We go into the final day of the regular season with a lot undecided in the National League. It’s so close that we may have some tiebreaker games to settle things. Not just one tiebreaker, but there is a possibility of two tiebreakers on Monday. We could have two showdowns to determine the winners of the NL Central and the NL West. The Cubs could be hosting the Brewers, and the Dodgers could be hosting the Rockies.
Over in the American League things are set in stone, but there is a lot to be decided on Sunday, and possibly Monday, if things go that way. One team that looked like just a month ago that they were going to be included in this equation were the Arizona Diamondbacks. They absolutely fell off a cliff in September, with the Rockies and Dodgers surpassing them and leaving them well behind.
There were several people who were high on the D-Backs to win the division not too long ago. When they signed Zack Greinke to a massive $206.5 million dollar contract, the idea that they’re at this point and not looking at the postseason is hard to swallow. He hasn’t been that bad either, as he finishes with an ERA of 3.21, just 0.1 worst that his 3.20 ERA from last season.
I really can’t say with his contract it’s been the best ROI for the Diamondbacks. He was coming off a year in Los Angeles where he posted a 1.66 ERA, which should have been good enough for a Cy Young.
The San Diego Padres, of course, will not be in the postseason either. They look to finish the year at 66-96 with a win this afternoon. Jacob Nix concluded his rookie season with a 5-4 loss against Arizona yesterday. The 22-year-old will be counted on to make improvements in the offseason. Meanwhile, Zack Godley was decent with 3 runs allowed across 6 innings. Robbie Ray will wrap the year up for the Diamondbacks, while the Padres will look to another rookie, Joey Lucchesi. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Padres pick for Sunday afternoon on the final day of the regular season.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres Pick
Robbie Ray (6-2, 3.91 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (8-9, 4.14 ERA)
Say what you want about other players on the Diamondbacks for their lack of effort over the last few weeks. However, don’t include Robbie Ray in that discussion. Ray has been great for the Diamondbacks for the last two months. While everyone looked like they conceded, Ray has been out there giving his all on the bump. He’s allowed more than 2 runs only once since July 31st.
In nine of his last ten outings, Ray has allowed 2 or less runs. In his last 39 innings pitched, he’s posted a 1.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Also, he’s been better on the road with a 2.95 ERA compared to 4.73 ERA. In his last start against the Padres, he gave up just 2 hits and no runs in 6.1 innings of work. Going back to his last two outings against the Padres, he’s given up only 2 runs and 4 hits in 10.2 innings against this team. Ray started the year off a bit shaky, but he’s rebounded nicely for the Diamondbacks.
Conversely, the D-Backs have done a nice job against Lucchesi. In 85 at-bats, they are hitting .306 with a .394 OBP against the rookie. He had to accept a 6-0 loss against the Diamondbacks on the 4th, a 9-4 loss on August 17th, and another other loss on July 29th by a score of 5-4. He enters the final day of the regular season with an ERA of 8.56 and 1.83 WHIP in his previous three starts. It’s a meaningless game for the Diamondbacks, but I don’t think they want to go out losers after what has transpired this past month. It’s going to add insult to injury. The Diamondbacks likely find motivation to go out winners on Sunday. This isn’t the weekend for big plays on the diamond by any means, but I’d go with the Diamondbacks to go out with a smile on Sunday.