Texas’ Game 4 plan changed drastically when Jon Gray made a long relief outing following Max Scherzer’s injury-induced exit in Game 3. As such, Andrew Heaney will now likely start before Dane Dunning joins him before turning over the rest of the game to their bullpen.
Meanwhile, the D’backs are following what works – their bullpen has been great in these playoffs and will give lefty Joe Mantiply the ball to start their bullpen game.
Expect the over-to-hit in this game, as runs should be plentiful.
The Arizona D’backs boast a reliable bullpen, but its top arms may prove too much. Recall in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, they allowed five runs. Kevin Ginkel, Frias and Thompson each have an xFIP under 4.00; Paul Sewald gave up an early homer to Seager during Game 1, so their anchor has experienced some difficulties along the way.
Arizona boasts six batters with a wRC+ of 100 or higher in the playoffs, led by Christian Walker’s walk rate approaching 20%. Although Arizona may not hit many home runs, they can work the count and make Texas’ pitching staff work for every out. Furthermore, five D’Back hitters boast a slugging percentage over 460!
Heaney posted a 4.15 ERA against a 4.55 xERA during the regular season and posted a 9.4% walk rate and 23.6% strikeout rate; however, during playoff play, his ERA increased significantly to 6.00 innings over six innings.
Texas’ lineup has done exceptionally well during these playoffs. Arizona could opt for righties like Ryan Thompson, Luis Frias or Kyle Nelson as Arizona could take an approach similar to Game 4 of the NLCS when pitching against them. Texas boasts five batters who possess wRC+ scores of 100 or higher; Marcus Semien’s numbers have lagged slightly, but Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia and Evan Carter have been on fire, and both are slugging above 620, while Mitch Garver and Josh Jung should also help bring home runs.
This should be a high-scoring game, so the best bet is to bet the over in this one. In a high-scoring game, you have to go with that explosive Rangers lineup.
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