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If the idea that the Arizona Diamondbacks (46-30) and the San Francisco Giants (42-33) were the top two teams heading into late June, it would have been laughed at. The young, unproven roster of the Diamondbacks and the new, questionable set of starters would be considered second-tier compared to the All-Star loaded rosters that the Los Angeles Dodgers (41-33) and the San Diego Padres (36-39) possessed.
Instead, the farm leagues of the Diamondbacks helped create valuable and highly efficient future All-Stars. The Giants had seed much of their roster and management change in the recent seasons. 36-year-old shortstop Brandon Crawford is one of a few left from the Giants’ World Series teams.
The Diamondbacks had been consistent on the field throughout the season in terms of their batting and pitching. After the first seven games of the season where the Diamondbacks faced the Dodgers and the Padres, the team never went below .500%.The Giants, on the other hand, were struggling to find their rhythm in all phases of the game. Their struggles continued into early June as they were 32-32 until they initiated a 10-game winning streak that pushed the team to second place in a loaded NL West Division.
Arizona is one of the most consistent batting teams this deep into the season. The young stars of the Diamondbacks have led the team to be ranked second in the NL in runs accounted for (393), first in hits accounted for (682), sixth in home runs accounted for (88), second in stolen bases (75), second in fewest strikeouts encountered (570), second in batting average (.264), third in on-base percentage (.331) and third in slugging percentage (.437).
Three players for Arizona have accounted for more than 40 runs with two players (both under 30 years old) accounting for at least 53 runs. Rookie Corbin Carroll (57 runs, 40 RBIs, .298 BA and .379 OBP) and second baseman Ketel Marte (53 runs, 37 RBIs, .298 BA and .367 OBP) have been two of the most explosive players on a Diamondbacks team that only features three of their 13 top batters above the age of 30.
The Giants didn’t start the season hot as they were struggling to find a rhythm at the plate behind players that were either recently added through free agency or brought up from AAA. As the season progressed, but especially in the middle of June, the Giants picked up serious steam and found some rhythm at the plate.
San Francisco ranks fourth in runs accounted for (369), seventh in hits accounted for (649), fourth in home runs accounted for (94), sixth in walks (262), eighth in batting average (.252), fifth in on-base percentage (.328) and slugging percentage (.417). Five players for the Giants have accounted for at least 30 runs this season.
The Giants also have some reliable young talent as their top nine batters this season are currently 32 years old or younger. Their infield is talented at the plate with second baseman Thairo Estrada (40 runs, 73 hits, a .282 BA and a .335 OBP), third baseman J.D. Davis (30 runs, 41 RBIs, a .282 BA and a .363 OBP) and first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. (38 runs, 61 hits, a .280 BA and a .415 OBP),
The over/under of the first game of the weekend is set at 8.5 runs which is one of three games with the same total runs and five of the 13 games are set higher. Both batting teams are highly talented in accounting for runs, but one of the biggest attributes of the weekend is going to be the pitching matchups. This is where the Giants pose a major threat to the Diamondbacks.
San Francisco ranks third in ERA accounted for this season (3.89), ninth in hits allowed (635), fifth in runs allowed (325), fifth in home runs allowed (78), second in walks allowed (214) and fourth in strikeouts (659). The bad news for the Giants is that they still have three great pitchers currently on injured reserve and will have to rely on the depth of their bullpen for help. The Diamondbacks rank eighth in ERA (4.38), 11th in hits allowed (655), 11th in runs allowed (356), nine in home runs allowed (86), and eighth in strikeouts (632).
It is currently unknown who the starting pitcher will be for San Francisco on Saturday, but Arizona is going with Merrill Kelly (2.90 ERA in 90 innings pitched). In Sunday’s game, Arizona will start Ryne Nelson (5.31 ERA in 76.1 innings pitched) at the mound, while San Francisco is going with Anthony DeSclafani (4.38 ERA in 84.1 innings pitched). Depending on who the starting pitcher will be on Saturday for the Giants, the Diamondbacks have a solid shot of getting the win to start the weekend, while Sunday is going to be a battle between the two leaders in the NL West.
San Francisco Giants
Corbin Carroll (.298)
Thairo Estrada (.282)
Corbin Carroll (16)
Michael Conforto (12)
Christian Walker (49)
J.D. Davis (41)
Geraldo Perdomo (.406)
LaMonte Wade Jr. (.415)
Corbin Carroll & Ketel Marte (78)
Thairo Estrada (73)
Zac Gallen & Merrill Kelly (9)
Logan Webb (6)
Scott McGough (2.50)
Tyler Rogers (1.77)
Zac Gallen (104)
Logan Webb (96)
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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