NL Wild Card Game

MLB: NL Wild Card Preview; Colorado Rockies vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies vs Arizona Diamondbacks: 8:10 P.M. 

These two NL teams make a return to the playoffs after years of missing out. Arizona last made it in 2011, while Colorado hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2009. Both of these teams are well deserving after having solid regular seasons, and both turning it around after a disappointing 2016 season in which both teams had high expectations. Now it comes down to one game for the right to play the Dodgers. These teams know each other pretty well after playing 19 times this season with Arizona having a slight edge with 11 wins. Anything can happen in one game, let’s look more into both teams.

Offensive slugging leads Arizona to Wild Card…

NL Wild Card GameArizona won 93 games this year, a huge turnaround from a year ago only winning 69. Unfortunately for Arizona, they play in the same division as the Dodgers who had an even bigger year, so Arizona had to settle for the wild card. Arizona showed they were all in by trading for outfield slugger J.D. Martinez from the Tigers. Martinez has been on an absolute tear since joining Arizona, so much so that his name is getting thrown around in the MVP discussion. Martinez adds a big power bat to an already stacked lineup. The core of the lineup is comprised of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and AJ Pollock. There’s no point in pitching around any of these guys because you’ll just have another tough out right behind him. Arizona has gotten great starting pitching this year, and they’ll go with their ace Zack Greinke in this game. Greinke led the way for Arizona with 17 wins and a 3.20 ERA. However, this will be no easy task against a stacked Colorado lineup.

Rockies Wild Card test…

NL Wild Card GameColorado ended up finishing six games back of Arizona to take the second wild-card spot. For most of the season, it looked as if it would come down to the wire between Colorado and Arizona for that top spot. However, the Rockies hit a rough patch some point in August and lost their step a bit. Meanwhile, Arizona was playing their best baseball of the season and ultimately ran away with the top wild-card spot. The Rockies have a pretty stacked lineup themselves. Leading off is the NL batting champion, Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon batted .331 this year and drove in 104 runs, the most ever for a leadoff man! Nolan Arenado has had a spectacular year and will get his first shot playing in the postseason. Arenado does it all, playing a stellar third base, and at the place where he finished two RBIs off the league lead. A couple other bats to watch for are Trevor Story, who is finally starting to heat up, and Ian Desmond who is finally healthy. Getting the ball on the mound will be Jon Gray. Pitching has been up and down for Colorado this season, and Gray will have to be able to at least match Zack Greinke.

The Pick…

I’m expecting an exciting game here. My biggest question will be can Jon Gray vs Zack Greinke. Even bigger than that, the question is can Colorado overcome a subpar last month or so and put it all together for one game. I think the core of the Arizona lineup is too hot right now, and I expect Greinke to show up in a big way. I’m going with Arizona over Colorado 5-2.

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