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NL West Season Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Iannetta
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Iannetta /
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PEORIA, AZ – MARCH 05: Steven Souza Jr. #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up on deck during the first inning of the spring training game against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Stadium on March 5, 2018 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEORIA, AZ – MARCH 05: Steven Souza Jr. #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up on deck during the first inning of the spring training game against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Stadium on March 5, 2018 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

2018 Projections:

Now the fine folks over at FanGraphs went and made sure they did not under-estimate the D-Backs again this season. Their ZiPS projections currently have them winning the division. Yeah, I know that sounds like a stretch, but that’s not all. They not only have them in first, but they have them in first over the second-place Rockies and the third-place Dodgers.

Yes, you read that correctly, they have them winning the division, while the Dodgers finish in third place. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that’s a tad bit optimistic. Lets take that one with a grain of salt and move onto the next one.

Now lets take a look at what Grant Brisbee of SBNATION projects for the D-Backs and rest of the NL West this season. In his prediction piece, he mixes in plenty of hot-takes, along with lots of reasonable projections. With ties to the Giants, Brisbee projects the Diamonbacks to finish in third place behind the Dodgers and Giants this season. His reasoning goes back to the rotation question marks and Zack Greinke’s ever-diminishing fastball.

Now its time for my totally (probably) inaccurate projections for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. If Zack Greinke were here with me, I would probably be getting one of his uncomfortable death stares, but I don’t think he will be reading this anytime soon.

Looking at the D-Backs heading into the 2018 season, I see a team that may be really good, or could very well be a huge disappointment. One thing I know for sure is that they will hit and they will hurt every teams pitching staff.

A lineup that consists of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Steven Souza and AJ Pollock will almost certainly put up good numbers, that part I don’t doubt.

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What I seriously doubt will happen is continued success for that rotation again this season. Zack Greinke will regress, his fastball will get him crushed by everyone including Gorkys Hernandez, and without an ace-like Greinke, the D-Backs rotation could be a mess.

Either that or I could be wrong and everyone else in the rotation continues to throw well and backup the aging ace.

Another concern I have with Arizona is their bullpen. Other than Archie Bradley, nobody really jumps off the page. Yeah, they acquired Boxberger who’s nothing more than meh, but it just doesn’t really jump off the page. Randall Delgado is an okay arm, and so is Andrew Chafin, but none of them exactly scream “lock down bullpen.”

Taking into account the Dodgers all-around great team and the Rockies (who are similar to the D-Backs, but slightly better), I’m going to go on record and say the D-Backs will finish in second place this season, behind the Dodgers.

How many wins? Not 93. I think they should win around 88-90 games, and I think it’s going to be an absolute blood bath in the National League West this year, and the D-Backs will be making some noise. I believe Arizona’s rotation will take a step back, their bullpen will continue to be mediocre, but the offense will make up for that.

Why they wont win the west? 

Stated in the previous sentence, the rotation and the bullpen will take a step back. Zack Greinke will also be an issue.

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