2017 NL Wild Card Preview | Bonehead Picks

2017 NL Wild Card Preview

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The National League Wild Card game will feature two teams who have not made the playoffs in years.




The Arizona Diamondbacks’ last postseason appearance was in 2011 and the Colorado Rockies’ last postseason appearance happened way back in 2009.

Both of these teams were good enough to contend in any other division in baseball but were stuck in the National League West, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers all season. Both teams are led by first year managers in Torey Lovullo (Arizona) and Bud Black (Colorado). Black’slast postseason appearance came over a decade ago when he managed the San Diego Padres.

The probables for Wednesday night’s game are Zack Greinke for Arizona and Jon Gray for Colorado.

It was a bit of a surprise to see Arizona go with Greinke in the wild card game instead of Robbie Ray due to Colorado’s multiple lefties in the lineup but Greinke’s astounding 2.87 ERA and 13 wins at home this season makes him the logical choice. However, Greinke has stumbled to the finish line after being roughed up in his last couple of starts.




For Colorado, the selection of Gray is a no-brainer. He by far is the best pitcher the Rockies have and to get to the next round, they have to win this game. Gray has turned it on in the last month after having a few bad starts following his multiple month disabled list stint.

As far as lineups go, these two teams are evenly matched on all fronts. The Colorado Rockies have quite possibly the best leadoff man in the game today in Charlie Blackmon. Statistically, Blackmon had possibly the greatest season ever by a leadoff man in the history of the game. Hitting over .330, smacking over 30 home runs, driving in over 100, scoring over 100 runs and accumulating a whopping 213 hits. With such a great table setter, Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds and others were able to score runs with ease. For Arizona, their mid-season acquisition of J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers added that extra element to their lineup which made it all the more dangerous. Martinez hit 29 home runs and drove in 65 in just 62 games with the Diamondbacks. Surround him with Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and A.J. Pollock and you have yourself an extremely exciting offense.

If it comes down to a battle of the bullpens, the edge on paper would go in Arizona’s favor BUT Colorado has the better closer in Greg Holland and a better set-up man in Pat Neshek.

This will be an intriguing game in will be a very close affair.

Prediction:

Rockies 7 Diamondbacks 5

 

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