The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Los Angeles for a 4-game series versus the rival Dodgers. Ugh. The Diamondbacks had been riding a high wave of wins recently as they won or tied the series 6 times in a row. That started back in mid-April when the team took 2 of 3 from the Dodgers at Chase Field. However, after two 9th-inning collapses when the games were tied, the Dbacks failed to win what was an easily sweepable series against the Cubs. Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy each failed to keep the game tied entering the bottom of the 9th. The team is still 6-4 over their last 10 while L.A. is 5-5 after losing a series versus the Phillies.
The Diamondbacks are still amidst the hardest schedule in the MLB and have exceeded expectations by having an 18-17 record and in 4th place in the harsh NL West. The Dodgers are merely meeting expectations after forming a video game-like team in the off-season after signing Freddie Freeman. They are 21-12 this year, sharing1st place in the NL West with the San Diego Padres. The Diamondbacks have a -15-run differential while the Dodgers are +70 in that aspect.
In their history, the Diamondbacks are 185-241 against the Dodgers. They've struggled most on the road going 81-127. Lifetime, the Snakes have averaged 4 runs per game while allowing 4.6 runs per game. In 2021, the team has allowed the Dodgers to score 2.7 runs per game. The same number exists for the Dbacks scoring this year too.
Things to watch for in this series: Ketel Marte to stay hot, how the Diamondbacks starters do, what the bullpen does in the 9th inning, and how does Alek handle the bright lights in LA.
The Uniforms for the Series
Monday, 5/16/2022, Dbacks @Dodgers 7:10 PM AZ Time,
Madison Bumgarner vs Tony Gonsolin
Madison Bumgarner draws the start in game 1 vs LA. He's having a resurgent year after struggling for two years in the desert. This year, MadBum is 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 30.1 innings over his 7 games started. Over those innings, he has given up 22 hits, 6 runs, 12 walks, and struck out 20. He's been dominant over his last 3 starts allowing only 4 runs in 12.1 innings (one start was his ejection start after 1 inning). He's 2-0 over that period only allowing 10 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 7. This will be his first start versus the Dodgers this year. The Dodgers are well versed against MadBum with plenty of experience. However, only one player with more than 15 at-bats vs MadBum has an average higher than .250.
Tony Gonsolin seems to struggle against the Dbacks despite the fact the team doesn't hit him well. On the season, Gonsolin has been pretty great with a 3-0 record, 1.33 ERA and 27 innings pitched across his 6 starts. He's given up 16 hits, 4 runs, 13 walks, and 23 Ks. The walks are what bite him. As I was saying earlier, the Dbacks seem to do well against Gonsolin. Tony gave up his season-high 2 runs versus the Snakes three starts back. He only managed to pitch 4 innings. Perhaps the Dbacks have it in them again to bite Tony's pitches. Among their hitters with more than 4 at-bats, only Ahmed and Marte are hitting over .300 against Gonsolin. This will be a great game, nonetheless.
Tuesday, 5/17/2022, Dbacks @Dodgers 12:10 PM AZ Time, Game 1 of Doubleheader
Merrill Kelly vs TBD
This is the first game of a scheduled doubleheader for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The reason why is due to the 3-game series that was canceled during the MLB Lockout. The Dodgers are usually Kelly's kryptonite, but this will be his 2nd start against L.A. In the first start, he pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs while walking 2 and striking out 4. That is pretty good against this potent lineup. Considering the fact that Kelly has played his whole career in the NL West, the Dodgers hitters are well-versed with him. Nearly every hitter they have is hitting .260 or better if they have more than 5 at-bats against Merril. I have faith in Merrill still. The Dodgers have yet to name a pitcher.
Tuesday, 5/17/2022, Dbacks @Dodgers 7:10 PM AZ Time, Game 2 of Doubleheader
TBD vs Tyler Anderson
Due to Merrill pitching Game 1, the Diamondbacks are likely to call up a minor league pitcher like Tyler Gilbert or Corbin Martin to make a spot start versus the Dodgers. The Dodgers are starting Lefty Tyler Anderson in Game 2. He's having another solid season in what is his first year in LA. Originally pitching in the bullpen, Anderson has made 4 starts out of the 6 games he's pitched in. Tyler's 3-0 with a 4.40 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 27 hits allowed, 14 runs allowed, 5 walks, and 27 Ks in the 28.2 innings he has pitched so far.
Dbacks hitters have faced Tyler a bunch over the years. Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte have combined for 4 HRs and 11 RBI with a batting average of over .400 across their 46 at-bats. Josh Rojas is 3 for 7 while Daulton is 3-for-4. Christian Walker has hit him well too with a .267 average over 15 at-bats.
Wednesday, 5/18/2022, Dbacks @Dodgers 1:10 PM AZ Time, Get-Away Day
Zach Davies vs Walker Buehler
This will be a tough game for the Diamondbacks. Zach Davies has been a great innings-eater and #4/5 man in the Dbacks rotation. He's performed as well as we expected entering the season. Over his 7 starts and 35.1 innings, Davies has gone 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA, giving up 27 hits, 14 runs, 15 walks, and striking out 28. He's been terrific in his last three starts pitching 17 innings and allowing only 3 runs with 14 Ks and 5 walks. This will be his 2nd start against the LA as he gave up 3 runs and walked 4 over his 4 innings of work. Cody Bellinger has been excellent against Davies while so has Justin Turner. They both have an HR and 2 RBI apiece. The rest of the Dodgers lineup hasn't faced Davies enough to say just how good they are against him. One player to not is Trea Turner who is 3-for-6 against him.
On the bump for the Dodgers is Walker Buehler. The All-Star righty is in the midst of another great season. Shocking, I know. In his first start against the Diamondbacks, the righty pitched a complete-game shutout. He struck out 10 while allowing only 3 hits. He is coming off his worst start of the year against the Phillies last week. He went 5 innings but gave up 9 hits and 5 runs so he is hittable. On the year, Walker is 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA in his 41.2 innings pitched over 7 starts. He's given up 39 hits, 13 runs, 10 walks, and has struck out 35.
Every Diamondbacks hitter has a batting average of .240 or lower except for Daulton Varsho. Varsho has 3 hits in his 7 at-bats with an HR against Walker. Christian Walker has 2 HRs off Ferris, sorry, Walker, but has otherwise struggled. This game will be key to win to have a happy flight after the game.