Diamondbacks-Giants preview: Best of NL West meet near halfway point
Jun 23, 2023, 6:44 PM | Updated: 10:41 pm
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants collide this weekend at Oracle Park as the top two teams in the National League West at nearly the halfway mark of the season.
The D-backs enter the series winners of five out of seven games, including a rescheduled contest vs. the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
The Giants rattled off 10 wins in a row — including a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers — before falling Thursday to the San Diego Padres.
The D-backs (46-30) hold a 3.5-game lead over the Giants (42-33) in a division expected to go down to the wire.
FanGraphs projects the D-backs win 90 games, Dodgers 89, Giants 87 and Padres 85.
Both the D-backs and Giants were seen as underdogs entering the year against the Dodgers and Padres, and this series is an opportunity for Arizona to continue creating distance at the top or San Francisco to reach the doorstep.
“You come into a visiting stadium, the second place team playing great baseball, and if you can’t look forward to this and get up for this then you’re not doing the right things the right way,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday. “Our guys are ready to go … It might be easy to say, ‘We have to go up there and win two out of three,’ but we’ve been so good at separating every single day.”
Friday will be Arizona’s first NL West game Since June 1 against the Rockies.
The D-backs and Giants had a four-game series in May at Chase Field, and Arizona took the final three games. The series ended with a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. walk-off double on Mother’s Day.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a #walkoff hero on Mother's Day.
— MLB (@MLB) May 14, 2023
Since then, the Giants and D-backs are Nos. 3 and 5 in MLB in runs, respectively, and San Francisco has the best team ERA in the majors during that span at 3.24.
The probable starting pitchers for this series begin with Zach Davies (7.11 ERA) vs. Logan Webb (3.11) on Friday, Merrill Kelly (2.90) vs. Ryan Walker on Saturday and Ryne Nelson (5.31) vs. Anthony DeSclafani (4.38) in the series finale on Sunday.
Webb pitched seven innings of one-run ball during that Mother’s Day contest. He has thrown at least seven frames in seven of his last nine outings.
Davies, meanwhile, has had back-to-back starts last less than four innings.
San Francisco’s bullpen has thrown 315 innings, the third most in baseball, and has an MLB-best 1.93 ERA since May 22.
The Giants have utilized bullpen games this season to much success, as Walker has started two games this week that ended in wins.
Their staff will face three of the NL’s top eight hitters this month in terms of OPS: Corbin Carroll (1.095), Ketel Marte (1.027) and Christian Walker (1.005).
Geraldo Perdomo has taken over the lead-off spot against righties to stellar results, as he is batting .371 in that role.
The Giants have a balanced offensive attack with LaMonte Wade Jr. and Joc Pederson crushing righties this season with an .899 and .906 OPS, respectively.
Arizona 12-2 on the road over its last 14 games.
The D-backs will continue to be tested with the Tampa Bay Rays coming to Chase Field starting Tuesday and a road trip to the Los Angeles Angels the following weekend.
Catch all three games in San Francisco on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.