The Arizona Diamondbacks were in the running up until the All-Star break. They went into a three game series against the New York Mets right before the break at 42-42. But they were swept at Citi Field to go into the break three games under. Nearly two weeks have past since coming back from the break and the D-Backs are still two under at 49-51. It is time for them to look forward to playing the spoiler and getting ready for 2016.
The Arizona Diamondbacks schedule in August gives them their first shot at being a spoiler right away as they take on the American League West leading Houston Astros from July 31st through August 2nd. They go into that series with a bit of momentum coming off a series sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
The D-backs then with have a big four-game series at the Washington Nationals, leaders of the National League East right after the Astros series. The Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies come in for a six-game home stand and then they go back on the road to face the Atlanta Braves before they have a chance at spoiler again when they travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game series. After visiting the Reds the next four games they will then try to spoil things for the St. Louis Cardinals at home the 24th through the 27th. The close the month out with a three-game series with the Oakland A’s and begin October with the Colorado Rockies.
The Arizona Diamondbacks schedule for September after the Rockies series has a three-game series at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs, who may still be in the N. L. Wild Card hunt at the time. Then they host another team in the Wild Card chase when the San Francisco Giants come to town on the 7th through the 9th. The West leading Los Angeles Dodgers will then be in town on the 11th through the 13th. So that is a big six game home stand where the D-Backs will have a say in who wins this division.
The remainder of the Arizona Diamondbacks schedule will be the San Diego Padres to finish the home stand, then a road trip at the Giants September 18-20, the Dodgers from September 21-24 and then the Padres from the 2th through the 27th. So again, the D-Backs will have a large say in the West race.
The D-Backs will finish the season with series against the Rockies and with the Astros. That last series with the Astros could help decide the American League West title.
Graphic via baseballbabble
It has been a disappointing season for Arizona, but there have been some bright spots. Paul Goldschmidt is emerging as one of the game’s best players. He is currently leading the National League with a .347 batting average. He also leads the team with 22 homers and 77 RBIs. The D-Backs will need to decide if they want to build around him or trade him for some young players.
A.J. Pollock is another bright spot for Arizona with his .305 average. He has 11 homers and 45 RBIs on the season. Pitching is where Arizona needs to get better. None of their frontline starters have an ERA under 4.00.
Rubby de la Rosa leads the staff with eight wins and 106 strikeouts. Jeremy Hellickson has seven wins and has looked better as of late. Perhaps these two will get better going into next season.
It has been a while since the Diamondbacks have been relevant in the N. L. West. It’s not easy when you have the Giants and Dodgers in your division either.
Graphic via fantasycpr