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Series Preview #49: Diamondbacks vs. Marlins

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After another series loss to the Reds, the a Diamondbacks host the Marlins in Phoenix.

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Gone, but not forgotten

The season is almost over. Fangraphs has the Diamondbacks at a whopping 0.2% chance of making the playoffs at this point. However, there is still baseball left to play, and that isn’t a bad thing. In a month and a half, we’ll be missing meaningless series between the Dbacks and Marlins, even if that isn’t the dictionary definition of good baseball.

Game 1: Pablo López(5-8, 4.97 ERA) vs. Robbie Ray (12-8, 4.30 ERA)

Ray is coming off what was easily the worst start in his career. Despite pregame assurances, the blister that knocked him out of his previous start had reopened during warm ups. He only last 23 of an inning and gave up five earned runs, mostly due to having zero control over his breaking stuff. Just like last time, the Diamondbacks are saying he’ll be able to make this start, but we will just have to wait and see if it is actually healed.

Pablo López has not been great this season. This previous statement also applies to the Marlins as a whole. In his last four starts, he has given up less than three runs only once. As far as opportunities to break out of a slump goes, this is a pretty good one for the Dbacks offense.

Game 2: Caleb Smith (8-10, 4.13 ERA) vs. Alex Young (7-4, 3.38 ERA)

Alex Young is also coming off a rough start. He lasted a bit longer than Ray, going 2 2/3, but gave up six runs. The Marlins should be an easy bounce back for him, and hopefully he’ll be closer to the 12 strikeout performance he put up against the Reds in his previous performance.

If the Diamondbacks offense doesn’t open strong against Lopez, then Smith should also do the trick. He is averaging one than one home run per start this season, and the majority of the homers have come on the road. Between the two pitchers, this could easily turn into another slug fest.

Game 3: Sandy Alcantra (5-13, 3.39 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (11-11, 4.59 ERA)

Last time out, Leake continued the trend of not great, but also not terrible. The damage against him came in the form of two, two run home runs, but that was all. It will probably be more of the same from him this time, and more of the same all next season.

Alcantra has been on a pretty epic year his past few starts, even if the W/L record doesn’t show it. He has gone at least 7 innings over his last seven starts, including one CGSO against the Royals. Over his last eight starts, he hasn’t given up more than four runs. This will easily be the hardest matchup for the offense.

Conclusion

The Marlins shut the Diamondbacks down last time they faced off. I’m not optimistic that won’t happen again. Until Ray shows up and has control of his breaking stuff, I won’t actually believe his blister is healed. Young is pretty much a 50/50 shot, and I have a bad feeling about the Diamondbacks streaky offense against Alcantra. But at the end of the day, it’s baseball. There isn’t much more of that left this season. Let’s just enjoy it while we can.