2020-07-13 12:00:00 EDT
The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to fight their way into the playoffs during the shortened 2020 MLB season.
Arizona managed an 85-77 overall record in 2019, finishing second in the National League West behind the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks finished four games out of a Wild Card spot however, missing the playoffs for consecutive seasons. In 2020, Arizona will attempt to reverse that trend. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at Arizona’s current status and break down the team’s chances at hitting their projected win total this season.
The Diamondbacks had some flashes of greatness in the 2019 season, but for most of the year the team was quite average and simply couldn’t raise themselves to that next level of MLB competition. Arizona was within two games of a .500 record for a record-breaking 60 games, stretching to the end of August. The Diamondbacks found a bit of a rhythm late in the season, but by then it was too late. The good news is that Arizona was competitive; the team was simply mediocre. Season series records against Colorado (9-10), the Dodgers (8-11), San Diego (11-8) and San Francisco (10-9) tell that tale pretty well.
In any case, it’s going to be another heavy dose of NL West action in 2020. The Diamondbacks get 10 games each versus the Padres, Giants, Dodgers and Rockies. The shortened schedule will also feature matchups versus American League West teams in Houston, Oakland Texas, the Angels and Seattle. The Astros, A’s and Rangers all project as good teams on paper this year, so Arizona will have their work cut out for them finding wins during a lot of series in 2020.
The Diamondbacks have put together a well-rounded lineup, and if all goes well we should see plenty of run production. Starling Marte, Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker bring a nice mix of speed and power to the front of the order. Any one of those guys could potentially notch 30 runs, 30 RBIs and 10 homers this year. Kole Calhoun and Nick Ahmed offer some solid bats further down the order as well. So long as their BAs don’t dip too far below .250 or so the Diamondbacks should be pretty well set from front to back.
Starting pitching for Arizona leaves a bit to be desired, but there’s some talent and name recognition here. Madison Bumgarner heads things up after his 9-9 record and 3.90 ERA in 2019, and Robbie Ray will probably end up the team’s strikeout leader after his 235 Ks last season. Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen should be able to contribute a handful of wins as well, but need to try and keep those ERAs around 4.00 or so.
Pick: Going under. I don’t really like it, as the number here seems about right on. Arizona has a lot on their plate as far as competition this season however, and I can’t help but think they’ll get lost in the proverbial shuffle. The Dodgers are going to be a juggernaut once again this season, and San Francisco should be an improved team. There will be wins for the taking versus Colorado and San Diego, but with the Astros, A’s and Rangers looming in the AL West matchups I don’t think the Diamondbacks will pick up a whole lot of games there. I see Arizona finishing at about .500 and just under the projection in this strange campaign.