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Series Preview #8: Diamondbacks at Marlins

Zac Gallen leads off the series against Jazz Chisholm and the Fish

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The 10-13 Diamondbacks head to Miami to face the 12-9 Marlins for the final leg of their current road trip. Miami is in 2nd place in the NL East. They had a 7 game win streak snapped by the Mariners yesterday, losing 7-3

Their number one hitting star has been none other than Jazz Chisholm, who had a break out April. His current batting line is .310/.354/.672, 196 OPS+ !. He has 3 doubles, 3 triples and 4 homers in 58 at bats. He’s only walked 5 times and has 19 K’s, but it hasn’t mattered as he’s making monstrous contact when he connects.

Thirdbaseman Joey Wendle, (139 OPS+) and centerfielder Jesus Sanchez (135 OPS+) are the other starters in their “regular” starting lineup with better batting numbers. However their bench has been amazing, getting excellent production from Garrett Cooper, (131) Brian Anderson, (143) John Berti (216), and Bryan De la Cruz (189)

Their closer Anthony Bender has 6 saves despite a 4.32 ERA. Their primary setup guys are Anthnoy Bass and Cole Sulser, who have both been lights out so far,

See Marlins team page HERE

The Diamondbacks offense has been taking two steps forward, one step back. They hit 4 homers in the series finale against the Cardinals, which they lost 7-5 due to some sloppy defense and poor relief pitching. They are tied for 3rd in the league with 24 homers, but are still last in batting average and 2nd to last in OBP. Their team 77 OPS+ is 14th in the NL, ahead of only the lowly Cincinnati Reds

The starting pitching continues to be the bright spot for the team. The 2.60 starters ERA ranks 2nd in the NL. Their FIP is 3.67, and ranks 8th. The bullpen, while not the tire fire it was last year, ranks 13th with a 4.23 in reliever ERA. The FIP is 4.41

D-backs team page HERE


Zac Gallen has only allowed 1 run so far this season. Last time out he shutout the Dodgers for 6 innings in a 3-1 D-backs victory. He’s only walked 4 batters while striking out 14. He hasn’t allowed a homer yet, despite allowing 22 fly balls. So there could be some regression there, (see xFIP) But he’s pitching like an ace and is fully stretched out now.

Pablo Lopez has been magnificent so far this year. He allowed 1 run in the 3rd inning of his first start, and none since, and is currently working on a 20.1 inning scoreless streak. He leads the major in ERA, and has walked only 4 while striking out 23. He has a devastating changeup, arguably the best in the game right now. He also throws his 4 seam about 93, and uses a cutter too.

This is a marquee pitching matchup you won’t want to miss

Actually as of this writing, Tuesday starter is still listed as TBD, but it would normally be Castellanos turn. So stay tuned.

Trevor Rogers was an early Rookie of the Year candidate late year, making the all star team and finished with a fine 2.60 ERA. He’s struggled a bit in his first couple of starts, but don’t be fooled by his ERA. His peripherals (FIP, are much better than ERA and he only allowed 1 run in each of his last two starts. The big lefty, (6’5”, 217) throws a mid 90’s fastball, changeup, and slider.

Madison Bumgarner continues to truck along. After walking 10 in his first three games, he’s only walked 1 in his last two starts, 10 innings overall. He has allowed just one run in four of his 5 starts, and just two runs in the other. He’s relied heavily on the cutter so far, throwing it 51% of the time. His fastball has averaged about 91. He’s been using his curveball and change sparingly, depending on which one he has a feel for that day.

Elieser Hernandez is the type of pitcher the D-backs lefty lineup SHOULD be able to hit. Hernandez has big career splits , .912 OPS vs LHB, .713 OPS vs. RHP. He doesn’t throw especially hard, averaging 91 with his fastball. He throws a lot of sliders and it’s his best pitch, but if the D-backs are patient and can pick up the spin, they should be able to get to him.

There was a time when the Marlins on the schedule represented a weaker opponent . But this is a good young team and a tough matchup for Arizona.