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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #133: 8/29 @ Dodgers

Let’s hope this goes better than last night for our starter.

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B Mookie Betts - 2B
Buddy Kennedy - DH Freddie Freeman - 1B
Tommy Pham - RF Will Smith - C
Christian Walker - 1B Max Muncy - 3B
Lourdes Gurriel - LF David Peralta - DH
Evan Longoria - 3B Jason Heyward - RF
Corbin Carroll - CF James Outman - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Chris Taylor - LF
Gabriel Moreno - C Miguel Rojas - SS
Merrill Kelly - RHP Clayton Kershaw - LHP

Ranking the power rankings

Taking five of six against other playoff contenders in the Rangers and Reds propelled the D-backs right back into the thick of the post-season race. The power rankings have taken notice, even if the team is still well below the position of earlier, when they were leading the NL West. Still, upward is better, am I right? Here’s what the systems had to say.

  • #13 (last week: #17) - tied with the Brewers for the biggest gain this week.
  • CBS Sports: #12 (last week: #15) - “I guess this is a similar month to the Rangers (we’ll get to them), just in opposite sequencing. Holy smokes. The Diamondbacks started August with a nine-game losing streak. They’ve gone 12-3 since.”
  • USA Today: #13 (last week: #15) - “As we’ve said, all it takes is a good week-plus and you, too, can hold down an NL wild card spot.”
  • Sports Illustrated: #9 (last week: #12) - “I might be higher on the Snakes than most, but Torey Lovullo’s club seems to have returned to form. The club was 16 games over .500 at the start of July, and fell to two games below .500 earlier this month. Since losing nine straight games, the D-Backs are 11-3, peaking perhaps at the right time.”
  • ESPN: #13 (last week: #18) - “The D-backs began August with a nine-game losing streak but have turned it around dramatically, winning nine times in 11 games, an encouraging sign for a relatively young team that was an aggressive slide. Their current four-game winning streak — against a Padres team that’s chasing them and a Rangers team that has been among the best in baseball all year — was especially uplifting. And Monday’s win offered a convenient encapsulation of these past few weeks. The D-backs found themselves down in the ninth and trailing again in the 11th but rallied both times, ending it with a walk-off double by Tommy Pham. Prior to their current 9-2 run, the D-backs had lost 25 of 32 games. “As you can see,” Pham said, “this team has a lot of heart.””

That solid set of games has seen the D-backs climb back up to second place, both in the division and in the power rankings, with all five sources now rating us above the Giants. We’re even in the top 10 by one, though we’ll see if that’s sustained after going through the buzz-saw of the Dodgers and Orioles. But for now...

NL West average rankings

  1. Dodgers: 2.0
  2. D-backs: 12.0
  3. Giants: 15.6
  4. Padres: 20.2
  5. Rockies: 27.8