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Preview, #128: 8/24 vs. Mariners

We welcome another member of the AL West to Chase Field, and get to laugh at their pitchers trying to hit.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Mitch Haniger - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Robinson Cano - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Jean Segura - SS David Peralta - LF
Denard Span - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Steven Souza - RF
Cameron Maybin - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Mike Zunino - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Dee Gordon - 2B Alex Avila - C
Erasmo Ramirez - RHP Zack Godley - RHP

It’s often noted how the DH gives the American League an advantage in inter-league play, in that they construct rosters to fill that role. NL teams don’t typically have room on the roster for the “all-stick, no glove” players who are best suited to DH. But it’s also worth noting that the boot is on the other foot when American League teams come to play in our house, and their pitchers have to hit. Sure, our pitchers aren’t great, but they have batted .113 with 15 home-runs this year, for a .287 OPS. AL pitchers? Hitting less than a buck (26-for-261) with no home-runs, and a .238 OPS. That’s a smaller gap than the AL/NL DH split (.783 vs. .757), although over about half the number of PAs, so it seems roughly to balance out.

Tonight seems a return to old haunts on both sides of the diamond. Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger come back to Chase Field, while Ketel Marte faces off against his old team. Just a shame Taijuan Walker won’t be available to start any of the games in this series. Haniger has been really solid for the Mariners, giving them a 124 OPS+ and playing solid defense. Over his 221 games, he has been worth 6.6 bWAR, while being paid league minimum. It’ll take good futures from both Marte and Walker to tip this deal back towards even, though it’s hard to blame Mike Hazen for something like Taijuan’s elbow.

There will also be the usual scoreboard watching going on tonight. Of most relevance, it’s the Rockies’ turn to face the red-hot Cardinals [I’m really glad we’ve already completed our schedule against them], with that game just under way at Coors Field. The Dodgers have what SHOULD be an easier task, at home against the Padres, with a 7:10pm first pitch. Of tangential interest to Diamondbacks’ fans, the Phillies are losing to the Blue Jays at the time of writing, the Braves are down to the Marlins, the Brewers lead the Pirates, and the Cubs beat the Reds in earlier play. Stay tuned...