Young D-backs Won't Contend, But There's Value In Win Total

Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 6:10 PM UTC

Arizona, moving on from the loss of several key players, has one of baseball's younger lineups. In a stacked division, they could use this season to start a re-tooling effort.

Arizona Diamondbacks' World Series Odds: +6600 (BetOnline)
National League Pennant Odds: +4000
Season Win Total: 77.5

Diamondbacks Going Young

Arizona fell short of the playoffs last season thanks in most part by falling apart in September. They turned that negative energy into more negative energy for the fans, too. They traded Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals and lost A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin in free agency. Three of the team’s most recognizable players are in other uniforms this season and that leaves a very young team and some potentially rougher seas ahead in 2019.

The hitter with the most major-league service time in their lineup is Eduardo Escobar, who joined the team at the trade deadline last year. Outside of him and the newly signed Wilmer Flores, no D-backs hitter has more than four years in the majors.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t still stacked with some talent. Escobar and David Peralta are very good hitters and if guys such as Steve Souza and Jake Lamb can have bounce-back seasons, they D-backs could hit some despite their home field now being a lot less hitter friendly thanks to the installation of the humidor.

So, if Peralta can’t stay healthy, or Escobar takes a step back from last season, this offense could very quickly turn to below average. Without Goldschmidt holding down the three hole and Pollock’s bat not in the lineup, there could be some stretches where they struggle to score.

However, the good news for the D-backs and their fans is outside of the questions at the plate, the rotation and bullpen is more than likely a strength.

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Progress report: Arizona Diamondbacks https://t.co/XBAwbkBrUL pic.twitter.com/rFteIUCVSC

— San Diego Union-Tribune (@sdut) February 18, 2019
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Pitching Prowess

Led by veteran Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks’ rotation is one to watch out for this season. Greinke is still one of the best 15 or 20 pitchers in the league and Robbie Ray was pitching like a top-20 pitcher in the second half last year. He is probably my favorite pitcher on this staff, but the depth is just getting started.

Zack Godley is a No. 2 pitcher in the No. 3 hole for the D-backs, while newly acquired Luke Weaver, who came over in the Goldschmidt deal, should slot in nicely to the fourth starter role. Merrill Kelly has also signed with the club coming over from the KBO and there is some excitement surrounding him as well.

Combined with a bullpen that saw some nice additions this offseason, the D-backs have the ability to pitch their way to a .500 record this season. They signed Greg Holland to be their setup man and with Yoshihisa Hirano pitching well in his first MLB season in 2018, the D-backs are going to be a dangerous team playing with the lead heading into the latter three innings.

This combination of strong starting pitching and a stacked bullpen will help hide some of their offensive inefficiencies. This will make them a slightly undervalued team both ATS and in the season win total odds from BetOnline.

Season Win Total Pick: "Over" 77.5 (+110)

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