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Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

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Cincinnati heads to Arizona tonight to begin a series with the surprising Diamondbacks.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds come into the final series before the All-Star break with a 37-48 record. They’ll face some stiff competition as they take on the Diamondbacks in a three-game series. Arizona has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. They currently have a 52-34 record, and they trail the first-place Dodgers by just three games.

Last Season and What’s Ahead

The Diamondbacks finished the 2016 season with a 69-93 record. It was their third straight season with a record below .500.

As for the rest of this season, Baseball Prospectus projects Arizona to go 39-37 in their remaining games. FanGraphs has an identical projection.

Notable New Faces

Taijuan Walker

Ketel Marte

Chris Iannetta

Fernando Rodney

Fare Thee Well

Welington Castillo

Mitch Haniger

Daniel Hudson

Jean Segura

Tuffy Gosewisch

Peter O’Brien

Key Injuries

Yasmany Tomas - groin injury (10-day DL)

Nick Ahmed - fractured right hand (10-day DL)

Shelby Miller - out for season (torn UCL)

J.J. Hoover - right shoulder inflammation (10-day DL)

Ruby De La Rosa - right shoulder inflammation (10-day DL)

The Lineup

A.J. Pollock - .296/.337/.451, 2 HR, 26 R, 11 RBI, 11 SB

David Peralta - .311/.360/.472, 8 HR, 48 R, 26 RBI, 5 SB

Paul Goldschmidt - .314/.431/.578, 19 HR, 72 R, 66 RBI, 13 SB

Jake Lamb - .285/.380/.561, 20 HR, 54 R, 67 RBI, 4 SB

Chris Owings - .289/.323/.490, 12 HR, 37 R, 49 RBI, 11 SB

Brandon Drury - .282/.325/.454, 8 HR, 28 R, 39 RBI, 1 SB

Chris Iannetta - .236/.312/.512, 8 HR, 17 R, 23 RBI, 0 SB or Jeff Mathis - .183/.226/.310, 2 HR, 7 R, 8 RBI, 1 SB

Chris Hermann - .179/.275/.373, 7 HR, 17 R, 21 RBI, 1 SB or Daniel Descalo - .244/.347/.427, 6 HR, 24 R, 31 RBI, 1 SB

The Pitchers (for this series)

Zack Greinke (vs. Tim Adleman) - Friday at 9:40 ET

Greinke has bounced back from a disappointing (by his standards) 2016, and he’s looking more like the pitcher the Diamondbacks thought they were signing. He’s 10-4 on the year with a 3.05 ERA. He’s striking out just over 10 batters per nine, which is his highest total since 2011.

Taijuan Walker (vs. Luis Castillo) - Saturday at 10:10 ET

The Diamondbacks acquired Walker in an offseason trade with the Mariners. He’s on pace to have his most successful season to date. Walker is 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA.

Patrick Corbin (vs. Homer Bailey) - Sunday at 4:10 ET

Corbin will enter Sunday’s contest with a 6-8 record and 4.81 ERA. This will be Cincinnati’s best chance to win a game this series, especially if the new and improved Homer Bailey shows up again.

Great Moments in Reds vs. Diamondbacks History

There was that time Will Ferrell played in a Reds/Diamondbacks Spring Training game.

Prediction

Cincinnati drops the first two games of the series but bounces back to get a win on Sunday.