The Arizona Diamondbacks welcome the San Francisco Giants for the final series at Chase Field this season.
With a postseason spot and home field advantage for the 2017 N.L. Wild Card Game wrapped up, what do the Arizona Diamondbacks have to play for?
Most, including myself, just wants the regular season to end and the postseason to begin. After all, Diamondbacks nation has only waited six years for an October bound team.
Manager Torey Lovullo will have his guys, regardless of who is and who is not playing, ready to go, and rightfully so.
The Diamondbacks want to go into the postseason playing their best baseball.
Momentum is a real thing. Every team that makes the postseason after a grueling six-month regular season is fundamentally sound.
At least in recent memory, the teams that have success do not necessarily have the best overall record — it is the team’s that finish the season strong.
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered Monday 8-16 this month. By contrast, the Diamondbacks are 14-8. The Colorado Rockies have also not played their best baseball and as a result, are locked in a tight race for the second wild card spot with the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
What to Watch For
So, what do the Diamondbacks have to play for? The answer to that question is the reason we here at Venom Strikes will watch the final six games.
First, the starting rotation and bullpen need to return to form. They have led the way all season long. Arizona owns the second-best starters ERA (3.59) in the N.L. and the third-best among relief cores (3.88 ERA).
But the starters have struggled the last turn or two in the rotation, and other than Archie Bradley and a select few of other relievers, the bullpen has been shaky at best.
To illustrate that point, other than Bradley in the eighth and closer Fernando Rodney in the ninth, roles are still being defined.
It will also be a great chance to see some of the bench players get extended at-bats to hopefully sort out the wild card game roster.
Lovullo’s lineup for game one of a three game series against the San Francisco Giants is the classic “day after clinching a playoff spot” lineup.
The Diamondbacks are 6-1 against San Francisco at Chase Field and lead the overall season series 10-6.
Here is a quick preview of the pitching matchups that will close out the season series between the last place Giants and the playoff bound D-backs.