COLORADO ROCKIES (87-75)
at ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (93-69)
National League Wild Card Game – Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ
First pitch: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Colorado +160, Los Angeles -170, Total: 8.5
A spot in the NLDS will be on the line when the Diamondbacks host the Rockies on Wednesday.
Both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks had fantastic regular seasons, but only one of these teams is going to advance here. Both of these teams came into the playoffs having lost two of their past three games, but Arizona was at least able to earn a victory in the final game of the season. These teams now face one another and Arizona is the club that should feel more confident here. The Diamondbacks were 11-8 against Colorado this season, but the Rockies did split wins in 10 games at Chase Field here. The starters in this game are going to be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 3.67 ERA, 112 K) for Colorado and RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA, 215 K) for Arizona. While Greinke might be the bigger name, Gray is every bit as good as he is right now. One trend that sticks out for Colorado here is that manager Bud Black is 9-1 against the money line when on the road against a team that has beaten his twice in a row by six runs or more. But working in the Diamondbacks’ favor in this game is the fact that they are 46-22 against the money line at home when the total is 8.5 to 10 runs this season. They’re also 15-3 against the money line when Greinke is on the mound this season.
The Rockies are looking to pull off an upset on Wednesday and they definitely have the right guy on the mound here. Gray was ridiculous down the stretch for Colorado, as the righty allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his final 11 starts for the team. He has really turned into the pitcher that many in the organization thought he would, which is huge for a team that has lacked a true ace in recent years. And it’s definitely worth noting that Gray was absolutely ridiculous in his most recent trip to Phoenix. He started against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Sep. 12 and allowed only two earned runs in seven innings of work. He struck out 10 batters in that game and walked none. If Gray can do that again then it just might be the Rockies that are celebrating in the locker room after this one. On offense, all of the Colorado stars should be ready to go in this one. 3B Nolan Arenado, OF Charlie Blackmon, and 2B DJ LeMahieu are all going to be looking forward to facing Greinke, as they are all batting over .265 with a combined 16 RBI against the righty. SS Trevor Story could also provide a spark, as he is 8-for-24 with four homers and nine RBI against Greinke in his career.
The last time Greinke faced the Rockies this season was Sep. 11 and he allowed just two earned runs in seven innings of work in that one. Greinke struck out six batters and walked none in that game, and he would definitely take another outing like that on Wednesday. The problem is that Greinke has been rather lousy lately, allowing 10 earned runs in his past eight innings of work. If those two starts for the righty were not flukes then Arizona is going to be in trouble here. Greinke is, however, a very competitive guy and has badly wanted to find postseason success with the Diamondbacks. You can’t put it past him to pitch a complete gem here because of that alone. On offense, the Diamondbacks are going to need 1B Paul Goldschmidt to step it up here. He is a pathetic 0-11 against Gray in his career, which absolutely must change on Wednesday. Goldschmidt is the heart and soul of this Arizona team and needs to lead by example in this game. One guy that could, however, do some damage in this one is OF J.D. Martinez. Martinez was a huge pickup during the season for Arizona, but he also happens to be 2-for-6 with two homers and four RBI against Gray in his career.