The feeling heading into this season was that the National League looked like a foregone conclusion, with the World Champion Chicago Cubs seemingly head and shoulders above the rest. That has most definitely not been the case, though, as the Cubs are struggling badly, leaving the NL wide open for several contenders, some of whom are a little bit of a surprise. The Arizona Diamondbacks can certainly count themselves among that group, as they have made a strong start to the season.
This was what we expected from them last year after they spent a ton of money to bring in some big name players, but it appears as though all those changes took some time to take hold. The D’backs are in a great battle in the NL West right now, and they can really help their cause by taking advantage of a struggling Marlins team on Thursday night. The road has not been particularly kind to Arizona, though, so let’s not take this game for granted.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Diamondbacks At Marlins 2017 MLB Winning Favorites
When: Thursday, June 1 at 7:07 PM EST
Where: Tropicana Field, Miami
Starting Pitchers: Zack Greinke Vs Jeff Locke
TV: FS-A, FS-F
Radio: KHOV 105.1, ESPN Phoenix 620, WZTU 94.9 HD-2, WAQI 710, 940 AM WINZ
Live Stream: MLB.TV
MLB Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks (32-22) are in the thick of the battle for the NL West, sitting in third spot, just a game and a half back of the division leading LA Dodgers. This is a team that appears to have struck a perfect balance between offense and defense, as they come into this one with a +53 run differential, which is among the very best in the NL. If the Diamondbacks do have a weakness, it is their play away from home. They have turned their own ball park into something of a fortress, but have only managed to go 11-14 on the road. They will be looking at this series as a real chance to get to .500 away from home. Zack Greinke (6-3, 3.24 ERA) will start for the D’backs.
Why bet on the Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins (20-30) have struggled in the early part of the season, but they have been tough to beat of late, winning 3 in a row and 5 of their last 7. A big reason for their recent turnaround may well have to do with moving Giancarlo Stanton to the #2 spot in the line-up, as he has hit 3 HR since making that move, taking him to 14 on the season. They have also been getting some good starts and quality defense recently, and have surrendered just 5 runs during their current 3-game winning streak. Still a long way to go to get back to respectability, but there are signs of improvement. Jeff Locke will make his first start of the season on Thursday night.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Is Locke going to show some signs of rust in his first start of the season? The Diamondbacks may be able to jump on him early, allowing Greinke to do his thing.