1. Jon Gray is coming in hot
The Rockies will counter veteran Diamondbacks veteran starter Zack Greinke with their young right-hander Jon Gray. A foot injury kept the flame thrower out for most of the first half, but that might actually serve as a blessing in disguise. With most of the Rockies young rotation going up in flames around him down the stretch, Gray came on strong. He looks fresh and ready to dominate in the Wild Card Game.
Gray went 7-2 with a 2.44 ERA in his last 11 starts of the year. During that stretch, he held opponents to a .241/.288/.343 line while striking out a hitter an inning. Gray started in Arizona on September 12 and limited the Diamondbacks to two runs on seven hits with ten strikeouts in seven innings. In his young career, Gray is 2-0 at Chase Field with a 2.77 ERA.
Arizona will counter Gray with Greinke, the biggest free-agent signing in the history of their franchise. After a down year in 2016, Greinke came back strong, putting some minor health concerns behind him. Still, the Rockies should feel as though they have the advantage when it comes to the starting pitcher. Greinke went just 4-3 in September and August with a 3.95 ERA.
It may turn out to be a big mistake for the Diamondbacks to choose Greinke over young left-hander Robbie Ray, who has been nearly as good as Gray down the stretch. This game has the potential to be the moment where Gray takes the step from promising/intriguing young arm to bona fide ace.