekday. But at only 20,405, it was the lowest since before the Summer Pass came into play. Indeed, it was the lowest since the last inter-league series at Chase Field. That was when the White Sox were here, from May 22-24, when the whole three games drew barely 54,000, only 12K more than saw Saturday night alone vs. the Cubs. I wonder if inter-league play is less appealing in terms of tickets? You’d think that the White Sox would benefit, every bit as much as the Cubs, in terms of Chicago transplants into Arizona.

Of course, they don’t have the “World Series woodwork” fan boost this season, and that may be significant. Last time the White Sox played here, back in 2011, the series drew almost 99,000. Again, that was a weekend set - but it was more than came to see the Cubs that same year (83,688), who also played over the weekend. Both teams were the same distance from their last playoff appearance at that point too, each having lost in the Division Series in 2008, though the White Sox were better, both in 2011 and the previous year. Small sample size, but it seems almost to suggest the local Windy City expats will turn up for whichever Chicago team is playing better...

If you look at our history of attendance in inter-league play overall, unsurprisingly it’s dominated by the Yankees. The three largest inter-league crowds since the end of 2008, were all the series against them in 2010. But perhaps surprisingly, none of the top four involve them. Those are back-to-back nights against the Mariners in 1998 [and no, those were not the first inter-league games in franchise history at Chase; we’d already had a series against the Angels], a 2008 contest against the Tigers, and then the all-time champ. On June 9, 2007, 49,826 saw us lose 4-3 to the Red Sox. The Randy Johnson bobblehead probably helped. :) Suspect today won’t challenge that!