Dodgers-Diamondbacks: Series Unbeaten Arizona Continues to Surprise

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 3:54 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 1, 2018 3:54 PM UTC

Which team has yet to lose a series this season? That would be the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks as they host the rival L.A. Dodgers in Game No. 3 of a four-game set Wednesday.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona DiamondbacksFree MLB Pick: DiamondbacksBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Could this be the week that the Arizona Diamondbacks finally lose a series? That question may not be answered before Thursday afternoon. The Snakes host the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers in Game No. 3 of a four-game set Wednesday with a first pitch of 9:40 p.m. ET from Chase Field.

Over the weekend, the Diamondbacks took two of three in Washington for their ninth straight series win to open a season. That’s pretty remarkable (two have come over the Dodgers) and tied an MLB record last set by the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won a record 116 games but didn’t reach the World Series. The last National League team to do it was the 1907 Cubs, who finished with 107 wins in a 155-game season and won the World Series.

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In 1907:

-Movie tickets cost a nickle
-Oklahoma became the 46th state
-The paper towel was invented
-MLB consisted of 16 teams, including the NY Highlanders and the Boston Doves

— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 28, 2018

I think most experts expected Arizona to take a step back this season. After all, they lost slugging outfielder J.D. Martinez, who was so good last season after coming over from trade in Detroit, to the Red Sox in free agency. Young starting pitcher Taijuan Walker hasn’t been on the mound since April 14 and had season-ending Tommy John surgery. Fellow starter Shelby Miller is still recovering from his own Tommy John procedure. Yet, there the Snakes are with the best record in the National League and a comfortable lead atop the NL West.

On the most recent BetOnline futures, Arizona was the -110 favorite to win the division. The Dodgers were heavy favorites to win the West for a sixth straight season back in the spring. It’s certainly way too early to count L.A. out, although it has been disappointing.

And then came shocking news Monday for the Dodgers.

L.A. revealed that 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager will undergo Tommy John surgery that ends his season. This came largely out of nowhere. It’s a devastating loss as Seager has been a Top 10 WAR player in the majors the previous two years and had the fourth-highest WAR of any shortstop since the start of 2016 at 12.0, which was the best number of any Dodger in that span. L.A. had a .604 winning percentage since 2016 with Seager in the lineup and .488 without him. Chris Taylor will take over as the primary shortstop, but you can expect rumors that the Dodgers will pursue Orioles superstar shortstop Manny Machado to really intensify now.

In addition, L.A. put outfielder Yasiel Puig on the DL Sunday with a hip pointer and bruised foot. Puig had a rough doubleheader Saturday in San Francisco, injuring the hip when he crashed into the right-field corner wall making a spectacular catch and then the foot issue when he fouled a pitch off it. According to Manager Dave Roberts, top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo will see significant playing time in Puig's absence. Puig was hitting just .193 with no homers and a .250 on-base percentage this season – frankly, he’s been one of the worst regulars in baseball.

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Probable Pitchers: Ryu vs. Godley

It’s lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 2.22) on the bump for the Dodgers. He had a very tenuous spot in the rotation when the season began but has been the most consistent starter the team has had – yes, even more so than Clayton Kershaw, who started Tuesday’s game. Ryu is among NL leaders in ERA and WHIP (0.85). His season debut was his worst outing of the year, allowing three runs in 3.2 innings in Arizona. Ryu hasn’t surrendered more than two earned in a start since. He’s allowing just 4.76 hits per nine innings. Ryu left his last start after taking a Buster Posey comebacker off the leg but apparently is fine.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt hammers him, going 10-for-22 with three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. AJ Pollock is a .346 hitter off him in 26 at-bats. Ketel Marte is 3-for-6 with two triples.

Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley (4-1, 3.81) has had two very different results vs. the Dodgers this year. On April 3, he allowed just one run and four hits over seven innings in a victory. On April 15 in L.A., he was rocked for a season-high six runs in a season-low four innings in his only loss. Godley wasn’t very good last time out, either, giving up four runs and 10 hits over five but still won in Washington.

Cody Bellinger is 2-for-10 career off Godley. Taylor is 5-for-13 with two homers. Yasmani Grandal 4-for-12 with two doubles.

  • Dodgers are 1-5 in Ryu’s last 6 road starts.
  • Diamondbacks are 26-5 in their last 31 home games vs. a left-handed starter.

L.A. has amazingly lost 11 straight Ryu starts against teams with a winning record. Meanwhile, Arizona is 9-4 in Godley’s past 13 at home. The Dodgers could be fade candidates for a while with the Seager news, and I’ll be betting against them for a Wednesday MLB pick.

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