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Preview #6: 7/29, Diamondbacks @ Rangers

Another day, another day game...

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B Elvis Andrus - SS
Kole Calhoun - RF Nick Solak - DH
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Rougned Odor - 2B
Christian Walker - DH Joey Gallo - RF
David Peralta - LF Todd Frazier - 1B
Jake Lamb - 1B Adolis Garcia - LF
Carson Kelly - C Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 3B
Jon Jay - CF Scott Heineman - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Jose Trevino - C
M. Bumgarner - LHP Lance Lynn - RHP

The third day-game in four days for the Diamondbacks, if my math is right. They also played in daylight on Sunday and Monday in San Diego. It’s like there’s a shortage of electricity or something. :) I’m not sure what factors play into the decision to have a day game or not on getaway day. I took a look at the schedule, but this year’s restricted competition makes it hard to be sure. The majority of teams the Diamondbacks play this season are in the same time-zone: all the California teams, plus Seattle. That leaves only the Rockies and the two Texas teams where a change of time-zone is required. It looks like there is usually a day-game where one or other team is traveling across a time-zone afterward.

Over their entire history, the D-backs have done a bit worse in day games. They have a .472 win percentage there, having gone 492-550. But after the sun goes down, they have a winning record, being nineteen games over even, at 1273-1254. Is this due to the D-backs pitching better or hitting better? Turns out to be a bit of both. Their ERA after dark is a tenth of a run lower, at 4.19 against 4.29. However, their OPS in night games is also 14 points higher, at .747 versus .733. Maybe it’s just the typical Arizona attitude towards any activity while the sun is up between April and September: do it grudgingly, if it absolutely MUST be done at all...

No Starling Marte in the starting line-up, for the first time this season. No apparent issue, just a scheduled day off, it seems. Torey Lovullo has been a bit more consistent so far. Over the first five games, two-thirds of his line-up has started every time: as well as S.Marte, so did Ahmed, Calhoun, Escobar, Ketel Marte and Peralta. Last year, over the same opening five-game span, only four men started 100% of the contests: Ahmed, K.Marte, Peralta and Adam Jones. This is perhaps to be expected: the addition of the DH spot does mean a line-up now does consist of nine batters, rather then eight, so there is some more flexibility. But it just feels like there’s a more standard starting nine.

Starting in center, replacing S.Marte is Jon Jay, whom I had forgotten was on the roster - we didn’t see him at all over the first five games. Interesting to see Peralta batting fifth, even with a right-handed starter on the mound for Texas. That’ll be his fourth different spot in the line-up over the last four games, having previously hit sixth, eighth and second going back to Sunday in San Diego. Lovullo has also been a bit more consistent in his batting orders as well. Today is the sixth straight game in which K. Marte and Ahmed have batted first and ninth respectively. The former in particular is notable. We didn’t have the same leadoff man for more than four consecutive games at any point last year.