Zack Greinke to Start Diamondbacks NL Wild Card Matchup

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 22:  Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on September 22, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Although a week still remains in the 2017 regular season, the Arizona Diamondbacks are already looking ahead to the National League Wild Card Game.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Monday he expects to start Zack Greinke in Arizona's first postseason game, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reported.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already clinched the National League West, but the Diamondbacks assured themselves of home-field advantage for the Wild Card Game with J.D. Martinez's walk-off base hit Sunday against the Miami Marlins.

The NL Wild Card Game is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Greinke is an obvious choice to take the mound for Arizona, even if doing so means he couldn't start Game 1 of the National League Division Series should the Diamondbacks get that far. Given the stakes, Lovullo can't afford to keep his best starting pitcher on ice.

Following an underwhelming 2016 after signing a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks, Greinke is again among MLB's top aces. He's 17-6 with a 3.18 ERA and a 3.25 FIP through his first 31 starts, and his 5.1 WAR is sixth-highest among qualified pitchers, according to FanGraphs.

Greinke is also 3-3 in nine postseason starts. He has allowed 23 earned runs and struck out 54 batters in 58.1 playoff innings.