Dodgers @ Diamondbacks April 30, 2024: Knack makes third start as the Dodgers wrap up April

After a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays (15-15) on Sunday, the Dodgers bounced back in impressive fashion last night, beating the Diamondbacks (13-17) 8-4 in their series opener. James Paxton continued to look shaky on the mound yet picked up the win, somehow now sitting at 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA. The offense brought 44 batters to the plate with ten hits and eight walks and managed to do so without a single strikeout. The last time the Dodgers had a game in which they didn’t strikeout was 2006. Rafael Furcal was hitting leadoff, Kenny Lofton hit second, Nomar Garciaparra was hitting cleanup, and Brad Penny was on the mound.

Tonight’s matchup features the left-handed veteran Jordan Montgomery making his third start with Arizona, up against Landon Knack making the third start of his career.

6:40 P.M. Phoenix
SS Betts RF McCarthy (L)
DH Ohtani (L) LF Gurriel Jr.
1B Freeman (L) 2B Marte (S)
C Smith 1B Walker
RF T. Hernández DH Pederson (L)
3B Hernández, K. 3B Suárez
CF Pages C Moreno
2B Rojas CF Carroll (L)
LF Taylor SS Newman
P Knack (R) P Montgomery (L)

Both teams will keep things relatively similar to last night with a couple slight changes. Knack is right-handed, so Jake McCarthy and Joc Pederson will start for Arizona over Randal Grichuk and Blaze Alexander. Max Muncy will have the day off with Kiké Hernandez playing third base in his place. There’s a bit of an interesting quirk in the lineup today, with Miguel Rojas playing second base and Mookie Betts staying at shortstop. Generally against left-handed pitching, Betts slides over to second base in place of Gavin Lux while Rojas plays short. That was the case last night, but this is likely just getting Betts as many possible reps at shortstop to acclimate. Chris Taylor will be in left field, still hoping to get things going at the plate.

Here’s how these two offenses matchup as a whole in 2024.

The Dodgers have been the best offense in baseball, but Arizona has actually been quite good for their 13-17 record. Despite that, they’ve been poor against right-handed pitching this year, sitting down in the bottom five as a team with an 83 wRC+ and .635 OPS. Joc has been excellent at his job, with a 166 wRC+ and .937 OPS on the year. Christian Walker has a 137 wRC+ and .826 OPS against RHP, Ketel Marte has been average with a 102 wRC+ and .731 OPS, and everyone else in this lineup has been a below average batter against right-handed pitching.


Montgomery should’ve been able to easily land a multi-year deal this past offseason, as he was the safest starting pitcher available in free agency. It seems that Scott Boras completely misjudged the market, and it resulted in Montgomery signing with Arizona on a 1-year $25 million deal, with a vesting player option for the same amount next year. Not to say that he couldn’t have ended up in Arizona one way or another, but this was a steal of a signing by the Diamondbacks, and through two starts he’s seemed to be the same Montgomery as always.

He’s off to a great start to his year, with a 2.08 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 0.85 WHIP over 13 innings. He took the loss in his last outing against the Cardinals, allowing two earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out four over seven innings. He’s now gone at least six innings in both of his outings this year. His velocity on both his sinker (91.5) and his four-seam fastball (91.4) are both down about two ticks from last season where he sat at 93.3 MPH with both, but I wouldn’t say there’s any long term concern there yet. He predominantly uses the sinker, paired with a high 70’s curveball, but also throws a changeup to right-handed batters and a four-seamer to mix things up.

He’s faced two below-average offenses thus far in San Francisco and St. Louis, but he’ll have a real test tonight against a Dodgers offense that has been performing quite well. He seems to be fully built up, throwing 87 pitches in his last outing.

Knack (3.27 ERA, 5.25 FIP, 1.00 WHIP) picked up his first career win in last Wednesday’s 11-2 rout of the Nationals. He gave up two runs on three hits and three walks over six innings with five strikeouts. He walked in a run in the second inning, but much like his first start he settled in well after early trouble. He retired the last 13 batters he faced, and while the Nationals aren’t a particularly high powered offense, it’s looked like Knack can handle big league lineups so far. Arizona will be a tougher task, so we’ll see how he performs tonight.


There’s a decently high likelihood that this was Walker Buehler‘s last rehab outing and he could be available to make his season debut next week. Knack seems like the obvious odd man out in the rotation, but Paxton has 22 walks to 15 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Paxton somehow hit the Injured List for a couple starts.

Good updates on these three starters.

Sounds like Ryan Brasier will be out for some time.


Great insight from Betts on his increased baserunning aggressiveness this season.


First pitch is at 6:40 PT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

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Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!