Saturday, June 22, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

MLB Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (16-14) at Texas Rangers (18-11)

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NOTES:

HERE’S THE STORY
♦ The D-backs are 2-2 on their 5-game road trip @ Rockies (2-1) and Rangers (0-1).

♦ The D-backs are currently second in the NL West, 1.5 games behind the Dodgers.

♦ Arizona is 7-6 vs. Rangers (4-3 on the road) since 2019.

♦ Brandon Pfaadt, D-backs’ No. 3 rated prospect by MLB Pipeline, is making his Major League debut.

♦ Geraldo Perdomo is batting .391 (25-for-64)/1.073 OPS with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 15 runs, 16 RBI and 7 walks over 23 games…if qualified, his average ranks second in the Majors, behind Luis Arraez/MIA (.435)… Perdomo has 6 multi-hits eff orts in his last 11 games.

♦ Dominic Fletcher is 3-for-5 (.600) in his first 2 Major League games…collected his first RBI last night with a single in his first at-bat.

♦ Christian Walker and Ketel Marte have each homered twice in their last 3 games.

ROSTER MOVES

♦ the D-backs made the following roster moves:

• Selected RHP Brandon Pfaadt [FOUGHT] (No. 32) from Triple-A Reno.

• Optioned RHP Peter Solomon to Reno following last night’s game.

• Designated INF Seth Beer for assignment.

THE SCORELESS STREAK ENDS
♦ Zac Gallen ended his scoreless streak at 28.0 innings after allowing a run in the first inning last night @ Rangers.

♦ In 2022, Gallen established the D-backs’ record for consecutive scoreless innings (44.1) from Aug. 8-Sept. 11, 2022, surpassing Brandon Webb’s 42.0-inning stretch (July 20-Aug. 17, 2007) and was the longest in the Majors since Zack Greinke’s/LAD 45.2-scoreless frames in 2015.

LONGEST SCORELESS STREAKS IN D-BACKS HISTORY:
44.1 – Zac Gallen (Aug. 8-Sept. 12, 2022)
42.0 – Brandon Webb (July 20-Aug. 17, 2007)
30.0 – Brandon Webb (May 20-June 5, 2006)
28.0 – Zac Gallen (April 4 [final inning] – May 2)
27.2 – Robbie Ray (May 14-June 6, 2017)

SNAKES AMONG THE REST
♦ The D-backs rank in the Majors in doubles (2nd, 65), strikeouts (2nd fewest, 222), triples (3rd, 7), average (5th, .265), hits (5th, 268) and stolen bases (9th, 25).

FOR THE TAKING
♦ The D-backs’ 58 pct. extra bases taken percentage leads the Majors, ahead of the Astros (51%).

Percentage runner advanced more than 1 base on single or 2+ bases on a double.

DEFENSE RULES
♦ The D-backs’ 10 Outs Above Average (OAA) lead the Majors, ahead of the Mariners (9) and Tigers (9).

♦ Josh Rojas’ 6 OAA are tied the most among all fielders (also: Javier Báez/DET).

EXTRA! EXTRA!
♦ Since April 6, the D-backs’ 85 extra-base hits (55 2B, 7 3B, 23 HR) are third most in the Majors, behind the Pirates (90) and Dodgers (87).

RISP-Y BUSINESS
♦ Since April 7, Arizona’s .313 average (65-for-208) with runners in scoring position is third in the Majors, behind the Rangers (.333) and Pirates (.315).

♦ Geraldo Perdomo’s .526 average (10-for-19) with runners in scoring position is second in the Majors [min. 20 PA], behind Marcus Semien/TEX (.538).

BANISTER’S RETURN TO TEXAS
♦ D-backs’ Bench Coach Jeff Banister managed the Rangers from 2015-18, going 325-313 (.509).

♦ Won 2 AL West division titles (2015-16).

♦ Was named the 2015 AL Manager of the Year after going 88-74 (.543)…was the first AL manager to win the award with no previous Major League managerial experience.

RHP BRANDON PFAADT ♦ #32
AT A GLANCE: •Selected by the D-backs in the fifth round of the 2020 First-Year Player draft out of Bellarmine University.

• Named the D-backs’ 2022 Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 11-7 with a 3.83 ERA (71 ER in 167.0 IP), 218 strikeouts and 1.16 WHIP in 29 starts with Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno…led all organization farmhands in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

• Attended Bellarmine University for 3 years (2018-2020)… was the second-highest draft pick in school history behind Todd Wellemeyer (4th round, 2000) and 9th all-time.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Is making his Major League debut… contract selected from Triple-A Reno prior to today’s game.

• Entered the season rated as the D-backs’ No. 4 prospect by The Athletic (No. 38 overall) and MLB Pipeline (No. 59 overall) and No. 5 by Baseball America.

RENO RECAP: Went 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA (11 ER in 25.1 IP), 30 strikeouts and 1.18 WHIP in 5 starts with the Aces.

• Ranked among Pacific Coast League leaders at the time of his promotion in strikeouts (T-1st), WHIP (2nd), ERA (5th), win percentage (5th, .667), opponent average (T-5th, .245) and innings pitched (10th).

DEBUT DETAILS: Is the second D-backs starting pitcher to make their MLB debut @ Rangers and first @ Globe Life Field.

• Nelson Figueroa is the only other D-back pitcher to make their big league debut @ Rangers on June 3, 2000.

• Is the first D-backs starter to make his debut in 2023… in 2022, Arizona had 3 starters make their MLB debuts: Tommy Henry on Aug. 3, Ryne Nelson on Sept. 5 and Drey Jameson on Sept. 15.

TEXAS RANGERS NOTES:

WINS AND LOSSES: Texas defeated the Diamondbacks last night, 6-4, and club has a 4-1 record entering the finale of this 6-G, 7-day homestand against NYY (3-1) and ARI (1-0 + today)…TEX has won 4 straight to match its longest win streak in ‘23 (see below), this after a season-long 4-G losing skid that was the club’s longest drought since an 0-7 span from 9/28-10/4/22…team is 4-4 in last 8 G, but still 10-5 in last 15 G and 14-7 in last 21 G beg. 4/9…have a 15-11 record last 26 G since club’s 3-0 start to the season.

• At 18-11 (.621), TEX owns the 3rd-best record in the A.L. to only TB (.800, 24-6) and BAL (.690, 20-9), and club’s 18 wins are T3rd-most (TOR also has 18)…the .621 win pct. and 18 wins both rank T5th in MLB.

• TEX has matched a season best at 7 G above .500 for a 2nd time (also 14-7 thru 4/23)…Texas has been .500-or-better following every game in 2023…prior to ‘23, team had not been at least 7-over since 7/13/19 (50-43), and club is seeking to reach 8-over for 1st time since 7/12/19 (50-42)…TEX recorded its 18th win in 2022 on 5/20.

ALL FIVE HORIZONS: The Rangers’ current 4-G win streak matches a season best (also 4/16-19) and is T2nd-longest active streak in MLB (5-LAD, 4-TEX/BOS)…the Rangers will go for a 5th consecutive victory today…it would be the club’s longest win streak since going 5-0 from 7/31-8/5/19…TEX is the only MLB team without a 5-G win streak since the start of 2020.

STANDINGS: The Rangers own a 2.5-game division lead in the A.L. West (HOU/LAA are T2nd)…TEX has been alone in 1st place for 17 of the last 18 days (beg. 4/14), as club was T1st on Thurs…have had sole possession of 1st place in the West for 23 days overall in ‘23…reached a season-best 3.5- game lead in the West with off day on 4/20, which was team’s largest lead in the West since the end of the ‘16 campaign won division by 9.0 G)…TEX has been alone or tied atop the division for 33 of the season’s first 34 days (exception: 4/8)… from 2017-22, TEX had 1 day in which it held, or was tied for, 1st place in the West (1-0 on 7/24/20, tied for division lead).

SERIES STUFF: TEX enters today seeking to win all games of a series for a 3rd time in ‘23 (3-0, 3/30-4/2 vs. PHI; 3-0, 4/17-19 at KC)…club is 7-2 in series finales, 4-1 at home… team is 6-3-0 overall in series this year, going 4-1-0 at home 2-2-0 on the road…club did not win a 6th series in 2022 until 5/26-29/22 at OAK…TEX won 4 straight series from 4/10-23, longest such span since going 5-0-0 from 6/15-7/1/18…club
has won 3 consecutive series at GLF for 1st time in facility history…the last time that TEX had won 3 straight home series was a 5-0-0 span from 5/3-6/6/19.

AT HOME: The Rangers are 12-5 (.706) at home to begin the year, this after starts of 6-11 (in 2022) and 7-10 (in 2021) at GLF the past 2 years…the .706 home win pct. is 3rd in both A.L. and MLB (15-2, .882-TB; 9-3, .750-TOR; 12-5, .706-TEX)…TEX has a 98-111 all-time record at Globe Life Field (2020-23), but are 18-12 last 30 G here (beg. 9/11/22).

• TEX leads MLB in both runs (113) and R/G (6.65) at home in 2023…team is also 4th in MLB w/ 1.59 HR/G at home, this after ranking 9th in Majors at 1.25 HR/G at home in 2022.

VS. ARIZONA: TEX owns a 28-22 lead all-time vs. ARI… clubs play 2 series of 2 G (also 8/21-22 at ARI)…TEX last played ARI in 2 G home & home series in 2021 (3-1 record)… club owns a 2-2 record against ARI at GLF (1-1 in ‘20 & ‘21)… TEX has won 4 of last 5, but are still 6-7 in last 13 G (beg. 4/9/19)…TEX has a 16-11 record in 27 G vs. ARI in Arlington…TEX/ARI have never gone 2-0 in a 2-G set in Arlington.

DAYTRIPPER: Texas is 7-3 (.700) in day games this season, 3rd-best record in MLB (TB-.846, 11-2; NYY-.714, 10-4)… Rangers have scored 11+ runs in 4 of 10 day tilts, including 15 in last day game on Sun. vs. NYY…lead MLB w/ 7.80 R/G in day contests, and 78 day runs are 3rd-most in MLB (BOS-110, TB-94), this despite being one of 10 ML clubs with 10-or-fewer day games in 2023.

A COMEBACK: Down 4-1 after 4 innings last night against one of MLB’s most successful starters of late, Texas staged its 2nd-largest comeback win of the season to only an 11-7 win on Opening Day, 3/30 vs. PHI in which club had an early 5-0 deficit…it was the Rangers’ 6th comeback win of the year.

DURAN DOES IT: Ezequiel Duran hit a go-ahead 2-R HR in the 6th inning last night that turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead in the Rangers’ eventual victory…Duran was 23 years, 345 days old for his HR last night…he is the youngest Ranger to hit a go-ahead HR in the 6th-or-later with the Rangers trailing since Rougned Odor (22.209) on 8/30/16 vs. SEA…Odor hit a walk-off 2-R HR off Edwin Díaz in the 9th inning that night, part of a Rangers 7-G win streak en route to a division title

• Duran matched his season and career high with 3 hits last night…he has reached base safely via H/BB/HBP in a career-high 13 straight games at .404/.440/.681/1.121 (19-47) with 3 HR and 14 RBI beg. 4/18.

THE RBI MEN: With Nathaniel Lowe recording his 20th RBI last night, the Rangers now lead MLB with 5 players at 20+ RBI: 30-Adolis García, 24-Marcus Semien, 22-Jonah Heim, 21-Josh Jung, 20-Lowe…the only other MLB club with more than 2 players at 20+ RBI in 2023: ATL (3)…MLB RBI leaders since 4/18: 16-Adolis García, 14-Ezequiel Duran/Jonah Heim.

JUNG WINS MONTHLY ROOKIE HONOR: Rangers 3B Josh Jung was announced this morning as A.L. Rookie of the Month for April…he is the 1st TEX player to win the league’s monthly rookie honors since Adolis García in May 2021…it is just the 10th instance of a TEX player winning the A.L.’s monthly rookie award since it was first introduced in 2001, and he is the 1st Texas INF and 9th different Ranger overall to take the honors…see separate press release for more info.

MARCUS IS THE MAN: Marcus Semien had 2 hits and a walk last night, along with a jump throw play at 2nd base to retire a batter…his 26 runs are tied for the MLB lead with ATL’s Ronald Acuña Jr. and BOS’ Alex Verdugo…the complete list of MLB players with at least 24 R and 24 RBI entering today’s games: Marcus Semien (26 R/24 RBI), Adolis García (24 R/30 RBI), and ATL’s Matt Olson (25 R/25 RBI).

• Has reached safely in 16 of his last 17 G, as his 47 times on base this season (32 H, 15 BB) are most among Rangers.

HOLD TIGHT: Jon Gray managed 5.1 innings last night despite allowing runs in each of the game’s 1st 3 innings…Texas starters rank 4th in the A.L. with a 3.52 ERA this season, and the rotation’s 2.92 ERA (43 ER/132.2 IP) since beginning the 2nd turn on 4/5 remains the lowest figure in MLB.

ROBBIE’S RUN: Robbie Grossman went 1-for-4 last night with a 106.2 mph single in the 5th inning, extending his hit streak to 12 straight games…it marks the longest hit streak by a Texas batter this season, surpassing an 11-G streak by Nathaniel Lowe from 4/4-16…Grossman has batted .357 15-42) over the duration of the streak to raise his season BA from .135 to .253.

THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER: The Rangers are scheduled to fly to Southern California following today’s game, spending Thursday’s off day in the Golden State…the 10- game, 10-day road trip is the 1st of 3 different 3-city road trips for Texas in 2023, and has the most games (10) of any
trip for the club this season.

• Entering this all-A.L. West road trip, Texas is 4-2 in division games this season, taking both series (road at HOU, home vs. OAK).

SHORTS: Friday begins a span in which Texas will play 13 straight and 19 of 20 days…most runs scored in A.L. since 4/18: 14-Adolis García, 13-BOS’ Alex Verdugo, 12-Robbie Grossman/Marcus Semien…last night’s contest lasted 2:57, the Rangers’ longest game since 4/16 at HOU (2:59)…Texas
has still cracked the 3-hour mark just twice in 2023.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER – #44 Andrew Heaney, LHP
(2-2, 4.38)

TODAY: The 31-year-old left-hander is scheduled to make his 6th appearance/ start of the season in today’s homestand finale against the Diamondbacks…is 2-1, 2.05 (5 ER/22.0 IP) in his last 4 starts, along with .173/.284/.280/.564 and 8 BB/24 SO to drop season ERA to 4.38, this after allowing 7 R-ER over 2.2 IP in his TEX debut on 4/4 vs. BAL…suffered the loss on Thurs. vs. NYY (now 2-2), despite tossing his 2nd quality start in as many outings (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R-ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 97 pitches/57 strikes)…in 1st win as a Ranger on 4/10 vs. KC, set a club record with 9 successive strikeouts, which matched the American League record…will be making his 5th start of the season at Globe Life Field…is one of 3 rotation member to make his Rangers debut in a start this season (also deGrom, Eovaldi), and he was the 26th and final member of TEX’s Opening Day roster to appear in 2023…Heaney is in his first season with Texas after signing a two-year free agent contract with the club on 12/9/22…is seeking to build on a 2022 campaign in which he produced career bests in ERA (3.10), WHIP (1.087), and strikeout rate (13.6 SO/9) with the Los Angeles Dodgers despite being limited by a pair of Injured List stints…from 2019-22, ranked among Major League pitchers (min. 350.0 IP) in strikeouts per 9 innings (9th, 11.07), swing-and-miss strike pct. (14th, 13.8%), strikeout pct. (15th, 28.8%), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (21st, 4.11)…the 9-year MLB veteran has appeared in 142 games/131 starts with Miami (2014), Los Angeles-AL (2015-21), New York-AL (2021), Los Angeles-NL (2022), and Texas (2023)…an Oklahoma City native, Heaney pitched collegiately at Oklahoma State University before being selected by the Miami Marlins in the first round (9th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft…TEX has gone 3-2 in Heaney’s 5 starts this season.

LAST START: Suffered the loss last Thurs. against the Yankees (now 2-2), despite tossing his 2nd quality start in as many outings (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R-ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 2 HBP, 97 pitches/57 strikes)…overcame a 3-run, 37-pitch 2nd inning that opened with back-to-back solo home runs by DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres…retired 13 consecutive batters between a 2nd-inn. single to Anthony Volpe and 6th-inn. HBP of Oswald Peraza…marked the 6th straight quality start (6.0+ IP, 3-or-fewer ER) by a TEX rotation member dating back to Heaney’s previous appearance on 4/22 vs. OAK (6.0 IP, 2 R-ER)…Heaney has gone 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA (5 ER/22.0 IP), 24 SO/8 BB, and .173 opp. BA over his last 4 starts after allowing 7 R-ER over 2.2 IP in his Rangers debut on 4/4 vs. BAL.

VS. ARIZONA: Today marks Heaney’s 1st-career start against the Arizona Diamondbacks…owns a 7-7 career record with a 4.22 ERA (57 ER /121.2 IP) in 22 games/20 starts against the N.L. West…has previously faced 3 batters that are currently on the Diamondbacks’ active roster (Gurriel, Longoria, Marte), allowing 2 hits-combined in 14 at-bats…one of those hits allowed was a solo-HR to Ketel Marte on 9/26/15 vs. SEA as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.

STREAKING STRIKEOUTS: Earned the win in his 2nd start as a Ranger on 4/10 vs. KC, recording strikeouts of 9 consecutive batters faced from the 1st through 4th innings…the 9 straight K’s marked the most successive strikeouts by a pitcher in Rangers history, snapping the single-game record of 7 set by Nolan Ryan on 7/7/91 vs. LAA and the overall high of 8 done by Joe Barlow from 7/24-8/2/21… according to Elias Sports Bureau, it matched the American League record for successive strikeouts, as Heaney became just the 3rd A.L. pitcher to do it…the others: DET’s Tyler Alexander on 8/2/20 vs. CIN-G1, and DET’s Doug Fister on 9/27/12 vs. KC…Heaney recorded 10 total SO on the night, the 18th double-digit strikeout game of his career (last 10 on 8/24/22 vs. MIL w/ LAD) and 2nd by a Texas pitcher at that point in 2023 (also 11 by Jacob deGrom on 4/5 vs. BAL)… the last left-handed Rangers pitcher with 10+ SO in a single game was Mike Minor on 8/11/19 at MIL (11 SO)…it also marked the 6th instance in club history (beg. 1972) for a pitcher to punch out 10-or-more batters in 5.0-or-fewer innings, last Dane Dunning on 5/9/21 vs. SEA (5.0 IP, 10 SO).

AT HOME: Will be starting at home for 5th time in his 1st 6 starts in 2023…lost in his last outing against the Yankees at Globe Life Field on Thurs., this after winning back-to-back starts here on 4/10 vs. KC and 4/22 vs. OAK (2-0, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R-2 ER, 4 BB, 14 SO)…suffered his 1st loss of the season at home in TEX debut on 4/4 vs. BAL (2.2 IP, 7 R-ER)…is averaging 10.07 SO/9 in his 4 home starts…for his career, has seen more success at home (24-22, 4.28 ERA, 75 G/68 GS) than in his away outings (14-22, 4.87 ERA, 67 G/63 GS)…the former Angels hurler (2015-21) was a career 1-5 w/ 7.07 ERA (28 ER/35.2 IP) in 7 career games/starts against the Rangers in Arlington…entered the year having lost both career starts at GLF while with LAA: 8/9/20 (L, 3.2 IP, 5 R-ER) and 9/8/20 (L, 5.0 IP, 5 R-3 ER).

2023: Opponents are batting .222 (20-90) w/ 4 HR, including a .125 (2-16) mark with one XBH (2B) for LH batters…opponents are 3-for-25 overall w/ 2 outs in an inning…his 5.0+ IP with 0 ER allowed on 4/10 vs. KC and 4/16 at HOU marked 1st time of his career to do so in consecutive outings…he is the only Ranger starter this season to accomplish such feat in back-to-back starts, and 1st Texas starter to do it since Jon Gray (7/13-21/22 vs. OAK and at MIA)…is allowing a .294 BA (10-for-34) with a .944 OPS when facing a lineup for the 1st time, compared to a .167 BA (7-for-42) and a .585 OPS when facing them a 2nd time.

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