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D-backs Preview #86: 7/4 vs. Giants

Maybe a split of the series? It’s partly in the hands of Jake Faria

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Austin Slater - CF Josh VanMeter - 2B
Thairo Estrada - SS David Peralta - LF
Mike Yastrzemski - RF Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Buster Posey - C Christian Walker - 1B
Darin Ruf - 1B Pavin Smith - CF
Wilmer Flores - 3B Josh Reddick - RF
Donovan Solano - 2B Stephen Vogt - C
Jaylin Davis - LF Nick Ahmed - SS
A. DeSclafani - RHP Caleb Smith - LHP

The Diamondbacks bullpen has blown any chance of this becoming the team’s first series win since the beginning of May, but they still have a chance at a split. That’s something they did manage against the Marlins in a four-game set from May 10-13. Since then, the team has lost 14 series in a row, which I feel has to be some kind of record. This happens when, over that time, every win but one has been followed by a losing streak of at least three games. On that basis, I’m not feeling exactly optimistic about tonight’s game, but it does have Caleb Smith starting for the D-backs. He was easily their best starter in June, and could well end up single-handedly turning the Starling Marte trade into a win for Arizona.

So far, Smith has been worth 1.2 bWAR for the team, between this year and last, while Marte has been worth 2.7 bWAR. However, looking just at 2021, the gap becomes considerably narrower (1.5 vs. 2.2). Of course, Marte is considerably more expensive, the Marlins having exercised a $12.5 million option for this year. And that’s all that’s left of control. Caleb Smith is in currently in his first year of arbitration eligibility, making $1.45 million, and is under team control through the end of 2023, so has two full seasons after this one. That’s not even counting any speculative value from the other players sent to Arizona, minor-leaguers Humberto Mejia and Julio Frias. For now, I think I’m more than content with this deal.

Torey Lovullo notes

You’ll have to listen, I’m afraid. But I am reliably informed It’s mostly about Escobar’s All-Star selection, everybody is very happy for him, yada yada.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]