|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|David Peralta - LF||Chris Taylor - CF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Matt Kemp - LF|
|Daniel Descalso - 3B||Cody Bellinger - 1B|
|Chris Owings - RF||Yasmani Grandal - C|
|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Logan Forsythe - 3B|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Enrique Hernandez - 2B|
|Zack Greinke - RHP||Kenta Maeda - RHP|
The Diamondbacks have won the last nine regular-season games between these two teams, and if that trend continues this series, the Dodgers’ season will be on very thin ice indeed, despite it only being the middle of April. If Arizona were to sweep, as they did at Chase Field earlier this month, Los Angeles would slump to a 4-10 record. While, obviously, there would still be 148 games left to play, here’s a heart-warming fact. No team in more than a decade has reached the post-season after starting the year that badly. The last were the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007, who were under .500 as late as July 19, but eventually took the East on the last day, as the Mets spectacularly blew a 7-game lead in 18 days.
Of course, getting that sweep will be no easy matter. I’d be more than happy to settle for two out of three. That’d be our fifth consecutive series win, and complete the first trip away from Chase in the season, a potentially tricky nine-game sweep, with a 6-3 mark for it. Even one out of three would be a winning road record, which is what you want. Of the ten major-league teams who were better than .500 away from home in 2017, nine made the playoffs - the exception being the Brewers, while the Yankees made it, despite being only 40-41. So the Diamondbacks can guarantee that first step with victory tonight, and anything else this weekend would be Asada Dog-flavored gravy [Is that a thing?]
The team faces a right-handed pitcher tonight, and that has been a bit of a challenge so far: the D-backs are 3-3 there, but are an undefeated 6-0 when there’s a left-handed starter for the opposition. They do have David Peralta back, who missed the last couple of games with hand soreness. A.J. Pollock also gets a day off, with Jarrod Dyson in there. Here’s to Zack Greinke getting his first W of the season, after one good start on Opening Day, and one troubling on in St. Louis. He has still to walk a batter, with a K:BB of 14:0. He and Josh Collmenter in 2011, are the only D-backs’ pitchers to begin a season with consecutive walkless starts, and no-one has ever kicked the year off with three straight.