|Jose Altuve - 2B||Jordan Lawlar - SS|
|Alex Bregman - 3B||Jake McCarthy - RF|
|Yordan Alvarez - DH||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Kyle Tucker - RF||Evan Longoria - DH|
|Jose Abreu - 1B||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Michael Brantley - LF||Emmanuel Rivera - 1B|
|Chas McCormick - CF||Jace Peterson - 3B|
|Jeremy Pena - SS||Seby Zavala - C|
|Martin Maldonado - C||Geraldo Perdomo - 2B|
|Cristian Javier - RHP||Ryne Nelson - RHP|
Well, after 161 games are in the books, we finally get a game which is basically meaningless for the Diamondbacks. There is still stuff to be decided, such as their opponent in the wild-card series, though their destiny is not in their own hands. The Marlins would clinch the #5 spot with a win or a D-backs loss, so that’s the most likely scenario. They’d then play the Phillies, and the Diamondbacks will take on the Brewers. I don’t particularly have a dog in that fight, but it is worth nothing that they took four of six games against the Brewers this year, including two of three in Milwaukee. They were 3-4 versus the Phillies, but won the series there too, and only were denied a sweep in extra innings. So, no fear either way .
The game perhaps has more significance for the opposition. The Astros would win the AL West with victory and a Rangers loss, because they hold the tie-breaker over Texas. That would then get them a bye in the first round, as the second-best division winner. They’d also perhaps have an easier Championship Series, since they are in the other half of the bracket from the 98-win wild-card Rays. So it feels like they have everything to play for, while the D-backs may well be taking it easy, resting players for the Wild Card series, wherever it may be. Put it this way, I’d be quite surprised to see many of the A-bullpen in action this afternoon, regardless of the score.
As usual, all games on the final day are starting at the same time - 12:10 pm in Arizona - hence the earlier than normal Sunday action. But the 12 post-season teams have already been decided thanks to yesterday’s decisive results, and the only thing remaining to be settled is the seeding order in both leagues. Considering how nerve-wracking things were last night, and how much I have cared about the Diamondbacks’ results over the last couple of weeks, it’s going to be nice to have a game I can idly check in on, from time to time, knowing there will be clammy palms in the later innings! Enjoy that while you can, because normal service will be resumed on Tuesday!