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Preview #128: Arizona Diamondbacks @ New York Mets

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Hardly has the previous game finished, than the last in this series begins.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NEW YORK METS
Gregor Blanco - LF Juan Lagares - CF
Ketel Marte - SS Michael Conforto - RF
Jake Lamb - 3B Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Wilmer Flores - 3B
J.D. Martinez - RF Amed Rosario - SS
Brandon Drury - 2B Dominic Smith - 1B
Rey Fuentes - CF Kevin Plawecki - C
Chris Herrmann - C Gavin Cecchini - 2B
Robbie Ray - LHP Rafael Montero - RHP

A win here would send the D-backs back to Arizona having taken three of four against the Mets, and finishing the road-trip at 4-6 road-trip. Not great, but good enough, considering neither the Rockies nor the Brewers have managed to do anything significant in their current series. The Rockies have lost four in a row and the Brewers have lost a series against the San Francisco Giants, who have an even worse record than the Mets. With them facing the Dodgers this weekend, and the Rockies facing a potentially tricky series in Atlanta - we know how those can go - the D-backs could certainly end up solidifying our wild-card position by Sunday night.

Per Fangraphs, the team’s playoff odds sit at 82.5% as of this morning. This is down from the 87.2% they were when the team went on the road to Houston, but probably not as much as you might think, given the painful sweep in Minnesota. A win here should do a good job of erasing much of that loss. The key factor here is likely to be how Robbie Ray performs on his first game back for the team, since taking a line-drive off the head in St. Louis on July 28. All the indication are, based on what Robbie has said, that there should be no ill-effects, but we won’t know for sure until he is on the mound. A solid performance will certainly be a significant boost to the team.

As ever with Ray, control is going to be key. If he can keep the free passes down - in 40% of his starts this year, he has walked four or more batters - than he can be almost unhittable. That said, the team has actually gone 5-3 in those walk-heavy starts, and the offense needs to do their bit, especially after last night’s game where it seemed they had been ordered to squander every scoring opportunity. Still, your chances tend to be better when you have at-bats with runners in scoring position, then when you don’t. Time for a few of those to result in hits dropping in, and we can have a happy flight back across the continent.