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Series Preview #48: D-backs @ Astros

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The Diamondbacks limp into Houston 4.5 games out of first place in the NL West.

MLB: Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers
Leaked concept image of the next Manfred reform: players must float at all times.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros are good. The Diamondbacks are not.

The Astros might win the World Series this year. The Diamondbacks will not.

The Astros have an explosive offense, lockdown starters, and a serviceable bullpen. The Diamondbacks have just one of those things, and only 4 members.

The Astros are good. The Diamondbacks are not.

And you know what? That's okay! No team in the National League is on the Astros’ level. Does that justify a 6-14 skid that has seen the Diamondbacks drop from 1.5 games up on the second place Rockies to 4.5 behind that same team? Of course not. Nothing does. In fact, the Snakes' failures to win games against inferior opponents is making this series look near impossible... which is why they'll sweep the Astros and I'll look like an idiot.

...

lol jk lets look at some pitching matchups

Starting Pitching Matchups

Game 1: LHP Robbie Ray (5-2, 4.18 ERA) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-10, 3.59 ERA)

Following a Cy Young-caliber season in 2017, Dallas Keuchel’s 2018 has been a disappointment. Not bad per se, but it has left a lot to be desired. The disappointment was at its worst in June, when Keuchel posted a 5.72 ERA and gave up 6+ runs in 3 of his 5 starts that month. He's been considerably better since then, locking down a 2.81 ERA while surrendering only 5 home runs and 23 total XBH in 83.1 IP.

Of note are Keuchel's home and away splits and how similar they are. While he's marginally better on the road, one of the only significant difference between his home and away splits is the number of homers he's yielded: despite having pitched 13.2 less innings at Minute Maid Park, he's given up 5 more home runs than he has on the road.

Advantage: Leaning D-backs

Game 2: RHP Zack Godley (14-9, 4.67 ERA) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (14-3, 3.15 ERA)

The Diamondbacks faced Morton earlier in the season, a matchup they managed to win: Morton gave up 3 runs (including a David Peralta home run), struck out 3, and walked 4.

Interestingly, his home and away splits are nearly identical. Zack Godley sucks though, so none of that really matters.

Advantage: Astros

Game 3: RHP Zack Greinke (14-9, 3.11 ERA) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (15-9, 2.72 ERA)

Justin Verlander.

Zack Greinke?

Verlander, Verlander, Verlander.

Greinke!

Justin, Justin, Justin Verlander.

Greinke, Zack Greinke.

Just the Verlander.

Granick.

(This will be a good game, but Zack's away splits are actually garbage with an ERA nearing 4 and twice as many homers yielded than at Chase Field. Verlander is more vulnerable at home, but I don't trust this offense to take advantage of any of the opportunities they're faced with, so that point is moot.)

Advantage: Astros

Prediction

Series loss. However, if Robbie Ray can put out another 2017-esque performance and Greinke gets even a little bit of run support, then this series could spark a hot streak that miraculously gets the Diamondbacks back into the playoff picture.

I doubt it though.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    0 wins (Swept...)
    (17 votes)
  • 32%
    1 win
    (13 votes)
  • 10%
    2 wins
    (4 votes)
  • 15%
    3 wins (Sweep!)
    (6 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now