The Diamondbacks lineup, when healthy, is fairly potent. They are right in the middle of the pack in runs scored (16th with 694 through Saturday) and are fifth in home runs (175).
Their home ballpark helps to inflate power, so using a spot start pitcher against them never seemed like a very good idea. Over the final week of the season, things may be different.
Mark Reynolds has been hampered by a hand injury for some time and could be shutdown at any moment. Justin Upton, who has been sidelined for the better part of the last three weeks also may not return, leaving some gaps in the Diamondbacks lineup.
The Diamondbacks are actually on the road for their final six games of the season, where they have gone 24-51. On their last road trip (10 games), the scored more then three runs in a game just three times. They never scored more then six runs.
Over the final week they go to San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the following pitchers tentatively scheduled to take the mound:
- September 28 – Jonathan Sanchez
- September 29 – Madison Bumgarner
- September 30 – Tim Lincecum
- October 1 – John Ely
- October 2 – Chad Billingsley
- October 3 – Ted Lilly
At this point, the only two we need to look a little bit closer at are Ely and Bumgarner. They other four are easy calls (unless you are stacked in the pitching department).
Over Bumgarner’s last five starts (including one in Arizona), he’s allowed four earned runs over 33.0 innings. Despite being just 1-2 over that stretch, with the way he’s been pitching and the streak he’s on, there’s no questioning his spot. He’s worth using in all formats.
As for Ely, he’s been down of late. He’s allowed four earned runs or more in four of his last five starts. He also doesn’t generate a ton of strikeouts, with 73 over 95.1 innings. Granted, the Diamondbacks are a team that swing and miss a lot, even without Reynolds, but his upside there isn’t enough.
There’s a ton of risk involved in Ely, especially when you factor in his 5.87 ERA at home. Then again, he has a 2.95 ERA against Arizona this season, with 18 Ks in 18.1 innings. There’s a ton of risk, but if you are in need of a W, he’s worth rolling the dice on.
What are your thoughts? Would you start all six pitchers against the Diamondbacks this week? Is Ely worth using?
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