Guardians (32-36) at Diamondbacks (41-28) Game Preview | Friday 6/16 9:40 PM. EST.

June 16, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 3 Game Series Against the Arizona Diamondbacks

3 Things Preview Cleveland Guardians vs. Snakes:

1 – Length 

The Guardians need some length badly from its starters, hopefully, Triston McKenzie can fill that void as he is on the bump today for Cleveland. 

Also, who will be available to pitch from the bullpen will be interesting as a lot of pitchers used in the past two games.  The Guards might want to bring up someone from Columbus to help out. 

2 – Streaky Arizona

The Diamondbacks have been a team of streaks that either win or lose multiple in a row.  After winning six straight, Arizona comes into tonight losing three in a row, all at home to Philly.  Zac Gallen, who most believe is Arizona’s best starter, is on the mound tonight for the Diamondbacks.

3 – And the starting catcher is….

Every Guardians fan will be checking their phone to see who the starting catcher is for tonight’s start.  One would have to think it is David Fry after last night’s performance.  

Guardians Notes

In Friday’s matchup, the Cleveland Guardians will counter with right-hander Triston McKenzie (0-1, 4.50) who aims to rebound from his previous performance, where he allowed five runs over five innings in a 6-4 loss to the Houston Astros.

McKenzie had made his second start of the season after an impressive outing against the Minnesota Twins on June 4, where he conceded only one hit and struck out 10 batters over five innings. His season debut was delayed due to a muscle strain in his shoulder.

During his previous encounter with the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 2, 2022, McKenzie suffered a loss, surrendering five runs (four earned) across six innings.

In Thursday’s game, Cleveland outfielder Steven Kwan was excluded from the starting lineup for just the second time this season. Kwan has struggled at the plate this month, hitting .212 (11-for-52) in 13 games. Guardians manager Terry Francona explained that he believed Kwan needed a day off, despite the challenges of finding a suitable replacement for him as a leadoff hitter. Kwan eventually entered the game in the seventh inning and recorded a groundout in his sole plate appearance.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • McKenzie (0-1) takes the mound first for the Guardians to make his third start of the season.
  • His last appearance was on Saturday against the Houston Astros, when the righty threw five innings, surrendering five earned runs while allowing seven hits.
  • In two games this season, he has compiled a 4.50 ERA and averages 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings while opposing batters are hitting .211 against him.
  • McKenzie is seeking his third straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages five innings per start.
  • He has had one outing this season that he held his opponents to zero earned runs.


  • The Guardians have hit the fewest home runs in MLB play this season (44).
  • So far this year, Cleveland is slugging .365, the third-lowest percentage in baseball.
  • The Guardians have the 19th-ranked batting average in the league (.242).
  • Cleveland scores the fourth-fewest runs in baseball (261 total, 3.8 per game).
  • The Guardians are 24th in baseball with an on-base percentage of .307.

Diamondbacks Notes

The Arizona Diamondbacks are set to confront their skeptics once again as they kick off a three-game series against the Cleveland Guardians in Phoenix on Friday.

This season, the Diamondbacks have emerged as one of the most unexpected teams, currently leading the National League West. However, following a three-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Phillies, doubts have arisen regarding the possibility of a prolonged slump.

In defense of his team’s consistent performance, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo highlighted their versatility. He emphasized that the Diamondbacks possess a diverse roster capable of delivering results through various players. Lovullo pointed out that many of their players boast an impressive OPS of over .800, which is a testament to their talent and ongoing development. Furthermore, he acknowledged the team’s receptiveness to coaching, highlighting their commitment to learning and improvement on a daily basis.

Arizona will send right-hander Zac Gallen (7-2, 3.09 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. He was 7-1 in his prior 11 starts before struggling with an early start time in last Sunday’s no-decision against the Detroit Tigers, allowing five runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Diamondbacks Stats and Insights


  • Gallen (7-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Diamondbacks, his 15th of the season.
  • In his most recent time out on Sunday, the righty went 5 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers, giving up five earned runs while surrendering 10 hits.
  • The 27-year-old has put up an ERA of 3.09, with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, in 14 games this season. Opponents are hitting .242 against him.
  • Gallen has collected eight quality starts this season.
  • Gallen is looking for his fifth straight appearance lasting five or more innings. He averages six innings per appearance on the hill.
  • He has held his opponents without an earned run in five of his 14 outings this season.
  • The opposing Guardians offense has the 28th-ranked slugging percentage (.365) and is last in MLB play with 44 home runs. It has a collective .242 batting average and is 18th in MLB with 554 total hits and 27th in MLB play scoring 261 runs.
  • Among qualifying pitchers in MLB action this season, the 27-year-old ranks 16th in ERA (3.09), 29th in WHIP (1.150), and 17th in K/9 (9.9).


  • The Diamondbacks rank 14th in Major League Baseball with 79 home runs.
  • Fueled by 235 extra-base hits, Arizona ranks fifth in MLB with a .438 slugging percentage this season.
  • The Diamondbacks have a team batting average of .263 this season, which ranks fifth among MLB teams.
  • Arizona is among the highest-scoring teams in the majors, ranking fifth with 355 total runs this season.
  • The Diamondbacks have an OBP of .328 this season, which ranks 10th in MLB.
  • Arizona is one of the most-disciplined teams at the plate this season, ranking third with an average of 7.6 strikeouts per game.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Guardians have been struggling on the road this season with a 15-19 record while the Diamondbacks have been doing well with a 21-17 record inside of Chase Field. During the month of June, there is a difference in the offense as Cleveland is scoring 4.42 runs in their 12 games while Arizona is averaging 5.62 runs in their 13 games during the calendar month. The Diamondbacks have been solid at home in this matchup as they have won four of the previous five against the Guardians so take the D-Backs as a home favorite here. 

Our Pick: Take Arizona and the Moneyline

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