Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dodgers vs Diamondbacks - Series Preview

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks face off in a three game series in the desert this weekend, their first meeting since the ridiculous two games played weeks ago in Australia.  While the Dodgers currently fair better than the Diamondbacks in the standings both teams have had their fair share of troubles since returning from down under.  The Diamondbacks have been getting terrible pitching, while the Dodgers have been getting pitchers injured.  Expect a lot of runs to be scored in this series and the Diamondbacks play in a hitters park.

Here is a quick break down of the pitching matchups.

DayDodgers SPDbacks SPSkinny on Dbacks Starter
FridayHyun-Jin RyuBrandon McCarthyDoesn't miss too many bats, trying to re-invent himself as ground ball pitcher but more of a HR pitcher so far.
SaturdayZack GreinkeWade MileyHas been solid so far and also tends to induce ground balls.
SundayDan HarenTrevor CahillPretty extreme GB pitcher has been awful so far, fighting to keep rotation spot.

So, their starting pitching kind of sucks but how about their bullpen?  We should be seeing quite a bit of their bullpen so is it any good?  Well yeah, it is pretty good - at least on paper.  None of their relief pitchers are as good as Kenley Jansen but Addison Reed is a solid closer (don't get fooled by his girl name) and J.J. Putz is a very solid setup man.  Oliver Perez and Joe Thatcher are the lefty specialists who will be called on to deliver against the likes of Crawford, Gonzalez, Gordon and Ethier.  And watch out for Brad Ziegler the submarining right hander that is a double play inducing wizard.  You don't want one of our slow runners up with a man on first base and less than two outs facing this guy.  If you see Ryan Rowland-Smith (the guy too cool to drop his maiden name) or Josh Collmenter in the game you know things have probably gone well for the boys in blue.

What about Defense?
On the defensive side of things the Diamondbacks are pretty solid.  Some metrics may think the Trumbo is a liability in LF but the eye balls see him close to average out there.  On the plus side the Diamondbacks defense is lead by Gerardo Parra who is close to a +10 run right fielder as his throwing accuracy is truly amazing and he knows when and how to hit his cutoff man unlike the Dodgers cannon arm that plays RF when his thumb is healthy.  Next best is first baseman Paul Goldschmidt who truly is an amazing all around player.  The guy belts HRs, steals bases at a great clip for someone who plays his position and he is around a +7 fielder.  Other above average fielders on the team are catcher Miguel Montero and second baseman Aaron Hill.

Of course the Diamondbacks can hit well, especially playing in their hitter friendly park.  They have the components to mash LH pitchers pretty well in Paul Goldschmidt and the red hot Mark Trumbo.  Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock take turns at the top or bottom of the lineup depending on the pitching matchup and provide good speed and will provide a challenge to FedEx/Butera behind the plate.  Eric Chavez is their masher off the bench to mainly pinch hit against RH pitchers and Tony Campana is an excellent late inning pinch running threat.

Here is the typical lineup that the Diamondbacks use against both RH/LH pitchers.

vs RHPvs LHP
1RF-Gerardo ParraCF-A.J. Pollock
22B-Aaron Hill2B-Aaron Hill
31B-Paul Goldschmidt1B-Paul Goldschmidt
43B-Martin Prado3B-Martin Prado
5C-Miguel MonteroC-Miguel Montero
6LF-Mark TrumboLF-Mark Trumbo
7SS-Chris OwingsSS-Chris Owings
8CF-A.J. PollockRF-Gerardo Parra
9P-Pitchers SpotP-Pitchers Spot

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