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Preview, #153: 9/18 vs. Marlins

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Florida teams have given our pitching staff more than their share of issues this year.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

MARLINS DIAMONDBACKS
Magneuris Sierra - CF Abraham Almonte - RF
Miguel Rojas - SS Josh Rojas - LF
Neil Walker - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Starlin Castro - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Jorge Alfaro - C Jake Lamb - 3B
Isan Diaz - 2B Domingo Leyba - SS
Harold Ramirez - RF Alex Avila - C
Austin Dean - LF Jarrod Dyson - CF
Sandy Alcantara - RHP Mike Leake - RHP

Last night’s defeat means that the Diamondbacks have lost the season series against the Marlins. They have gone 2-4, with one game to play. Another defeat would tie them, with the Brewers and Mets, as the toughest opponents the D-backs have faced, going 2-5 against all three. Obviously, one of those things is not like the others. For whatever reason, Miami has enjoyed Arizona pitching: our staff has a collective 6.18 ERA against them, which is easily the worst of the 20 opponents we have seen this year. They have hit a robust .297 off the D-backs. Oddly, Tampa’s 5.90 ERA is the second-highest figure, so it seems the the Diamondbacks are not a great fan of #FloridaMan.

On that basis, Mike Leake is probably not the person you want. Over his eight starts as a Diamondback, opponents are batting .316 against Leake, even though his BABIP is almost exactly league average (.301 vs. .299). There are just an awful lot of balls in play off him. Leake has faced 207 hitters with Arizona, and struck out only 20 of them. Among the 165 pitchers to have thrown 30+ innings for the Diamondbacks, Leake’s K% of 9.7% ranks 163rd, in front of Zack Duke (9.5%) and Casey Daigle (8.5%). His season in Arizona was the year Duke transitioned from a starter to a reliever; to his credit, Zach has been effective since. In eight seasons, he has made 389 appearances with a 117 ERA+. Maybe a template for Leake?

At least the Diamondbacks offense seems to have woken from its week-long slumber. On the other hand, this feels very much like a B-lineup from Torey Lovullo. Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed are both apparently not available, and an outfield of Josh Rojas (OPS+ 81), Jarrod Dyson (68) and Abraham Almonte (70) does not exactly scream “offensive powerhouse”. Of course, if history has taught us anything, it’s that they will probably score 15 runs and win in a blow-out! Hopefully that’s the case, anyway...