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Series Preview #39: D-backs @ Rangers

The Diamondbacks head to Arlington looking to capitalize on a struggling Rangers team and create space in a tight NL West.

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

For what seems like the bazillionth-and-a-half time this season, the Diamondbacks failed to capitalize on the Los Angeles Dodgers losing during the Snakes’ last series against a last-place Reds team. Now, just 1 game up on the Dodgers and 1.5 up on the Colorado Rockies, the Diamondbacks have been given another chance at separation, this time in the form of the basement-dwelling Texas Rangers.

Well, maybe “basement-dwelling” is a little too harsh. For as bad as the team’s record may be, they do rank highly in one regard: offense. As you may remember from their baboon-ridden trip to the valley a few weeks ago, the Rangers can hit. Rougned Odor in particular has been one of the best hitters in baseball as of late: in the last month, Odor has slashed .347/.440/.713 while racking up 10 homers and 23 RBI.

Their offense’s biggest issue is a tendency towards striking out: the Rangers have struck out more than any other team in baseball, beating out the second-to-last Padres by 22 K’s. This isn’t a team that makes up for its high strikeout numbers with lots of home runs either: they rank 7th in the AL in homers, and have hit just 17 more than the NL 7th placed Diamondbacks despite striking out 80 more times. On the flip side, the Rangers biggest strength could be their ability to draw walks, ranking 1st in the AL in base on balls and 5th in on-base percentage.

The Rangers pitching staff is considerably weaker however. Their 4.91 team ERA is good for 4th highest in the American League while they rank close to first in hits given up (2nd), runs (3rd) and earned runs given up (3rd), first in home runs given up, and last in strikeouts.

Starting Pitching Matchups

Game 1: RHP Zack Greinke (12-7, 2.89 ERA) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (6-10, 5.18 ERA)

Despite coming off of back-to-back tough luck losses, Zack Greinke has been as solid as ever. In those two losses Greinke pitched a combined 13 innings while giving up only 3 runs, striking out 9, and walking 5, all good for a 2.08 ERA and .156 batting average against.

While it’s certainly neat to see Big Sexy pitching in his age 45 season, the fact of the matter is that he hasn’t been particularly good this year. Compared to Greinke’s, Bartolo Colon’s last two games have been disastrous: in 12 innings pitched Colon gave up 15 hits and 9 runs while walking 2 and striking out just 4. In total, that’s a 6.75 ERA with a .313 batting average against.

Advantage: D-backs

Game 2: LHP Patrick Corbin (9-4, 3.15 ERA) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (7-1, 6.11 ERA)

Since his shaky start against the Padres at the end of July in which he gave up 4 earned runs over 6 innings, Patrick Corbin has been great. Of note is his most recent start against the Phillies during which he pitched 7.1 innings of shutout ball, giving up just 4 hits while striking out 8 and walking none.

Yovani Gallardo has been solid for the Rangers since getting smacked around for 6 earned runs over 5 innings by the Boston Red Sox a month ago. Since that outing, Gallardo has gone 4-0, pitching 22.2 innings while giving up 7 runs and 17 hits, striking out 12 and walking 13, good for a 2.78 ERA and .213 batting average against. His last start against the Mariners was an impressive one, as Gallardo gave up just 3 hits and 2 runs with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks over 6 innings pitched.

Advantage: D-backs


With their two best pitchers on the mound, there’s no excuse for the Diamondbacks not to sweep this two-game series. Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin are both strikeout artists, meaning they should make quick work of the free-swinging Rangers offense. Greinke will give up a solo home run at some point as is tradition, but other than that, expect him to be lights out. Corbin will struggle with his command and walk a few more batters than he’d like, but he will nevertheless find his way out of the jams he creates. So long as the D-backs offense remembers how to hit, this should be a quick and easy series.


How do you think D-backs will fare against the Rangers?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    0 wins (Swept...)
    (4 votes)
  • 23%
    1 win
    (13 votes)
  • 69%
    2 wins (Sweep!)
    (39 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now