For the first time all postseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks will be playing in front of their home crowd, and it just so happens to be the same game they could clinch a trip to the NLCS. Arizona has yet to lose a playoff game, and the only team standing their way from a trip to the next round is the team that won their division, the LA Dodgers. We’ll preview the game before going over which F5 market I’ll be targeting.
Every year, one team thrives in the underdog role, and this season, it’s the Diamondbacks. Torey Lovullo’s team has closed as underdogs in both series and all four games they’ve played thus far, and yet, all they’ve done is find the win column. With a 1-0 lead in the series headed into Monday, Arizona had their ace on the mound, and the three runs the D-Backs scored in the first inning would be all Gallen and the bullpen needed to come away with a 4-2 win.
With a commanding 2-0 lead in their possession, Arizona will hand the ball to a rookie tonight in Brandon Pfaadt to make his second postseason start. Pfaadt’s first playoff start was short-lived after he allowed three runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings of work during game one of the Wild Card series. The right-hander flashed strong strikeout stuff, but the long ball remains a problem for him after allowing 22 in the regular season and already one this postseason.
Pfaadt pitched against his opponent tonight, back on August 30th, and the Dodgers jumped on him early, scoring six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two home runs in four innings. There’s no denying the rookie will get a motivated Dodgers lineup tonight with their backs against the wall after scoring just four runs in the series' first two games. For a team that finished second in the league in home run percentage, LA has only left the yard once this series.
While Arizona turns a young starter to guide them on the mound, the Dodgers will send veteran Lance Lynn to the bump in the hopes of extending the series. After being acquired at the trade deadline, Lynn threw 64 innings for the Dodgers and pitched to a 4.36 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 16 home runs allowed.
The F5 total is currently set at 5.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play in game three of this NLDS series. For the Dodgers lineup, this is the best matchup for them in terms of opposing starter they’ll likely have in this series. At the same time, Arizona has scored nine first-inning runs in this series, and now they finally get to play in front of their home crowd.
Brandon Pfaadt enters tonight’s game in the 16th percentile in hard hit percentage, 8th percentile in groundball percentage, and 3rd percentile in barrel rate, all areas you do not want to struggle in against the Dodgers. While they’ve only managed four runs in the series, LA still has a .806 OPS, .348 wOBA, and 121 wRC+ against right-handed pitching over the last 14 days.
Arizona has been performing at a high level since the postseason started, and there is no reason that should stop today against Lance Lynn since he is in the 23rd percentile in xERA, 17th percentile in groundball percentage, and 13th percentile in barrel percentage. The D-Backs have put up an 11.5% or higher barrel percentage in the two games in this series, and with Lynn’s struggles with home runs, I think they can continue to use the long ball to their advantage.
F5 Over 5.5 (-110)