The Diamondbacks are looking to get off the schneid tonight as they face-off against the Cincinnati Reds in the first of a three-game series at Great American Ballpark. As I mentioned in the Series Preview earlier, this should be a great place for the D-backs to get their offense back in gear.
LHP Robbie Ray (8-4, 2.97 ERA) takes the hill for the Diamondbacks as he looks to add to his breakout season. His last start was on July 6 — when he struck out a season high 13 batters — so he should be well-rested and ready to go. The Reds offense is sixth in the majors with 15.0 fWAR. But they’re middle of the pack against lefties, slashing .255/.313/.439.
The Reds send 23-year-old rookie RHP Sal Romano to the mound to take on the D-backs. His fastball averages nearly 96 mph and he adds a slider around 89 mph and a changeup that clocks in around 87 mph. He leans heavily on the fastball and slider, with the slider generating whiffs at a 20.41% rate. As long as the D-backs don’t bite on the slider, they should be able to barrel up some of those high-velocity fastballs at The Launching Pad in Cincinnati.
Diamondbacks skipper, Torey Lovullo, had Chris Owings batting 4th and Jake Lamb hitting 5th in Sunday’s game in Atlanta. Neither player got on base and they combined to leave five runners stranded. Clearly the swap — Lamb normally bats 4th in the order with Owings usually hitting in the five-spot — didn’t help either player. Today, Lovullo has gone back to batting Lamb and Owings 4/5. The shakeup was undoubtedly an effort to get Lamb hitting. He’s one had one hit in 12 at-bats since returning from the All-Star break.
Here’s the rest of tonight’s lineup for the Arizona Diamondbacks:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 18, 2017