The Arizona Diamondbacks will look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they continue their series against the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Arizona won the first game of the series Friday 4-2. However, the Astros are heavy -180 favorites to win Saturday’s game.
After leading the NL West for long stretches during the summer, the Diamondbacks have slipped all the way back to third place in the division. With just three wins in their last nine games, Arizona is 3.5 games behind the Rockies. They are also three games behind both the Dodgers and Cardinals for the second wild-card spot, giving the Diamondbacks a lot of work to get back to the postseason this year.
The Astros, meanwhile, are trying to hold onto their lead atop the AL West. Despite the Astros going 10-2 in September, Oakland has cut Houston’s lead all the way down to 2.5 games. Obviously, Houston has the wild card to fall back on, but they would prefer to win the division, so their work during the regular season isn’t done yet.
A Rough September
Zack Godley will get the start for the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Despite going for his 15th win on the season, Godley has had a rough time during his two starts in September. Over nine innings of work, he’s allowed nine runs on nine hits and four walks. In his defense, his last start came at Coors Field against the division-leading Rockies. However, Godley has a rather modest 4.67 ERA this season despite racking up 14 wins. He also has just one win in his last five starts.
While he’s never faced any of Houston’s batters, Godley has his work cut out for him against the Astros. After enduring some injuries earlier in the summer, the Astros have all of their core players back healthy. Houston’s lineup isn’t exactly clicking lately, but that hasn’t stopped them from getting clutch hits and finding ways to win games.
Back in the Groove
Charlie Morton gets the start for the Astros on Saturday. This will be his second start after a brief stint on the DL with a shoulder problem. Like Godley, Morton will be going for his 15th win on Saturday, which would be a new career high for him. However, Morton has a far more impressive ERA this season, as he’s sitting at 3.15 through 27 starts.
After spending most of his career in the National League, Morton has a fair amount of experience against some of Arizona’s hitters. He’s actually done well against Paul Goldschmidt, who is just 3 for 14 against Morton. However, Jon Jay has done some damage, going 10 for 25 (.400) with three doubles against Morton. Arizona’s other outfielders, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta are also players to watch, as they are helping to carry the Diamondbacks down the stretch along with Goldschmidt.
Who Gets to 15?
In the battle for 15 wins, Morton has the edge over Godley. Obviously, both teams have the chance to have a big night offensively because their lineups have so much power. However, Morton is a more trustworthy option than Godley to keep the opposing lineup in check. With that in mind, bet on the Astros -180 to beat the Diamondbacks on Saturday.