Series Preview: Diamondbacks @ Pirates

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Photo: Keith Allison

Arizona Diamondbacks (31-21) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (23-28)


GAME 1

Randall Delgado (1-0, 3.82 ERA) vs Trevor Williams (2-3, 5.93 ERA)

Time: Monday – 4:05

 

 

Randall Delgado is not a well liked man in Pittsburgh. Delgado is the man that put a 95 mph fastball directly into McCutchen’s back. Ever since that moment, Delgado has been known for two things; being a jackass, and being mediocre. Delgado hit McCutchen in the 9th inning of that game, as a reliever. Today, he will enter the game as a starter. Delgado was not a good relief pitcher, so he certainly won’t be a good starting pitcher. He does better against right handed hitters, so look for Josh Bell, Gregory Polanco, and Adam Frazier to play a big role in todays game.

Trevor Williams second start of the season came against the Diamondbacks. That start is the only start in which he has given up less than 3 runs. Arizona is a much more difficult place to pitch than Pittsburgh, and this time the DBacks are without AJ Pollock. So, logically it makes sense that Williams will have another good start.

Vegas disagrees, though. The Diamondbacks are slight favorites in this one. Such small favorites in fact, that its practically a push at -112 ARI, -108 PIT. However, the total is set at 9.5, so there should be a lot of offense today.

 


GAME 2

Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.45 ERA) vs Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83 ERA)

Time: Tuesday – 7:05

 

Robbie Ray is the best starter the Pirates will face this series. Over the past calendar year, he has a 4.49 ERA. That’s not good, but over that same period he has a 3.52 FIP. Not to mention, his home park is one of the tougher ballparks to pitch in. Ray really shines against left handed hitters. Over the last year, Ray has struckout 35.7% of the lefties he’s faced. When you remember that this year Felipe Rivero has struckout 33.3% of the lefties he has faced, you realize what Ray has done as a starter is awfully impressive. Fortunately, the Pirates could easily stack their lineup with all right handed hitters. I’m almost positive that Jose Osuna will start for Polanco, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Adam Frazier is rested with a 12:35 game the following day. Josh Harrison could go play LF with Gift Ngoepe in at second base.

 

The Pirates rotation has been pretty inconsistent this last week. Or, I guess you could say it’s been consistently awful. Either way, Nova’s start will hopefully be what anxiety and rage free.

 


GAME 3

Zack Godley (1-1, 1.99 ERA) vs Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.29 ERA)

Time: Wednesday – 12:35

 

Godley is a guy that has a great name but an underwhelming career. With that said, his velocity is up this year and is getting quite a bit of swinging strikes. He is a huge ground ball pitcher, but doesn’t have much control as shown by his 9.1 BB%. I’m not really sure what to make of Godley, he might be looking at a breakout season if he can…

… figure his control out like Chad Kuhl needs to do. Last start for Kuhl, the Mets managed to stack their lineup with almost all lefties. It’s no secret at this point, Chad Kuhl is much better against righties than he is against righties. However, I did say that I thought he finally had a weapon for lefties. He did throw his changeup more last start, but I think for him to be successful he will need to throw his slider more, around 30% of the time. His command has been a problem all year, and until he either figures out how his changeup or his command, he will be destined for the bullpen. However, I had mentioned in my previous article that Jaso’s RF defensive performance has been the worst by any fielder this year. Since teams like to load up on lefties, I think Jaso might be a little to blame for Kuhl and even Glasnow’s seasons. Of course, Jaso would only be a minor part of it. Glasnow and Kuhl both need to pitch better, and Jaso’s defense is not an excuse. I’m just making an observation.

 

 

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