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Series Preview #34: Diamondbacks vs Dodgers

Of course we face the Dodgers next

Phoenix Suns fans hold signs that spell out Beat LA in the crowd against the Los Angeles Lakers during game one in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers.

Why does it always have to be Dodgers?

After seemingly pulling off what would have been the trade of the century if it wasn’t for all the other trades they have pulled off over the last five years, the Dodgers roll on into Chase Field for a three game bloodbath series. I’m pretty sure we won’t see Scherzer in this series, given that he pitched on Thursday in Philadelphia, but we should see Turner either Friday night or Saturday, depending on when the deal is actually finalized. Fun...

Game 1: Zac Gallen (1-5, 1.40 WHIP, 88 ERA+) vs. Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 1.35 WHIP, 164 ERA+)

Gallen has faced the Cubs twice since returning from the IL. The first time it went really well! 5.2 innings, one run, seven K’s, no homers. Exactly what we were hoping from for our young ace’s return. The second time around... not so much. Four innings, seven runs, less strikeouts, and two home runs. If the Dbacks want any chance of not being worse than 04, Gallen will need to do more of the first game, and significantly less of the second.

Gonsolin seems to be operating under a pretty strict 80-85 pitch limit this season, after spending the first three months of the season on the IL with shoulder problems. He’s done well, having not given up more than three runs in any of his 9 appearances so far. However, due to the workload limit, he hasn’t gone many innings in most of his games. He’s averaged about 3.2 innings in all of his starts, so expect to see a lot of bullpen arms in this one.

Game 2: Merrill Kelly (7-7, 1.21 WHIP, 95 ERA+) vs Josiah Gray (0-0, 2 G, 1 GS, 1.50 WHIP, 60 ERA+)

Kelly continues to be the most stable presence in the rotation. His last two starts were against the Cubs, and he held them in check very well. The first game was his eight plus inning gem, which had a final line that looked slightly worse than it actually was thanks to Joakim Soria “getting the save” and allowing an inherited runner to score. His next one was just as good, though a little shorter, at six innings and only two runs surrendered.

According to, Josiah Gray will be getting this start. It will be just his second big league start, following one start and a longer relief outing in a bullpen game last week. Much like with Gonsolin’s start, expect to see a steady stream of pitchers joining this one from the bullpen.

Game 3: Caleb Smith (3-7, 1.32 WHIP, 91 ERA+) vs. Julio Urias (12-3, 1.05 WHIP, 109 ERA+)

Caleb Smith will not be sorry to see the calendar switch to the month of August. He’s only had one start in July that you can call good. The rest have ranged from not ideal to downright awful. Last time out, he went 6 innings, gave up 5 runs on three home runs. Hopefully a new month will be a harbinger of a fresh start for Smith.

Urias, on the other hand, has had a phenominal month of July. He’s toed the rubber five times, and in four of those games, has only given up one earned run, including back-to-back starts against the division leading Giants, in case you thought he was picking on bad teams.


My hopes are not high for this series. This is going to be a Dodgers team that was already good to begin with, but has been bolstered with fresh, All-Star caliber, reinforcements. If we squeak out a win, I’ll be happy and impressed, but realistically? Dodgers sweep the Diamondbacks and welcome their newest members to the NL West.