Diamondbacks at Rangers MLB Pick August 13
Fresh off of dropping 3 of 4 in New York to the Yankees, the Texas Rangers will return home to Arlington on Monday to begin an interleague series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rangers are well out of the playoff race at this point, so the best they can do is play spoiler for some of those teams with legitimate postseason aspirations. They weren’t able to put much of a dent into the Yankees, but they’ll hope they can do so against Arizona on their home turf.
The National League West is essentially a complete toss-up at this point, with the standings changing on a daily basis. Sunday’s Rockies win over the Dodgers combined with the Diamondbacks’ victory over the Reds propelled Arizona back into the top spot. The D-Backs now lead the Dodgers by a full game in the division, with the Rockies lurking just 1.5 games back. The Dodgers haven’t pulled away from the pack as many expected them to, which has Arizona and Colorado still very much alive.
Zack Greinke will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in this one against 45-year-old veteran Bartolo Colon for the Rangers.
Colon hasn’t been bad this season, especially for a pitcher of his age. Still, it’s not like we can sit here and say he’s been good, either. Colon’s 4.76 SIERA suggests his 5.17 ERA is a bit unlucky, but both numbers are still quite a bit below average. The veteran was once a high-strikeout flamethrower, but these days he primarily just lofts high-80s fastballs into the middle of the strike zone and hopes they don’t get blasted.
Unfortunately for Colon, most of those pitches have been getting hit hard. The veteran has a middling strikeout rate just a hair over 13 percent. While he’s not walking anybody, the hard contact rate against him of 43 percent is certainly cause for concern. Colon does keep the ball on the ground at a decent clip, but the fly balls he does give up have had a way of flying over the fence. Big Sexy has coughed up 26 home runs already this season, which is one of the highest marks in all of baseball.
We know the deal with Globe Life Park in the summertime. The ball will be flying here tonight with temperatures in the 90s at first pitch. The Diamondbacks aren’t at full strength with Jake Lamb done for the season, but there is still plenty of thunder in this lineup. Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza is a pretty fearsome 4-man group in the middle of the lineup.
As for Greinke, the former Cy Young winner has quietly gone about his business this season. He’s not quite putting up the eye-popping numbers we saw from him during his last couple of seasons with the Dodgers, but he has still been a steadying force atop the Diamondbacks’ rotation.
Greinke’s 3.42 SIERA is a bit more pedestrian than his 2.98 ERA, so perhaps some regression could be coming his way. The right-hander has been racking up the strikeouts at a 25.4 percent clip while keeping his walk numbers down, as usual. One red flag with Greinke’s performance thus far is the hard contact allowed. He has yielded a hard-hit rate of 40.9 percent so far in 2018, which would easily be the highest mark of his career if it were to keep up for the remainder of the season.
Greinke hasn’t ever really been Dallas Keuchel in terms of generating ground balls, but he has seen his ground ball rate dip a bit this season. He has already allowed 20 home runs, as well, and he’s on pace to set a new career-high in that area, as well.
We know the Rangers aren’t exactly a great offense, but they do have some power, especially when they’re playing at home. Greinke has shown largely neutral splits over the course of his career, with lefties enjoying a tad bit more success. The Rangers have been hitting the ball well lately, with Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo in particular having rounded into form. Ronald Guzman, who hit 3 homers in a game against the Yankees over the weekend, is another lefty that isn’t shaping up to be the greatest head-to-head matchup for Greinke.
This game just looks like one in which we’ll see plenty of offense. We have two capable lineups going up against a pair of pitchers that have shown problems with the long ball this season. Games in Globe Life Park have been seeing totals in double-figures with regularity lately, but tonight’s game checks in at over/under 9 1/2 runs. This has the feel of a classic Lone Star shootout, so give me the over on 9 1/2 in this one.
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