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Preview, #115: 8/7 vs. Phillies

After last night, let’s hope Zack Greinke gives us a solid start.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Cesar Hernandez - 2B David Peralta - LF
Rhys Hoskins - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nick Williams - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Carlos Santana - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Steven Souza - RF
Odubel Herrera - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Maikel Franco - 3B Nick Ahmed - SS
Jorge Alfaro - C Jeff Mathis - C
Nick Pivetta - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

It helped the Diamondbacks that Zack Godley was able to pitch into the eighth inning. Even though the game went 14 innings, the team did not need to use Brad Ziegler or Jake Diekman. Both of them will presumably be available tonight. Having an extra bullpen arm at this point seems like the work of a predictive genius... Of the rest, no-one threw even twenty pitches, so we shouldn’t be too over-taxed. Probably want to stay away from those who pitched Sunday - Yoshihisa Hirano, Andrew Chafin and Archie Bradey - so they don’t pitch three days in a row. But the overall workload, in terms of pitches, hasn’t been too bad: Bradley’s 34 pitches Sun/Mon is the team high over the last two games.

It was certainly a memorable way to take the series opener, giving the D-backs two chances to do something they haven’t managed since July 6-8: win a series at home, the last such being against the Padres. Since then, the Diamondbacks have lost to the Rockies and split sets with both the Rangers and the Giants. Conversely, they haven’t lost a road series for almost as long, the last being July 10-12 in Colorado. I’d be the first to admit the lack of logic to this, but it’s worth remembering that all wins count the same, regardless of where they take place. There’s no reason the team “have” to win at home. It’s just slightly easier to do so.

Though that said, the margin is perhaps less than you’d expect. Home teams in the NL this year have a .525 winning percentage, only 39 points better than the .486 figure posted on the road [the figures add up to more than 1.000, because of interleague play where, for once, the NL is handily beating the AL, 117-99 to this point]. I’d have to check to be sure, but that feels like a smaller gap for baseball than the home advantages for other sports. That would be a little surprising as home teams in baseball have a true “home field advantage,” unlike the uniform size and shapes of the playing surface in, say, the NBA. Two minutes Googling found this piece, which suggests the NBA home advantage is twice that of MLB.

Something to look into more on the off-day, perhaps!