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Preview #154: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins

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Can Zack Greinke contain Giancarlo Stanton?

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

MIAMI MARLINS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Dee Gordon - 2B David Peralta - LF
Giancarlo Stanton - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Christian Yelich - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Marcell Ozuna - LF J.D. Martinez - RF
Justin Bour - 1B Chris Iannetta - C
J.T. Realmuto - C Brandon Drury - 2B
Derek Dietrich - 3B Jake Lamb - 3B
Miguel Rojas - SS Ketel Marte - SS
Adam Conley - LHP Zack Greinke - RHP

The last home-stand of the season begins, with the arrival of the Marlins and potential MVP candidate, Giancarlo Stanton. By fWAR, Stanton sits second among National League position players, behind (the probably under-appreciated) Anthony Rendon, at 6.4 fWAR; Paul Goldschmidt is sixth, at 5.5. By bWAR, the gap is actually larger: Stanton leads at 7.3 wins, while Goldschmidt is ninth, with 6.0. But only one of them will be playing past game 162, and like it or not, that is something which always factors into the discussion. It may not be the definitive factor - Bryce Harper won MVP in 2015, on a Nationals team which won only 83 games. But a factor it is.

The good news is, Zack Greinke has generally been able to hold Stanton over their meetings. Over 18 PA, Stanton is 3-for-15 with one home-run the only extra-base hit, for an OPS of .733. On the other side, Goldschmidt is 2-for-4 with a double off Marlins’ starter Adam Conley: small sample size, but a 1.250 OPS would be advantage Goldschmidt. Greinke was also our only winner the last time we faced Miami; they took three of four from us in Florida at the beginning of June. This will also be Brad Ziegler’s first time back at Chase Field since he left us last winter. He’ll likely get a nice welcome, though 2017’s 5.04 ERA may show we were wise to let Z go.

With the D-backs’ magic number down to three, there will obviously be a great deal of scoreboard watching going on tonight. The Brewers are currently ahead of the Cubs - we would need a Brewers loss to reduce that magic number - while the Rockies will get under way in San Diego about half an hour after this one starts at Chase Field. At the same time, the Dodgers will be kicking off against the Giants in Los Angeles, and their magic number to clinch the NL West is down to two. The Diamondbacks cannot clinch a playoff spot this evening. But perhaps we can set the table to do so tomorrow night.