The Arizona Diamondbacks have taken advantage of a slump by the San Francisco Giants and quickly closed the gap with the NL West leaders to just a half a game. The D-backs (61-50) are taking advantage of a weak division (8-3 against NL West in recent stretch) and a great road record (32-27) and oh yes, Justin Upton is a stud.
The Snakes are back home and opening up a ten-game homestand that should be very favorable.
The LA Dodgers are certainly talented and dangerous but they are also 10-games under .500 (50-60) and no longer fighting for anything. The D-backs are 6-3 against the Blue Boys in 2011. After the Dodgers comes four games against the worst team in baseball (Houston) and then three games against the NY Mets (55-55).
The D-backs will need a big push on this homestand (7-3 would be nice) because after this they head out for a brutal roadie through Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington.
Fortunately, that 10-game road trip in mid-August is really the last tough part on the schedule. September is lining up very favorably with six games against the Giants and the rest of the month against the Rockies, Padres, Dodgers and Pirates.
Could the D-backs make the playoffs? A few weeks ago I would have said, highly unlikely. Now I'd put their chances closer to 50/50.
But it all starts with LA on Friday. The pitching in this series breaks out like this:
- Friday (6:40 p.m.) : Josh Collmenter (6-6, 3.10) vs. Chad Billingsley (9-9, 4.15)
- Saturday (5:10 p.m.) : Joe Saunders (8-8, 3.56) vs. TBA
- Sunday (1:10 p.m.) : Ian Kennedy (13-3, 3.17) vs. Clayton Kershaw (13-4, 2.68)
All games in this series will be on Fox Sports AZ with the live game thread on AZ Snake Pit.