We inspect the National League West in this edition of MLB handicapping, and decipher sportsbooks projections for win totals against the betting odds for the Diamondbacks' upcoming campaign.
The Dodgers are picked to finish first in the division and their current MLB odds have them not only winning the division again, but doing so over Arizona by a whopping 20 games. On a near record 96 degree day in Scottsdale, here is one part of our two piece Spring Training Reports for Dodgers & Diamondback for the upcoming 2015 season.
Arizona – Projected Win Total 72 wins – 5th in the NL West
Those making MLB picks have actually lifted the Diamondbacks from opening win total of 70 to 72. With just one more team to witness, Arizona is the weakest squad I have come across in the Cactus League.
It begins with their starting pitching that reads like this, Josh Collmenter, Rubby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson, Trevor Cahill and Chase
Collmenter is a versatile pitcher, being able to start, work long relief or be a setup man late in games, but there is nothing in his history which suggests starting every five days will lead to a winning record. Hellickson and Cahill have not been the same pitchers after early success in their careers and De La Rosa and Anderson have ability, but how will that translate over a full season?
At this time not certain where the Snakes bullpen can support a pedestrian starting staff, after finishing 13th in the NL in ERA (3.92) and slugging percentage allowed (.391). Granted, they did have the most strikeouts in the senior circuit, but they were also were fourth in innings used and ended up 14th in total bases allowed, which added up to the second-lowest save percentage at 63.6 percent.
Anybody playing daily fantasy baseball or making sports picks knows Paul Goldschmidt is the gold standard of first basemen in the big leagues.
Goldy needs a healthy Mark Trumbo and outfielder David Peralta shows promise in reaching base. Leadoff man A.J. Pollack needs to prove he can keep the job over the long term and 3B Yasmany Tomas is the latest Cuban import to reach the big leagues, but he’s at least 20 pounds overweight (think a slimmer Pablo Sandoval size-wise) and his skills do not necessarily match his countrymen who are playing at this time.
Regarding this MLB pick, I just do not see how Arizona climbs over the 70-win barrier, but could improve on 64-win total of last season.
Game Notes –Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The one area which will fuel the D-Backs return to respectability is good young pitching. Out of the bullpen, lefty Andrew Chafin showcased a smooth repeatable delivery and his breaking pitches had bite to go with a mid-90’s heat. And on the topic of heat, Enrique Burgos has continually approached triple digits with his fastball this spring and opposing batters have to dial it up when he takes the mound.