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Diamondbacks Game Preview: #23, Diamondbacks @ Cardinals

Arizona looks to start off May by winning its second series of the season.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Today's Lineups

Daulton Varsho - C Tommy Edman - 2B
Jordan Luplow - CF Harrison Bader - CF
David Peralta - LF Tyler O'Neill - LF
Christian Walker - 1B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Seth Beer - DH Albert Pujols - 1B
Ketel Marte - 2B Corey Dickerson - DH
Pavin Smith - RF Dylan Carlson - RF
Nick Ahmed - SS Andrew Knizner - C
Geraldo Perdomo - 3B Paul DeJong - SS
Zach Davies - RHP Jordan Hicks - RHP

Starting Pitchers:

Zach Davies (1-1, 5.40 ERA) vs Jordan Hicks (1-2, 3.00 ERA)

This is a matchup which, on paper, seems to heavily favour the Red Birds. Zach Davies is a soft-tossing journeyman starter who relies on his changeup to help him induce ground balls. He doesn’t really fool anyone, but he works close to the zone at all times so he can get the opposition swinging the bat fairly liberally. In his last 3 starts against the Cardinals, Davies is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA (4 ER in 14.2 IP), a .259 opp. average, 6 walks and 11 strikeouts.

Taking the mound for St. Louis is a fireballer. Hicks is still working his way back from Tommy John followed by a season lost to elbow inflammation. However, he appears to be healthy and good to go for the Cardinals now. His most dangerous weapon is a sinking fastball that he throws in excess of 100 mph. What makes the pitch even tougher still is that it is a sinker that can have some serious frisbee movement on it. That is both his biggest weapon and his biggest curse. When he is spotting his pitches anywhere near where Molina is putting the glove, Hicks is a dominant pitcher that can chew through any MLB lineup. When he starts to get a bit loose and loses the tunnel, he can have real issues with the free pass. Hopefully, the Diamondbacks will be able to exercise some of that early season plate discipline they showed (they are tied for third in the Majors with 82 free passes) and get plenty of base runners to cause havoc.

Other Notes of Interest

Joe Mantiply owns a 11-game scoreless streak (8.2 IP).

Noé Ramirez has held opponents scoreless in 6 straight games (0 R in 5.0 IP) and 9 of 11 games this season (1.80 ERA, 3 R-2 ER in 10.0 IP).

Pavin Smith has reached base safely in 10 of his last 13 games (since April 19), hitting .364 (12-for-33)/1.026 OPS with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 7 RBI and 5 walks.

Nick Ahmed has homered twice in the last 3 games, hitting safely in 4 of his last 5 games at a .467 clip (7-for-15)/1.467 OPS with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 3 RBI.