The Royals play host to the playoff-bound Arizona Diamondbacks in their final series of the season. The first night will feature the return of Zack Greinke to where his hallowed career began.
Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:
- Friday, September 29, 2017, 7:15 PM CDT - Zack Greinke versus Ian Kennedy
- Saturday, September 30, 2017, 6:15 PM CDT - Taijuan Walker versus Jake Junis
- Sunday, October 1, 2017, 2:15 PM CDT - Robbie Ray (L) versus Jason Vargas (L)
Diamondbacks at Royals pitching matchups
|Robbie Ray (L)||27||160.1||217||32.9||71||10.8||2.86||3.65||3.48||3.53||3.3||5.0|
|Jason Vargas (L)||31||175.2||130||17.7||54||7.4||3.94||4.53||4.89||4.82||1.9||4.3|
It is really difficult to look at any of these pitching matchups and see anything other than two in which the Diamondbacks are heavily favored and a third in which they enjoy at least a moderate advantage. And that’s before taking into account the difference between the two offenses.
Zack Greinke returns to the K in the Friday tilt. Since his stretch in Kansas City, he’s made the playoffs with the Brewers, the Dodgers (thrice), and now the Diamondbacks, who clinched a Wild Card spot over the weekend. Greinke has convincingly recovered from a shaky—at least by his standards—2016, rebounding to rank third in the NL in rWAR (Sunday’s starter Robbie Ray ranks fifth by the same measure) and fWAR. Any way you cut it, this is another Greinke season on a résumé that looks increasingly likely to end up in an election to the Hall of Fame.
Robbie Ray has rebounded nicely from a rocky (and very unlucky) 2016. As noted above, he ranks fifth in the NL in rWAR and 10th in fWAR. He has struck out just shy of one-third of the batters he has faced.
The Taijuan Walker/Jake Junis matchup on Saturday is the only one that doesn’t HEAVILY favor the Diamondbacks. At least they’re close in SIERA.
Arizona Diamondbacks position players
|David Peralta (L)||LF||570||14||82||56||8||.293||.351||.441||.340||103||1.8||2.5|
|Ketel Marte (S)||SS||244||5||30||18||3||.263||.348||.404||.323||92||1.0||1.4|
|Gregor Blanco (L)||OF||250||3||40||12||12||.236||.325||.350||.299||76||0.2||-0.4|
|Daniel Descalso (L)||Util||388||10||46||50||4||.236||.335||.397||.320||89||0.2||-0.2|
|John Ryan Murphy||C||7||0||0||1||0||.167||.143||.286||.176||-5||-0.1||-0.1|
|Rey Fuentes (L)||CF||141||3||18||9||3||.241||.279||.346||.271||57||-0.1||0|
|Chris Hermann (L)||C/1B||253||10||33||27||5||.175||.269||.341||.268||55||-0.6||-0.7|
Playing half their games in Chase Field, the Diamondbacks’ offense looks a little better on paper than they probably are in reality. They sport a .254/.329/.444 triple-slash with a .328 wOBA, the latter mark being the ninth-best in baseball. Of course, once taking park factors into account, their wRC+ is just 95, a mark that ties them for 17th in baseball with the White Sox.
It should probably be noted that much of these numbers were amassed without the services of J.D. Martinez. In his 59 games with the D-backs, Martinez has hung 29 of his career high 45 dongs. Over the course of that onslaught, he’s driven in 65, scored 47 runs, and slashed .306/.372/.761. These are video game numbers. They’ll likely get lost amidst Giancarlo Stanton’s run at 60 and Aaron Judge’s monster rookie season, but Martinez has gone yard 45 times in just 116 games. If you extrapolated that pace out for a 162-game season, he’s on track for a 63 dong season.
How will the Royals fare against the Diamondbacks?
This poll is closed
Royals take two of three
Diamondbacks take two of three
All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Thursday, September 28.
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