The Arizona Diamondbacks embark on another important series this weekend. They go to Cincinnati where it’s another critical matchup for the D-Backs. Every series at this point is going to go under microscope. They’re in a tight battle with the Dodgers for 1st in the NL West. As it stands now, the Diamondbacks have a slim 0.5 lead in the division. While the Diamondbacks are in Cincinnati, the Dodgers are in Denver for a crucial series there as well. Trailing the D-Backs and Dodgers are the Rockies, who are 3 games behind 1st right now. They didn’t help themselves at home recently, as they had to take two losses in a row against the Pirates. German Marquez pitched a pretty good game Wednesday, but that wasn’t enough. The offense has to be better than that. 3 runs often isn’t going to get the job done at Coors Field.
The Diamondbacks recently split a four-game series against the Giants, and then won two of three vs the Phillies. They spent nine games at home, but now they’ll hit the road for nine games. It begins in Cincinnati, and then Texas, finally concluding in San Diego before going home to welcome the Angels. Those are three winnable series for the Diamondbacks, with every one becoming more and more important as we get deeper into the regular season. The D-Backs have the talent that they should be able to get out of this road trip with some wins. However, we’ve seen teams play down to their competition on some of these trips. Clay Buchholz who has been a godsend for the Diamondbacks, will get the road trip started Friday. The Reds will counter with Anthony DeSclafani. Head below for our free Diamondbacks vs. Reds pick.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Clay Buchholz (5-1, 2.68 ERA) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (5-3, 4.98 ERA)
Patrick Corbin put on a display Wednesday, pitching 7.1 scoreless innings to lead the Diamondbacks to a 6-0 victory. This came a day after Zack Greinke had to take a loss in a 5-2 final. The Diamondbacks are 6-4 in their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Reds have lost four of their last five games. They are coming off a 8-0 loss against the Jacob deGrom’s. Sorry, I mean, the New York Mets and Jacob deGrom.
deGrom was flawless across 6 innings of work and the offense finally helped him out as well, a rarity to see during deGrom starts this year. The Reds will depend on Anthony DeSclafani to clean up the mess. It’s certainly been a disappointing year for him. After pitching a 3.28 ERA in this third-year a season ago, DeSclafani has regressed with a 4.98 ERA in 2018.
He’s been off at home in Cincinnati as well, with an ERA of 5.65 and 1.47 WHIP. The Diamondbacks have made easy work of DeSclafani in the past. As a team they are hitting .361 against him in 36 at-bats. Paul Goldschmidt has sliced through DeSclafani with a .750 batting average in 8 at-bats. That includes 2 doubles and a long ball.
Buchholz is pitching his best since 2015 when he finished with an ERA of 3.26 with the Red Sox. The wheels fell off for him until he was able to put them back on in Arizona this season. Buchholz heads into Cincinnati with a strong ERA of 2.68 and 5-1 record. He’s also been better on the road with a 2.10 ERA and 0.93 WHIP compared to 3.57 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at home. Note that Buchholz hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in any start on the road. He allowed 3 against the Padres, which accounts for his worst outing away. The Reds are hitting .267 with no homers against Buchholz in 30 at-bats. I’d take a piece of the Diamondbacks here at a reasonable price.