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Preview #147: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

Next time we see the Rockies, it’ll probably be in the playoffs.

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Charlie Blackmon - CF Gregor Blanco - LF
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Chris Iannetta - C
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Nolan Arenado - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Gerardo Parra - LF J.D. Martinez - RF
Trevor Story - SS Brandon Drury - 2B
Ian Desmond - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Tony Wolters - C Ketel Marte - SS
Chad Bettis - RHP Zack Godley - RHP

Diamondbacks post-season magic number: 10

Diamondbacks home-field magic number: 12

Diamondbacks division anti-magic number: 7

The above are all based on the standard formula for such things, which strictly involves the wins of the leading team and the losses for the team behind. The D-backs say the post-season magic number is lower, and there’s a case for that, It’s because of the games remaining between the Brewers, Cubs and Cardinals. If the Brewers win out the remaining schedule, they could actually overtake the Cubs and capture the division. This would render Milwaukee irrelevant to the wild-card picture, and so the Cubs’ record could then matter. It’s complicated. For now, and for consistency, I’ll stick with the basic formula. As both figures (hopefully) tend towards zero as a limit, they should eventually converge into agreement!

With the season series in the bag, this contest will determine whether the Rockies leave Arizona five games back or three games back. Right now, it will also be our last contest against a team with a record at or above .500, though that will depend on what the Royals (currently 72-73) do, between now and when we face them in the final series of the season. Right now, the Diamondbacks have more wins against winning teams than any other side in baseball, at 38, so you can’t say this season is the result of an easy schedule. Of course, part of it is being one of only two divisions in baseball with three winning teams - and the third-placed Rockies, would be leading the other division, the NL Central.

Overall, Arizona’s record against teams at or above .500 is 38-35, which might not sound great, but the MLB average mark is 29-37. So we’ve both faced 10% more good teams than most, our record is 512 games better than that average. Even if we sneak into the Division Series through the wild-card, this team will have as good a chance as anyone else to go all the way. Finishing off the regular season series against Colorado with a win, would be a good psychological boost for the Diamondbacks, since they will likely be the opponent for that “coin-flip” game. Which will either open the door for a possible playoff run, or end our post-season almost as soon as it began.