Arizona Diamondbacks Preview
World Series Odds: 60-1
NL Pennant Odds: 30-1
NL West Odds: 10/1
2019 Recap: The Arizona Diamondbacks had a decent season at 85-77 overall but they still finished 21 games out of first in the National League West. The Diamondbacks finished the season losing 10 of their last 14 games and that may have cost them a playoff spot as Arizona finished just four games out of a wildcard slot. The Dodgers are heavy favorites but the Diamondbacks will be looking to close the gap this year.
The Rotation: The Diamondbacks had a decent pitching staff last year that finished 12th in the league in ERA at 4.25. The staff should be much-improved this year, especially after signing Madison Bumgarner in the offseason. Mad Bum was 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA for the Giants last year and he has gone 119-92 with a 3.13 ERA in 289 games (286 starts) in his career. He is a huge pickup for the Diamondbacks. Robbie Ray led the team last year, going 12-8 with a 4.34 ERA on the year and he had 235 strikeouts in just 174.1 innings of work. He and Chris Sale are now the only two players in MLB history to have 200+ Ks in under 175 innings of work. Luke Weaver should be 3ed in the rotation after going 4-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 12 starts last year. He did have injury issues but is ready to go this year. Zac Gallen is an up-and-coming pitcher and while he was 3-6 in his first year, he had a 2.81 ERA in 15 starts. He could have a very good season this year. Rounding out the rotation will be Mike Leake, who was brought in from Seattle last year. Leake was 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 32 starts overall, including 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 10 starts for the D-Backs. The bullpen is solid and will have Archie Bradley as the closer. He had 18 saves a year ago with a 3.52 ERA in 63 games. This staff has a chance to dominate this year.
The Lineup: The offense was not horrible last year as the D-Backs finished 11th in the league in scoring at 5.02 rpg but they were just 19th in homers at 220. They will look for overall better numbers this year. Ketel Marte is one of the better lead-off hitters in the league after hitting .329 with 32 homers, 92 RBIs and 97 runs scored a year ago. The D-Backs brought in Starling Marte, who spent the first eight years of his career for the Pirates. He should bat second and is a stat sheet stuffer. Starling hit .295 with 23 homers, 82 RBIs, 97 runs scored and 25 stolen bases a year ago. The Marte’s will set up this offense but good this year. Eduardo Escobar had the best year of his career as he hit 35 homers, had 10 triples and 118 RBIs a season ago and he will have plenty of chances to drive in runs this year. Batting 4th should be David Peralta, who had 12 homers and 57 RBIs last year but played just 99 games. Christian Walker had 29 homers, 73 RBIs and scored 86 runs. Kole Calhoun was brought in after hitting 33 homers and driving in 74 runs while scoring 92 runs for the Angels last year. The top six in this lineup will score plenty of runs. Rounding out the lineup will be Nick Ahmed and Carson Kelly while having Stephen Vogt and Jake Lamb on the bench gives them some solid depth. This has a chance to be a top-five offense this year.
Conclusion: The Diamondbacks have the makings of a very solid team. The only problem is that they are in the same division as the Dodgers. Arizona will not win the division but they should be in the mix for a wild-card berth. The offense has a chance to be one of the best in the league as the top six in the lineup all has a good combination of power and speed, plus they all can drive in runs and score plenty as well. The offense will be a good complement to a pitching staff that could finish in the top five in the league in ERA, especially with the signing of Madison Bumgarner. I see them putting it all together this year but still, the best they will do is a 2nd place finish in the division and grabbing a wildcard berth.