The Arizona Diamondbacks slaughtered the Padres for a 20-5 final score last week. They played in a similar game the other day, but they were on the losing end of a blowout. The Rockies blasted them by a score of 19-2 on Wednesday for what was their obvious worst showing of the year. Arizona didn’t respond much on Thursday, as they still appeared to be reeling from the beatdown.
It wasn’t nearly as bad, but they still took another loss, 5-1. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers are toe-to-toe in the American League West. Considering the Dodgers just reached the World Series a year ago, and they are the brand name, we will see much more money come in on the Dodgers to win the division.
The D-Backs will look for a fresh start in Atlanta against the Braves. Atlanta are in the exact same position out east. They are deadlocked with the Phillies for 1st in the NL East, with every game in the second-half going to be magnified more than ever. Also, both have been treading water lately, with the Braves going 4-6 in their last ten games, and the Diamondbacks 4-6 in their last ten games as well.
The last time the Braves reached the postseason, they actually met the Dodgers in the NLDS. It was a quick trip, though, as the Dodgers ended it in four games with a 3-1 series win in a best-of-five format. The Diamondbacks went to the play-in game a year ago against the Rockies, winning and then proceeded to get swept by the Dodgers. All of these teams may end of meeting each other in some form in the postseason. Anibal Sanchez has been a diamond in the rough for the Braves this week. We’ll see if he can keep it rolling against a Diamondbacks team who has to be frustrated. The D-Backs will counter with Zack Godley. Get our free Diamondbacks vs. Braves pick for Friday night below.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
Zack Godley (10-6, 4.80 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (4-2, 2.72 ERA)
Anibal Sanchez has been such a pleasant surprise for the Braves that he has been a plus instead of a liability. He was more of a liability than anything for the Tigers towards the end of his career in Detroit. It looked like his career was over completely, not just in Detroit. Whatever he’s worked on in the offseason has worked out well.
Pitching in the National League is likely helping, too. Two of his worst starts this season both came against American League opponents, the Jays and Yankees. The last year he was posting quality numbers, Sanchez finished with an ERA of 2.57 in 2013. Whatever he was doing in 2013 with the Tigers, he seems to be doing it again. The Diamondbacks are hitting just .194 with 1 deep ball against Sanchez in 94 at-bats. Sanchez enters with an ERA of 3.12 and 0.98 WHIP in his last three starts.
Godley has been spent recently. He enters with an ERA of 6.00, 1.93 WHIP, and .400 OBA in his last three tilts. Godley made a successful relief appearance against the Padres in his last outing, but was also hit hard against the Giants for 7 runs. That was only for an inning, though. He has been erratic on the road with an ERA of 5.82 and 1.76 WHIP. The Braves have walloped Godley at the plate across 29 at-bats. They’re hitting .345 against him, which includes a .571 batting average for Ender Inciarte. I advise a selection on the Braves Friday night.