Thursday, July 18, 2024
World Elite Syndicate

MLB Preview: San Francisco Giants (76-74) at Arizona Diamondbacks (79-72)

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS NOTES:

TODAY’S GAME: After an off day, the Giants and Dbacks kick off their final series of the year tonight with a brief, two-game set. SF is 6-5 against Arizona this year, with three of the losses coming here at Chase Field. A win in either of the two games would give SF the head-tohead tiebreaker with Arizona.

A WILD RACE: Entering today at 76-74 (.507), the Giants currently sit 2.0 games behind the Cubs and Reds for the third and final Wild Card spot in the NL…SF is also 0.5 games back of the Marlins. Entering play today, FanGraphs gives SF a 13.6% chance of making the postseason.
The Giants have the second-toughest remaining strength of schedule in MLB at .568, behind only the Nationals (.591).

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: The Giants have managed to win a lot of close games against the Diamondbacks in recent seasons. Since 2020, SF is 16-5 in one-run games against the Dbacks…the 16 such wins are tied for the most in MLB against any opponents in that stretch.

HOT BATS: An explosive 6th inning on Sunday at Coors Field saw Giants batters record 10 hits. The 10 hits were tied for the most in an inning by any team this season…the Angels also had 10 hits at Coors Field on June 24 (3rd inning). SF’s 10 hits in one inning were their most since at least 1969 and the most by an NL team since the Rockies had 10 in the 8th inning on August 25, 2018 vs. the Cardinals.(Stats, LLC).

FASHIONABLY LATE: The Giants have outscored their opponents by 31 runs in the 9th inning or later this season, the best run differential in MLB. SF also leads the Majors with 95 runs scored in the 9th inning or later this season

GUESS WHO’S BACK: Veteran RHP Alex Cobb returns to the mound to make his first start in eight days…Cobb, who’s been battling a left hip impingement since mid-June, has found success when pitching in longer rest this season. The right hander has a 2.63 ERA this year when starting after six or more days since his last outing, compared to a 4.50 ERA in four days rest. Cobb has also had a lot of success in night games this season…his 2.46 ERA in night games is second-best in MLB, trailing only LAD’s Clayton Kershaw (2.33) (min. 10 GS). For the season, Cobb is 6-2 in his 16 starts in night games and 1-4 in his 11 day-game starts. The Giants have won both of Cobb’s starts against Arizona this season

ROAD WOES: The Giants snapped a nine-game losing streak on the road on Sunday after edging the Rockies 11-10 at Coors Field…the streak was SF’s longest since dropping 12 consecutive road games in 1996. SF has dropped 23 of its last 28 road games since July 19, the worst road record of any team in the Majors in that span. The Giants have been outscored by a 161-95 margin on the road since July 19. SF’s last road series victory was a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh right after the All-Star Break, July 14-16.

STEALING THE SHOW: IF Thairo Estrada swiped his 22nd base of the year on Sunday, surpassing last year’s 21 mark to set a new career-best.
He became the first Giant with as many steals in a decade and first since Hunter Pence also stole 22 bases in 2013. Estrada is also the first Giant to steal 20+ bases in consecutive seasons since Omar Vizquel (2005, 2006). He’s responsible for 41.5% of SF’s total stolen bases this
season…the Giants’ 53 steals overall this year are 10 fewer than any other MLB team (Colorado, 63).

IN A PINCH: OF Austin Slater has 29 hits as a pinch hitter over the last three seasons…he’s the only player with more than 20 pinch-hit hits since 2021. His eight hits as a pinch hitter this season are second-most in the Majors behind TB’s Harold Ramirez (10). Slater feels right at home here at Chase Field…he is slashing .388/.468/.627 in 27 career games here…the .388 average at Chase is tops among active players (min. 50 PA).

WHAT’S LEFT?: Just 12 games remain on the Giants’ regular season schedule…after tomorrow, the Giants head to Los Angeles to continue this 10-game road trip with four games at Dodger Stadium…SF’s final homestand is six games, three against the Padres, and three against the Dodgers.

TODAY’S STARTER – ALEX COBB RHP #38
2023 RECORD: 7-6, 3.62 ERA
WITH THE GIANTS: The 2023 All-Star is in his 12th Major League season and his second with the Giants…he’s in his second year of a two-year contract (with a third-year team option) with the Giants that he signed on November 30, 2021.

LAST TIME OUT: Did not factor into the decision in his last start on September 11 against Cleveland…threw 5.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits and one walk in the Giants’ 5-4 victory…his outing came after extra rest between starts due to the fact he received a cortisone shot to try to alleviate discomfort in his impinged left hip…it flared up only nine pitches into the game, but Cobb battled through 5.0 innings and 79 pitches to give the Giants a chance to win.

VS. ARIZONA: Has appeared in eight games against the Diamondbacks, going 3-2 with a 4.87 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP…he last faced them on August 1 and threw 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits (three homers)…Cobb is 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA (13er, 21.1ip) in four career starts here at Chase Field and threw 7.0-scoreless innings in his last start here on May 11 in the Giants’ 6-2 victory.

HOME VS. ROAD: Has struggled on the road this season, posting a 5.26 ERA in 15 games, compared to a 1.95 ERA in 12 games at Oracle Park…over his last five road games he’s posted a 0-3 record with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP.

TOUGH STRETCH: He hit a tough patch in the month of August, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.35 ERA (21er, 35.1ip), eight home runs allowed and a .252 opponents average in six outings…over his first 17 games this season he posted a 2.82 ERA (30er, 95.2ip) and a .272 opponents average while holding opponents to two runs or less in 12 of those 17 outings.

WINNER, WINNER: The Giants have a 18-9 record over 27 games when Cobb takes the mound and is 11-5 over his last 16 starts.

LIMIT THE LONG BALL: Has allowed 11 home runs over his last eight outings (2.28 HR/per 9.0ip)…prior to August 1, Cobb had allowed just 11 home runs over 20 outings (0.88 HR/per 9.0ip).

RISP MANAGEMENT: Opponents are 13-for-their-last-40 (.421) with RISP vs. Cobb over his last nine starts…however, opposing hitters are slashing .210/.283/.283 off him with runners in scoring position overall this season…he’s also posted a .141 average (9- for-64) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

YOU’RE GROUNDED!: Cobb’s 57.3% groundball rate is second-best in the Majors behind teammate Logan Webb’s 61.1% mark (minimum 140.0 innings).

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Opponents are batting .373 (25-for 67) with 12 extra base hits (five doubles, two triples, five homers) off him on the first pitch of an at-bat.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NOTES:

IN THE STANDINGS: The D-backs hold the second NL Wild Card spot, 4.0 games back of the Phillies (1st WC spot), and a 0.5 a game ahead of the Cubs and Reds, 1.0 game of the Marlins and 2.5 games of the Giants. The D-backs are second in the NL West, 2.5 games ahead of the Giants and 6.0 games over the Padres.

THE WILD STRETCH: Since Aug. 21, the D-backs are 12-7 (.632) against postseason contenders, including a 9-3 home record in the stretch – vs. Rangers (2-0), vs. Reds (3-1), @ Dodgers (0-3), vs. Orioles (1-2), Cubs (3-1 @ Wrigley and 3-0 @ Chase Field).

SERIES SUMMARY: The D-backs have won 3 of their last 4 series and 8 of their last 11.

WIN COLUMN: Since Aug. 12, the D-backs’ 13-4 (.765) home record is second in the Majors, behind the Brewers (12-3; .800) and their 22 wins are tied for fourth most in the Majors (also: Rays), behind the Braves (23), Dodgers (23) and Orioles (23).

VS GIANTS: This season, the D-backs are 5-6 vs. Giants with 2 regular-season games remaining…in their last series @ Chase Field from May 11-14, the D-backs took 3 of 4 games.

NO ONE LIKE US: The D-backs are the only MLB team this season to have 4 players with 3.5+ bWAR (Ketel Marte 4.4, Corbin Carroll 5.0, Gabriel Moreno 4.0 and Christian Walker 3.6) and 2 qualifi ed pitchers with a 3.50 ERA or better (Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen)

ROOKIE SEASON WAR LEADERBOARD: Corbin Carroll’s 5.2 season fWAR ranks tied for fourth most since 1993:

PLAYER (Rookie Yr) WAR G PA HR SB
Mike Piazza/LAD (’93) ………………… 7.4 149 602 35 3
Albert Pujols/STL (’01) ……………….. 7.2 161 676 37 1
Kris Bryant/CHC (’15) ………………… 6.1 151 650 26 13
Corbin Carroll/AZ (’23) ………….. 5.2 145 599 24 47
Troy Tulowitzski/COL (’07) …………… 5.2 155 682 24 7

FIRST BASEMEN WAR LEADERBOARD SINCE 2022: Christian Walker’s 7.7 fWAR since 2022 ranks fourth among all MLB first basemen:

PLAYER WAR G PA HR RBI
Freddie Freeman/LAD …………….14.4 307 1380 47 193
Paul Goldschmidt/STL ……………10.6 296 1304 60 193
Matt Olson/ATL ……………………..9.2 312 1371 86 232
Christian Walker/AZ …………7.7 307 1286 66 187
Yandy Díaz/TB ………………………7.6 266 1128 29 130
Pete Alonso/NYM …………………..6.8 302 1290 85 243

ONLY US AND THEM: The D-backs are 1 of 2 teams this season (also: Braves) to feature 4 players with 25+ doubles, 20+ homers and 70+ RBI: Christian Walker, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte.

MORE MORENO: Gabriel Moreno, who had a career-high 4 hits on Friday and his first-career walkoff hit on Saturday, is hitting .342 (13-for-38)/.932 OPS with 3 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBI and 6 walks in his last 13 games… he ranks atop all catchers [min. 80 games] in average (.288), ahead of Yainer Diaz (.284) and Willson Contreras (.283), and in catcher defensive runs saved (18), ahead of Patrick Bailey/SF (13). Moreno is 1 of 4 players this season [min. 10 G] to have a .300+ average over 4+ different months (.301 in March/April, .348 in July, .327 in August and
.342 in Sept/Oct.)…also: Ronald Acuña Jr./ATL, Luis Arraez/MIA and Freddie Freeman/LAD.

BATTLIN’ BULLPEN: The D-backs bullpen, over the last 13 games, boasts a 1.99 ERA (13 ER in 58.2 IP) and 1.01 WHIP…they rank among MLB teams in walks allowed (T-2nd, 16), ERA (3rd), WHIP (3rd) and strikeouts (10th, 44). D-backs’ relievers have not allowed an earned run in 2 straight games (14.2 innings) and in 8 of their last 13 games.

HOME COOKIN’: Since Aug. 11 at home, Gabriel Moreno, Corbin Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ketel Marte are batting a combined .338 (80-for-237)/1.028 OPS with 16 doubles, 6 triples, 13 homers, 41 RBI and 29 walks. Individual player stat lines at home since Aug. 11:

STARTING PITCHER – RHP ZAC GALLEN ♦ #23
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 2023 NL All-Star starting pitcher.

  • Is making his 32nd start of the season, passing his career-high 31 starts in 2022.
  • Is 1 strikeout shy of becoming the seventh D-backs pitcher (15th overall) with 200 strikeouts in a season.
  • Also nearing 200.0 IP (192.2 IP) to become the 21st D-backs pitcher (last: Merrill Kelly in 2022) to reach the milestone.
  • Dating back to 2022 vs. Giants, Gallen is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA (9 R-8 ER in 32.2 IP), 34 strikeouts, a 0.89 WHIP and .202 opponent average.
  • With today’s start, his 106 career starts as a D-back are 1 shy of tying Curt Schilling (107) for tenth and 3 shy of Miguel Batista (109) for ninth in franchise history.

NL RANKINGS: Ranks among qualifying NL leaders in innings pitched (2nd, 192.2), games started (T-2nd, 31), wins (T-3rd, 15), strikeouts (5th, 199), win percentage (6th, .652), WHIP (6th, 1.11), ERA (7th, 3.50) and opponent average (9th, .237).

LAST START: Took the loss on Sept. 13 @ Mets (7 R-6 ER in 5.0 IP).

VS. GIANTS: Making his third start against the Giants in 2023 and second at home.

  • Won against the Giants on May 13 @ Chase Field (2 ER in 7.2 IP).

MILKMAN DELIVERS: Tossed his fi rst career 9.0-inning shutout on Sept. 8 @ Cubs with 3 hits allowed and 9 strikeouts.

  • Previously had a 7.0-inning, complete-game shutout on April 25 – Game 1 @ Braves (7.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K).
  • He is the fourth D-backs pitcher (sixth time) to toss 9.0 or more innings, 0 runs, 3 or fewer hits, 1 or fewer walks and 9 or more strikeouts (also: Curt Schilling on April 10, 2001 and May 14, 2003; Randy Johnson on Sept. 14, 2003 and May 18, 2004; Ian Kennedy on April 25, 2011.

HOME COOKIN: In 14 home games this season, is 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA (22 ER in 90.2 IP), 107 strikeouts, 0.97 WHIP, .220 opponent average and 6 home runs allowed.

  • His 2.18 home ERA is tied with Justin Steele/CHC for the best in the Majors in 2023, ahead of Kodai Senga/NYM (2.35) and Logan Webb/SF (2.37).
  • Since 2022, his 2.34 ERA is tied for second-best in the Majors with Alex Cobb/SF behind Shohei Ohtani/LAA (2.24).
  • Ranks among D-backs pitchers in franchise history in home starts (min. 50 GS) in ERA (1st, 2.77), home runs allowed (1st, 33), WHIP (1st, 1.03), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (3rd, 10.26), walks (4th, 83), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4th, 4.24), wins (T-7th, 23) and strikeouts (7th, 352).

RISP-Y BUSINESS : His .071 opponent average with runners in scoring position at home is the best in the Majors, ahead of Bryce Elder/ATL (.123), Luis Castillo/SEA (.154) and Justin Verlander/HOU (.164).

AHEAD IN THE COUNT: His .154 opponent average (40-for-259; 105 K) when ahead in the count is tied for third among MLB starters (min. 20 GS) with Zach Wheeler/PHI, behind Blake Snell/SD (.109) and Corbin Burnes/MIL (.147).

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