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Series Preview # 48: Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

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Wild Card is Coming

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Yesterday the Diamondbacks finished up a trip to San Francisco with a disappointing end to the Giants series, but a series win nonetheless. A nice consolation however, was the fact that the Rockies lost, so the lead for the first Wild Card spot remains at a comfy 5.0 games. Now, Arizona continues their road trip and takes a trip down the coast to San Diego for a three game set with the Padres. This should be a good series for us to get a couple of wins and further cement that number one Wild Card spot, as October quickly approaches. Here is what we can expect for the coming series!

Wild Card Update

Not too much has changed in the last week since we last looked at the Wild Card standings, and in fact the standings and separation distance remain almost unchanged. With all four of the wild card hopefuls having a roughly .500 (or slightly better) week, the standings stand pat with days falling off the calendar. Here is where they stand right now:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks: +5.0 games
  2. Colorado Rockies: ---
  3. Milwaukee Brewers: -2.5 games
  4. St. Louis Cardinals: -4.5 games

With St. Louis and Milwaukee having 13 games left, and Arizona and Colorado having 12 games left, it is looking like the Cardinals are no longer a threat to the Dbacks. The 7.5 game lead over the Brewers is also looking nearly insurmountable, but that is also not entirely certain just yet. But perhaps of even greater interest to Dbacks fans is the 5.0 game lead over the Rockies for the rights to host the NL Wild Card Game. As such, here are the upcoming series for each of those teams and the records of the teams involved.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks (87-63) @ San Diego Padres (66-83)
  • Colorado Rockies (82-68) @ San Francisco Giants (58-93)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (79-70) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (68-82)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (77-72) @ Cincinnati Reds (66-84)

So, all four teams will have favorable matchups this coming week. After these series, we could see the Wild Card race look quite a bit clearer.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Patrick Corbin vs. Luis Perdomo

Good news, is that in Patrick Corbin’s last start he was excellent; pitching 6.2 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7. Bad news, is that in the start before that he allowed 8 earned runs on 11 hits in just 4.1 innings against San Diego. This has been a consistent theme with Corbin all season long, but let’s hope that his outing against San Diego this time goes considerably better. Perdomo’s last start came against the Diamondbacks eight days ago, and he tossed a quality start in a losing effort. Perdomo is still very young (just turned 24 this year), and he has shown a lot of potential. This could be an interesting matchup with both pitchers seeing the opponent very recently.

Game 2: Zack Godley vs. Travis Wood

Godley will look to continue his 2017 season that has been an unmitigated success. He came into the year as a replacement for an injured Shelby Miller, and most people just hoped that he could be a stable fifth starter. Instead he has pitched to the tune of a 4.9 bWAR, with a 3.00 ERA across 144 innings, and 152 strikeouts with a 1.08 WHIP. He has impressed more than anyone could have imagined, and continues to do so day in, and day out. Opposing him this time out will be Travis Wood. Wood, who spent the majority of his big league career with the Cubs, is having a rough year with the Royals and the Padres. In 9 starts with the Padres, he has a 6.70 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. He has also been worth -1.4 bWAR this year, so hopefully this means the Dbacks can pile some runs on him early.

Game 3: Robbie Ray vs. Dinelson Lamet

If Zack Godley is having a breakout season, then Ray is having a shattering-out season. Ray has a 14-5 record this year over 151 innings, with a 2.74 ERA (sixth best in baseball) and 206 strikeouts. He has been worth 5.9 bWAR in 2017, and if he didn’t miss roughly a month after being hit in the head, we could very well be considering his chances for a Cy Young Award. But he is having an amazing season regardless, and has a chance (alongside Greinke) to have the most strikeouts by a pitcher in Dbacks history, not named Johnson or Schilling. Currently, that “record” belongs to Dan Haren with 223 K’s in 2009. Ray just missed out last year, with 218 and this year he would have to get 18 strikeouts in his final 2 (probably not 3) games. Opposing him will be Dinelson Lamet, who is a young rookie that is having a pretty good first year. He is striking out more than 11 batters per nine, but he is also walking more than 4 per 9. Like some other pitchers on the Padres, he is young, but has potential to be very good in the future.

Offense

Here are the only stats you need to know about each of the offenses for both teams:

Arizona Diamondbacks:

  • 4.94 runs/game.
  • Triple Slash: .255/.328/.442
  • +150 Run Differential

San Diego Padres:

  • 3.77 runs/game.
  • Triple Slash: .232/.298/.392
  • -183 Run Differential

Conclusion

I think that the Arizona Diamondbacks will take two of three from the Padres in California, and will move one step closer to clinching that first wild card spot. There are just too many good pitchers going for us, for us to have a repeat of last week. I think they get their revenge, and leave San Diego with their heads held high.