The Braves are set to kick off their series in Phoenix later tonight, and their series-opening lineup looks like this:
Yes, that is Travis d’Arnaud DHing and hitting fifth. He’s DHed five other times this season, but none since May 12, and hit fifth twice this season, but not since May 14. Eddie Rosario remains the beneficiary of this move by continuing to start in left, though the outfield dimensions in Arizona are such that I guess the Braves don’t want Marcell Ozuna running around in
Quikrete quicksand out there.
This is the first time the Braves have used this exact lineup, and the second time they’ve used this starting nine — the first time was the 3-0 loss to Chris Bassitt and the Jays in Toronto.
Here’s the wOBA and xwOBA history by this lineup against Merrill Kelly:
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will take aim at Charlie Morton with this arrangement.
Gerardo Perdomo will make his third start at second base so far this season, and his first since mid-April, to get Nick Ahmed into the lineup and allow Ketel Marte to DH for just the second time this season. This will also be just the second time this season Perdomo, who is massively outhitting his xwOBA (biggest gap in baseball) will hit leadoff. Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is hitting sixth for the first time this season. Unsurprisingly, this is a novel defensive arrangement for Torey Lovullo’s club. Here’s the history of this nine against Charlie Morton — it’s scant.
As you can see, Corbin Carroll, Rivera, and catcher Gabriel Moreno have not yet faced Morton in a big league game.