Snakes alive! ‘Zona still in NL playoff hunt

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Once upon a time, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers were opponents in a National League Division Series matchup.

That took place in 2011. Since then, both clubs have largely been perennial contenders throughout the decade, and that’s exactly what’s transpired this season as they each vie for a playoff spot deep into the campaign.

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Entering Tuesday’s action, the Brewers sat 2.5 games back of the second Wild Card berth (and 4.5 outside the top spot), while the D-backs are sticking close as well, being four games out of a postseason slot.

Milwaukee traveled to Arizona earlier about a month ago and proceeded to win three of four, outscoring the Snakes 27-18 in a high-scoring series that saw three overs cash. Will this weekend’s clashes play out in similar fashion? Let’s look and evaluate.

Taylor Clarke vs. Jordan Lyles (Friday): When you see Clarke’s name in a pitching matchup, the instant thought should be related to the over, with the rookie right-hander seeing such bets go 10-3-1 in his starts. Furthermore, there’s been an average of 12.9 runs in games that Clarke begins on the rubber for Arizona. Seeing as how he’s lasted fewer than five innings in half his starts, this isn’t shocking.

Lyles is another name that might summon thoughts of an over wager by reputation alone. But the nine-year veteran has actually been pretty good again since arriving in Milwaukee prior to the trade deadline, allowing one earned run or fewer in three of his four starts with the Brew Crew. However, it’d be a tall task relying on Lyles to carry an under here. OVER

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Merrill Kelly vs. Chase Anderson (Saturday): Facing the team he spent his first two seasons with in the big leagues, Anderson will be in a peculiar spot. The six-year veteran lasted only 2.2 innings and was rocked for a career-worst 10 runs his last time out, so how will the former D-back respond? That remains to be seen but luckily for Anderson he’ll be at Miller Park, where he’s composed a 3.92 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 14 games (11 starts) across 62 innings this season.

He matches up against a rookie, Kelly, who sports an unspectacular 4.63 ERA on the campaign but has also displayed some promise. After all, the Arizona State product carried a respectable 3.73 ERA past mid-June. At the same time, he’s been inconsistent since then, and with that 5.60 ERA and 1.49 WHIP on the road, this won’t be a favorable assignment. OVER

Zac Gallen vs. Zach Davies (Sunday): It will be a battle of starting pitchers who share the same first name, except spell it differently, in the finale. Gallen will be Arizona’s third rookie to start in this series, but at least in his case, that’s a good thing considering how steady the former Miami Marlin has been. In all but one of his 10 starts, Gallen has limited the opponent to two runs or fewer, and in the one outing he did not do that, he still only yielded three runs. The 24-year-old is legit.

Davies was looking as legit as anyone in the league earlier this season when he possessed a shiny 2.20 ERA through his first 12 starts. Well, 12 starts later and that number has ballooned to 3.74, which is more in line with Davies’ norm. Regardless, the fifth-year righty was terrific in his meeting with the D-backs last month, tossing seven innings of one-run ball, and I’d call for some, at least, satisfactory work this time around. UNDER

Last week: 4-0

Season: 37-27

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