Fantasy Preview Diamondbacks vs Marlins 22nd September 2017
Before the 2017 Major League Baseball season started, many people believed that the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins would finish the year in the same neighborhood of wins. Of course, fast forward about eight months, and it appears those same people couldn’t have been any more wrong.
Heading into the last week of September, the Diamondbacks have the second-highest win total in the National League, and would’ve been on their way to win a division title if it wasn’t for the torrid play of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins are right about where we expected them to be: on pace to finish with about 77 wins this year, which would be four games below the .500 mark. But, regardless of how the two teams have fared this year, there are plenty of interesting fantasy baseball storylines to follow when these two teams square off against each other this weekend.
After arriving via trade from the Detroit Tigers, right fielder J.D. Martinez has been putting on an absolute show in the Arizona desert. He’s hit 24 home runs in the last two months, helping him break his previous career high of 38 home runs in 2015. His 1.277 combined OPS on the year between Detroit and Arizona against fastballs is higher than those of the individual AL and NL leaders: Joey Gallo and Bryce Harper. The most startling part of all of this is that Martinez is putting up these numbers despite missed the first month and change of the season while recovering from a mid-foot sprain he suffered in spring training.
On the mound for this weeks games at home starting on the 22nd September the Diamondbacks are going to be anchored by three different pitchers who have piled up 14 or more wins this season: left-hander Robbie Ray, fellow lefty Patrick Corbin, and stud righty Zack Greinke.
Ray has struck out double-digit batters in four straight starts and won all five of his outings since coming off the disabled list in late August, giving him a dominant 1.39 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a 55-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in only 32.1 innings over that stretch. In his last outing, he allowed only one earned run on six hits over seven innings, while striking out 10 batters.
Corbin has been impressive in 2017, sporting a 3.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 through 13 second-half games. He’s allowed no more than one earned run in seven of his past eight games, and has a 6-4 record since the beginning of August.
Meanwhile, Greinke keeps on doing exactly what we’d expect from him. He’s allowed just six earned runs through 34.2 innings over his past five starts, giving him a 2.33 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 at Chase Field this season. He’s a sneaky darkhorse in the NL Cy Young race, even thouse his ERA is a bit higher than that of the other contenders, but he’s given his team more high-quality innings in an environment in Arizona that is highly hitter-friendly.
For the Miami Marlins, it’s all about right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who might be auditioning for a potential new employer in 2018 as Miami looks to get out from underneath his enormous contract. With a 55 home runs, 117 RBI, 115 runs and a .279/.374/.632 slash line, Stanton has showcased what he can do when healthy. If he hits the 60 home run mark, he could wrap up the NL MVP award.