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Diamondbacks Game Preview #115: 8/15 @ Giants

If the D-backs are to sustain their projected mark, they’ll need to do it on the road.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Daulton Varsho - RF Austin Slater - CF
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Wilmer Flores - 2B
Josh Rojas - 2B Brandon Belt - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B J.D. Davis - DH
Jake McCarthy - LF Evan Longoria - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Mike Yastrzemski - RF
Alek Thomas - CF Thairo Estrada - SS
Seth Beer - DH Joey Bart - C
Sergio Alcantara - SS Luis Gonzalez - LF
M. Bumgarner - LHP Alex Cobb - RHP

After winning their third series in a row, giving them seven wins in the last ten, the D-backs are on pace for 75.3 wins. However, it looks like it will be a tough climb for them to reach that. We already discussed the schedule in general, with an almost constant stream of games over the final month against post-season caliber teams. But there’s another aspect worth considering: the Diamondbacks have to play a lot of games down the stretch on the road. Even after completing the series in Colorado, they have played eight fewer games away from home - 53 there, compared to 61 at Chase Field. That gap will have to be made up down the stretch, mostly by thirteen of their last sixteen being on the road.

Of the D-backs’ final 51 games, 31 will be on the road and only 20 at home, which is considerably more back-loaded than usual. Indeed, it’s among the most back-loaded in recent history. The only NL team since 1984 with more road games over that final part of the schedule was the 2005 Reds, who played 32 of their last 51 away from Cincinnati. Of course, on one level it doesn’t matter: all teams should (more or less) end with 81 home and 81 on the road. However, especially given the fatiguing nature of the 162-game season, the last thing you want to be doing over the final month, is probably to be racking up air miles. One positive: none of the road games is further East than Chicago.

The D-backs have played considerably better at home this year, going 32-29 compared to 21-32 elsewhere. That’s a 129 point split in win percentage, more than twice the average home advantage across all of MLB (62 points). But that’s been the way of late for Arizona: last year, the gap was 148 points, and in the shortened 60-game season of 2020. it was a whopping 233 points. This big split is something of a recent development: across franchise history, the D-backs have been just 70 points better at home, a figure which is actually less than the 82 point split across MLB in that time. I may have to dig further into the history of this, when I have more time than a preview!