A day after the Phillies and Diamondbacks went deep into extra innings, they’ll do it all over again at Chase Field in Phoenix. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks keep trading blows, with neither able to pull away in the NL West. Then quietly lurking behind them are the Colorado Rockies who might just have the D-Backs and Dodgers wondering what the heck happened at the end of the regular season.
Armed with a talent like Nolan Noreando, it’s not too wise to count them out just yet. The Diamondbacks won the marathon last night in the 14th inning, 3-2. It gives the D-Backs a small cushion in the division but doesn’t settle much thus far. The Dodgers could take it right back and be up by a couple of games by the end of the week. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played. The Giants certainly did themselves no favors by choking away a win last night, though.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are neck and neck as well. They’re in a heated battle with the Braves for 1st out east in the NL East. The Nationals are trading sideways, as they continue to sit around 5 games back of 1st. They still have a chance, but there’s going to come a time where they are really going to have to turn it up.
Bryce Harper and the offense has been playing better, but they still have to deal with a rotation that is without Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg came back and then proceeded to get bombed. It was a quick stay for him as he went back on the DL. The Phillies were playing great baseball before their five-game winning streak was snapped last night. They have a challenge this evening as Zack Greinke takes the bump. The Phillies are scheduled to counter with Nick Pivetta. Get our free Phillies vs. Diamondbacks pick below.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick
Nick Pivetta (6-9, 4.75 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (12-6, 2.96 ERA)
For a minute, there was doubt whether signing Greinke to a monster contract was worth it. After all, he finished with an ERA of 4.37 in 2016. Those numbers do not reflect the contract he signed. Even last year and his 3.20 ERA, more was expected from him. He was coming off a Cy Young year and 1.66 ERA in 2015. In other words, Greinke had lofty expectations.
At the beginning of 2018, there was more question marks surrounding him. He allowed 4 or more runs in three of his first five starts. That isn’t going to get it done. However, he’s hit a switch lately and been mowing hitters down. His ERA has dipped below 3.00 and he hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs since June 18th, nearly two months ago. Greinke enters with an ERA of 1.71 in his last three starts. He is also sporting a 0.67 WHIP and .187. Further, Greinke has been more productive at home with an ERA of 2.44 and 0.98 WHIP.
Pivetta comes into Arizona with an ERA of 5.71 in his last three outings. He was expected to make progress after taking his lumps with a 6.02 ERA as a rookie. The Phillies left him out there and gave him 26 starts. They could have sent him to the minors, but he got some valuable experience. Pivetta has been better but still has some work to do. He enters tonight with an ERA of 5.63, 1.49 WHIP, and .351 OBA on the road. It’s only 9-bats, but the Diamondbacks have done well against Pivetta, touching him up for a .444 batting average and .500 OBP. The price in this game doesn’t look too impressive at first glance, but Greinke at home with a price below -170 is difficult to pass up.