Even though they're listed at +2500 on the MLB odds boards to win the World Series, the Diamondbacks have made some massive moves in their pitching rotation and they'll be a much better team.
Greinke To the Rescue
After being runner-up in the NL Cy Young race in which he was winning for almost the entire season, Zack Greinke decided it was time to leave the Dodgers in the hands of Clayton Kershaw and hit the desert. Greinke couldn't have pitched better than he did last season as he checked in at 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 222 2/3 innings pitched.
Opposing batters couldn't touch Greinke as he allowed just a .187 batting average to the opposition. His walks to strikeout ratio was 1 to 5 as he walked just 40 batters and only allowed 14 home runs for the season. The season was a complete success except bring home the Cy Young hardware and a World Series.
This is certainly a pitcher that has pitched well in his possible future hall of fame career as he has a career record of 142-93 with a 3.35ERA. Greinke is a pitcher that is arrogant and will be out to prove something. I have no doubt that Paul Goldschmidt will provide Greinke with some run support. Look for a big season out of the 32 year Greinke.
A Talented Number Two
A lot of people will say that Shelby Miller pitched on the St. Louis Cardinals and that made his numbers better. If you look at his numbers, he got nothing from the offense with a 6-17 record and an amazing 3.02 ERA.
Obviously, Miller received very little run support as he pitched 205 1/3 innings and allowed the opposition to hit just .238 off of him. I measure a pitcher by his ERA and although Miller couldn't outduel his opponents in 2015, he had a superb season. The combination of Greinke and Miller is one of the strongest 1-2 punches in the majors and the D'Backs have to be thrilled going into 2016.
No Dropoff With Corbin
When you have Patrick Corbin as the number 3 man in your starting pitching rotation, you know that your team has a strong staff and this is the case with Arizona. Corbin only made 16 starts and pitched just 85 innings in 2015, but he still managed a 6-5 mark with a 3.60 ERA and I know this pitcher is a lot better than that with a high upside.
If Arizona gives him some run support, Corbin will have a big season. We can almost call this trio “The Big 3” and at +2500 odds on the MLB odds boards, might be worth a very small bet for kicks and profit.
The rotation doesn't get any weaker as the D'Backs have Rubby De La Rosa and his 14-9 record last season, slated in at the number 4 spot. Although he's not a top level pitcher, if a guy can pick up 14 wins in this spot of the rotation, any team in the majors would take it and the Diamondbacks are looking like a candidate for most improved team in the MLB.
Robbie Ray (5-12, 3.52 ERA) much like Shelby Miller, didn't receive and adequate amount of run support.
As I stated before, I expect this to change and there's nothing wrong with a guy as the 5th starter of a team with an appealing 3.52 ERA. Ray almost average a strikeout per inning and also allowed only 9 home runs in 127 2/3 innings last season. For the most part, he held opposing batters in check with more innings pitched than hits allowed and the hits that he did allow, didn't reflect in his ERA. Simply stated, the guys that did get on base, didn't score most of the time.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a lot to look forward to as there are no weaknesses in their starting pitching rotation and the addition of Zack Greinke is a huge pickup. Although there are better teams, this could be a “Cinderella team” and the +2500 odds don't look too bad as an MLB pick.