This was a team that was actually supposed to be competitive in 2016. After acquiring Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller in the offseason, the team looked to have fixed their biggest weakness, but things didn’t go as planned. The offense took a step back with A.J. Pollock and David Peralta playing in just 60 combined games while Greinke didn’t live up to the hype and Miller completely bombed.
This time around, expectations are way down for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ranking amongst the worst teams in the NL last year and winning just one more game than the last place Padres, Arizona has a lot of ground to make up to get even back to respectability let alone .500 or beyond.
2016 Record: 69-93
2016 Moneyline Record: -20.41 Units
2016 Over/Under Total Record: 89-67-6
Current World Series Odds: +6388
Current Odds To Win NL: +3563
Current Odds To Win NL West: +1632
Regular Season Win Total: 77.5
Generally in baseball, it starts and ends with pitching and the Diamondbacks had none of that last year. As noted, Greinke struggled, pitching to a 4.37 ERA in an injury shortened season. The team wasn’t expecting a repeat of his league leading 1.66 ERA of 2015, but nobody saw this much regression coming.
Given the poor year, expectations are tempered a bit more for Greinke in 2017, but he’ll still need to pitch better given his hefty contract and if the D-Backs are going to surprise anyone, he’ll need to be the ace of this staff.
Behind him, Arizona added Taiwan Walker from the Mariners while sending Jean Segura up to Seattle. Walker—like the Diamondback’s own Archie Bradley—has been a hyped young starter for a few years now and the Diamondbacks are hoping to tap into both pitchers’ potential to help form would could be a solid rotation. The only problem is, everything has to break right. That means, further growth for Walker and Bradley, an ERA closer to half of the 6.15 mark Miller pitched to last year. In addition to those four arms, the team also has Robbie Ray—who showed good stuff last year and a high number of strikeouts, but still managed to lose 15 games and pitch to a 4.90 ERA—and Patrick Corbin who had 13 losses and a 5.15 ERA.
Looking at the rotation optimistically, it’s a veteran ace at the top a collection of talented young arms in the middle with some veteran depth in the person of Corbin who himself has had a couple very strong seasons.
Even if the rotation comes together as Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo have drawn it up, the bullpen still leaves them a bit short in the pen. They added Fernando Rodney in the offseason to help the youngsters, but he’s not exactly a known commodity at his point in his career. Outside of him, the rest of the pen is a lot like the rotation: good young arms, without the major league success.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks were one of the better hitting teams in the NL last year and were even better than that in 2015 with a full season of Pollock and Peralta added to Paul Goldschmidt.
The outfielders should see more action in 2017 barring another big injury and that’s huge. Pollock is one of the best outfielders in the game with back-to-back monster seasons before last year between he and Goldschmidt, Arizona has one of the better offensive duos in the sport. Goldschmidt is a legitimate stud who doesn’t get enough credit despite being one of the top five to ten hitters in the sport. Along with great power, he brings speed, on base capability and consistency to the dish. In what was a down year for him in 2016, he still had a .899 OPS, 24 home runs and 32 steals.
Joining Peralta and Pollock in the outfield will be Yasmany Tomas who has an oblique strain, but should be a bit contributor to this team even if he starts on the DL. He had a big second half, finally showing why he was so hyped as an international free agent a couple years back.
The weakest spot on this team is behind the plate. The team opted to not tender Welington Castillo a contract, instead, they’ll go with Jeff Mathis and Chris Iannetta behind the dish. They can, however, get away with that as they have a thumper at third in Jake Lamb and a couple talented middle infielders in Brandon Drury, who impressed in limited playing time last year, and Nick Ahmed who has been garnering trade interest. If dealt, it opens up an everyday spot for Chris Owings or Ketel Marte.
Once again, this looks to be a very strong offensive club. They lost Segura after a huge year, but a full season of Drury and the returns of Pollock and Peralta more than make up the difference.
The issue for this team is, once again, pitching. The rotation has the building blocks to be pretty darn good, but it’s unrealistic to expect them all to pitch their best seasons. Still, it’s hard to not imagine some level of improvement there, unfortunately, the bullpen doesn’t seem strong enough to expect them to hold close leads with any consistency.
April 2-6: vs. Giants
April 7-9: vs. Indians
April 10-12: at Giants
April 14-17: at Dodgers
April 18-20: at Padres
April 21-23: vs. Dodgers
April 24-27: vs. Padres
April 28-30: vs. Rockies
The Diamondbacks will get to kick their season off at home against a couple tough opponents in the Giants and the Indians. Both of those teams have much deeper, and proven, rotations than the Diamondbacks and will test the Arizona hitters who will hopefully be more than ready after an extended spring training due to the World Baseball Classic.
As the season progresses, we see that the first couple weeks of the season aren’t favorable for the Diamondbacks as they play 13 games, spread over four different series against playoff teams from a season ago.
View this years MLB game match-ups with the complete seasonal schedule for all MLB teams. Each year we will be updating the season schedule with the current information including final scores, so bookmark this page.
The 2017 Major League Baseball season is tentatively set to begin on April 2, 2017, and feature three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, which will be ESPN's first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year.
The 88th MLB All-Star Game will be hosted by the Miami Marlins and will be played at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017. It will be televised nationally on Fox.
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