While all eyes will be on the trade deadline through the early afternoon, Friday evening features an NL West battle as the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-42) take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-71). The Diamondbacks will host this one at Chase Field, with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 pm ET.
This will be the first game of a three-game series between the two teams.
The Dodgers come into this series after dropping two of three games to the San Francisco Giants. Given that the Dodgers are trailing the Giants in the standings, this was a missed opportunity for Los Angeles. They lost the finale on Thursday 5-0.
The Diamondbacks enjoyed an off day on Thursday. Earlier in the week, though, they split a two-game series with the Texas Rangers. After dropping the first game 5-4, they won on Wednesday 3-2.
The Dodgers are the favorites in this one despite playing on the road. They are -188 to win while the Diamondbacks’ moneyline sits at +158. The runline features Arizona +1.5 (-110), and the over/under for total runs is nine.
The Dodgers will send righty Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.38 ERA) to the mound on Friday. In his last start, a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rockies, Gonsolin went 5.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits and striking out seven.
The Diamondbacks will counter with righty Zac Gallen (1-5, 4.80 ERA). Gallen’s last start was a disaster as he gave up seven runs in four innings in an 8-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
By The Number
Offensively, the Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball. They currently rank second in scoring averaging 5.18 runs per game. The Diamondbacks fall to 24th averaging 4.17 runs per game (4.67 at home).
It is once again the Dodgers with the advantage on the defensive side. In terms of scoring defense, they rank third, allowing opponents just 3.70 runs per game. The Diamondbacks are dead last in that category, allowing opponents a whopping 5.62 runs per game.
Dodgers Look To Win Game After Winning Trade Deadline
Even as early as Thursday evening, it seems like the Dodgers are the clear winners of the trade deadline. In an astonishing move, it appears that the Dodgers are acquiring Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals in exchange for four prospects.
Add the acquisition of Danny Duffy earlier in the day, and this team seems set for the long haul.
Even with their acquisitions, though, they are now looking to win ball games. They currently trail the Giants by three games in the division and have the San Diego Padres on their heels, three games back of them.
Leading the way for the Dodgers offensively this season is first baseman Max Muncy. This season, he is hitting .276/.411/.559 with 22 home runs, 61 runs batted in, and 59 runs scored.
Diamondbacks Look For Silver Linings As They Sell Off Pieces
At 32-71, the Diamondbacks are 32.5 games out of first place in the NL West and the MLB playoffs at this point are nothing but an afterthought. Being so far out of contention, they have clearly been sellers at the deadline.
In fact, they already traded arguably their best asset in Eduardo Escobar to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the week. On the season, Escobar had been hitting .246/.300/.478 with 22 home runs, 65 runs batted in, and 50 runs scored. It is conceivable that others will be moved before the deadline Friday, so it will be interesting to see who remains by game time.
Their hottest hitter over the last week has been Dalton Varsho. In that span, he is hitting .375/.474/1.000 with three home runs, seven runs batted in, and six runs scored.
Take The Dodgers To Win
This is certainly a David versus Goliath matchup. The Dodgers are easily one of the best teams in all of baseball, and the Diamondbacks have been the worst.
Even if Zac Gallen pitches a gem, it is hard to see enough firepower for the Diamondbacks’ offense to compete. Take the Dodgers to win, and don’t shy away from taking them to cover the 1.5 runs on the runline.