For Monday’s MLB Playoff set of four divisional series games I contributed a breakdown of Game three between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in Chase Field to lead MLB writer Austyn Varney’s game
by game breakdown of the slate for DFSR.com. Yu Darvish takes on Zack Greinke as the Dodgers look to sweep the series and head to the NLCS for a second straight year. Below is my breakdown.
Dodgers Vs Diamondbacks
With their backs to the wall, the Diamondbacks will turn to former Dodgers ace Zack Greinke to try and give them a little life against his former team. The Diamondbacks right handed ace threw just 3.2 innings in Wednesdays Wildcard showdown with the Rockies on Wednesday, surrendering four runs on six hits and a walk. It was a less than impressive close to the season for Greinke who finished out the campaign allowing 10 runs in 8IP over his final two contests against the Marlins and Royals resepctively, add in the Wildcard appearance and I can’t say Greinke fills me with an abundance of confidence, though there are some points to his favor. He posted a .268 wOBA allowed this season in the second toughest park for pitchers, Chase Field while making significant improvements to his ERA and xFIP over last year. In cash I’ll look elsewhere, but with the motivation of the must win situation while facing his former team for you narrative lovers out there, I can see the case for a GPP play.
The Dodgers will turn to mid-season acquisition Yu Darvish to break out the brooms and complete the sweep of the Diamondbacks on their own field. Darvish was 6-4 on the road this season and posted a 2.44 ERA. This will be Yu’s first start since September 25th when he threw seven shutout innings allowing just two hits to the Padres while striking out nine. Darvish and the Dodgers opened on Sunday night as -115 favorites against a D-Backs team that struck out 23.2% of the time but also posted a .335 wOBA against RHP. I’m not expecting Darvish to come to the hill and mow down the likes of Goldschmidt, and Martinez, but his 10.08 K/9 and 3.65 xFIP this season show despite struggling at times, he has what it takes to get the job done and today is exactly why L.A. made the move for him at the deadline.
Despite two solid arms going on the hill, this game brings no shortage of lumber with it, and as if that isn’t enough, it takes place in Chase Field, the friendliest hitters park of October baseball. If Greinke carries his Septmber struggles with him into this start he could find himeself in trouble early against the likes of rookie Cody Bellinger who finished the season with a .383 wOBA aainst RHP and led the Dodgers with 39 home runs. Justin Turner’s .400 wOBA was the best on the team and Chris Taylor and Corey Seager had the highest BABIP’s (.361 and .352 respectively). The Dodgers will need these guys to bring their best if Yu falls into trouble against the likes of J.D. Martinez, whose .441 ISO against RHP could lead to big things in Chase. He and Paul Goldschmidt both ended the campaign with wOBA’s over .400. Jake Lamb finished the season with the second most home runs on the Arizona roster this year with 30, and if he finds himself back in the lineup, Chris Ianetta is among my top choices for catcher.
Catch the whole article with breakdowns of all four games Here.