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2021 Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Houston Astros

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The Astros (86-60) return home for a quick weekend series against the bottom feeding Diamondbacks (47-99, 5th in AL West)

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Notes

The Diamondbacks come to Houston tied for worst record in the majors during a season that is best left forgotten by the Arizona faithful. They’ve only managed to win 4 series since the All Star Break, which is the same amount of series that they have been swept in. They did manage a series win against Seattle just last weekend though, so thanks to them for that.

The Snakes have managed a to notch some new records this season as well, though most of them are not the kinds that you want to break. The big one is the 24 consecutive road losses earlier this season that broke a modern-day record and matched one from 1889. But there’s always good with bad, and that includes the young Arizona starter Tyler Gilbert, who become the fourth pitcher to toss a no-hitter in his first MLB start and the first since 1953.

There’s not a whole lot to expect for the rest of 2021 when it comes to Arizona though. They match up against the Astros, Braves, Dodgers, Giants, and Rockies to close out the season, so I wouldn’t expect their win column to see much action. They’ll have a chance to cause waves in the NL West division race, but their record doesn’t raise a whole lot of confidence that they can do more than steal a win or two against the Dodgers and Giants.

Last 10 Games: 2-8 Record, 1 Series Loss, 2 Series Swept, -24 Run Differential (39 Scored, 63 Allowed)

W/L Splits: 28-43 at home, 19-56 on the road, 27-64 against teams over .500


On the Field

As one would expect from their record, the Diamondbacks are among the bottom five teams in the league when it comes to their collective OPS of .689. The team’s slash line of .235/.309/.380 isn’t much better, though that .309 OBP is good for 21st in MLB, so a slight improvement there.

After that there’s almost nothing to write home about. The team is terrible at stealing bases (37, 29th in MLB) and isn’t any better at homers (130, 29th in MLB). The only areas they do excel in is triples (28, 4th in MLB) and doubles (272. 3rd in MLB), but I suspect that has a lot to do with the fact that their ballfield is like a cavernous Coors-Field-light.

Pitching has also been a complete disaster with the staff turning in a 5.16 ERA, which is good for 29th in the league. Starters and relievers have both crapped the bed this season, with ERA’s north of 5 for both groups. The relief corps does have a league worst 1.53 WHIP and .279 BAA though, both of which are absolutely putrid.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a hierarchy in the bullpen since the trade deadline, with 4 different relievers logging opportunities in the past 30 days. Of course there haven’t been much more than that when it comes to the opportunities themselves. Noe Ramirez, J.R. Wendelken, and Tyler Clippard have all seen work in those situations.


Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Madison Bumgarner (LHP, 7-10, 4.66 ERA, 112 K) vs Brandon Bielak (3-3, 4.47 ERA, 37 K)

This version of Madison Bumgarner is one that I’m much more comfortable with the Astros facing. He’s coming into this start after 3 straight games where he’s surrendered 5 runs. Those marked the 7th, 8th, and 9th time he’s given up at least that many runs this season. There are still flashes of brilliance from MadBum though, as demonstrated by his 7-inning shutout earlier this season.

Game 2: Humberto Castellanos (RHP, 2-1, 3.90 ERA, 21 K’s) vs Lance McCullers Jr. (RHP, 12-4, 3.12 ERA, 168 K’s)

It looks as though converted pitcher Humberto Castellanos will get the nod in this game after Tyler Gilbert went on the IL with left elbow fatigue. This will be his fifth start after beginning his 2021 campaign in the bullpen. He’s done well enough, but did have a clunker with 5 runs surrendered in 3.1 innings just two starts ago.

Game 3: Zac Gallen (RHP, 2-10, 4.44 ERA, 118 K’s) vs Zack Greinke (RHP, 11-6, 3.94 ERA, 114 K’s)

Gallen comes into this game after rather meh performance in his last start. He gave up 4 runs in 5.1 IP during that one, which has kind of been the story of his season so far. He has tossed a few solid starts so far this year, but has not really had sustained success at any point this season.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Friday, September 17th @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: D-backs: ESPN Phoenix 620, KHOV Univision 105.1 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2
Watch: D-Backs: Bally Sports Arizona / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

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Game 2: Saturday, September 18th @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, KHOV Univision 105.1 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010
Watch: D-Backs: Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Arizona (Sp) / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 3: Sunday, September 19th @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: D-backs: ESPN Phoenix 620, KHOV Univision 105.1 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010
Watch: D-Backs: Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Arizona (Sp) / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (61 votes)
  • 39%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (45 votes)
  • 5%
    Diamondbacks Win 2-1
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    Diamondbacks Sweep 3-0
    (3 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now