NL Wild Card game is happening tonight in Arizona as the Rockies take on the Diamondbacks in a one game series. The winner of this series will have their hands full as they move on to face the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Arizona is going with Zack Greinke who has put up a Cy Young-caliber season in 2017. He posted a 17-7 record with a 3.20 ERA and 215 strikeouts. However, he struggled in his final two starts of the season, only lasting 4 innings in each outing and allowing a combined 10 runs. The Diamondbacks are hoping that he can get back to his form for this Wild Card game. In his start other 3 starts in the month of September (One of those against Colorado), Greinke allowed just 3 runs through 22 innings while striking out 20 and allowing just 13 base runners (11 hits and 2 walks).
On the other side, Colorado will be going with Jon Gray. Gray has been very consistent in the second half of the season. In his last 13 starts, Gray has lasted at least 5 innings and allowed 3 or fewer runs to score. This will be big for Gray to uphold that streak as the Diamondbacks offense has been explosive lately. In their last 9 regular season games, Arizona put up a double digit score 4 times.
Arizona has some homerun power with Paul Goldschmidt, JD Martinez, and Jake Lamb each hitting over 30 homeruns this season. However, the only player hitting over .300 for the season is JD Martinez while Goldschmidt and David Peralta are the only other players to hit over .270 for the season.
The Rockies offense is just as dangerous, having averaged close to 7 runs per game in their final 7 regular season games. The lineup for the Rockies is also more threatening from top to bottom with Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Mark Reynolds each hitting 30 homeruns this season and Trevor Story hitting 24 while DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra posted a .310 and .309 batting average this season. Carlos Gonzalez, though struggling this season, is no easy out in his own right.
I have a feeling that Greinke will continue his struggles and give up some early runs in this game. The stacked lineup of the Rockies will keep the pressure on Greinke with base runners in nearly every inning, causing Greinke to spend a majority of the game pitching from the stretch. On the other hand Jon Gray will continue his consistency throughout the playoffs and hold the Diamondbacks to 3 or fewer runs in this game. This all leads to a victory for the Colorado Rockies and a showdown with the Dodgers in the NLDS.