MLB Betting Preview - Taking the under on the Arizona Diamondbacks
Welcome to our MLB preseason series in which we'll highlight some season-long win/loss prop bets on a number of different teams. With Opening Day breathing down our neck (less than a month away. Look for these coming out over the course of the next few weeks, with 6-8 teams highlighted as potentially strong bets on projected win totals going into the season. We've already covered the Reds and how their new additions could lead to a strong season. Now let's take a look at the Diamondbacks.
2018 Record: 82-80
2018 Pythagorean Record: 86-76
2019 Over/Under Wins: 75.5
Projected Starting Rotation
After making the playoffs in 2017, the Diamondbacks barely finished over .500 in 2018. Hate to break it to Arizona fans, it’s going to get worse. For starters, they traded away their best hitter in Paul Goldschmidt and lost their best pitcher in Patrick Corbin to free agency.
Goldschmidt was on his fourth-consecutive 5+ WAR season (despite being a minus in the field) thanks to a .922 OPS, 33 home runs and 13% walk rate. They’ll replace him with Jake Lamb at first, Eduardo Escobar in a more full-time role at third and Wilmer Flores should start at second.
Lamb is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer that saw him strike out at a 27% rate while finishing with an OPS under .700 in 286 plate appearances. Injuries were an issue, but he’s now a middle of the order hitter with a career 46 (!) wRC+ against lefties.
Maybe continued growth out of David Peralta (3.8 WAR, .868 OPS) helps stem some of the offensive attrition, but I have my doubts with the guy entering his age 31 season. He ran incredibly hot on the Hr/FB rate (23%) so there’s a reason to suspect he dips back down to reality.
In fact, basically the whole middle of the lineup is a platoon disaster. Peralta and Lamb can’t hit lefties and Steven Souza can’t hit righties. Should be fun.
And then there’s the loss of Patrick Corbin. The lefty is coming off easily the best season of his career, turning in a 2.61 xFIP (3.15 ERA) with an 11.07 K/9 rate and a 6.3 WAR (4th-best in the league). They replace him, essentially, with Luke Weaver who took a definitive step backwards in 2018, striking out less than eight batters per nine, walking 3.5 and turning in an ERA close to 5.00. Sure, he’s still young (25) but these numbers are a bit troubling for the young arm.
Couple that with another year on Zack Greinke’s arm as he enters his age-35 season. The control was there, but Greinke lost velocity on his fastball for the fourth-consecutive season (92.5 mph in 2015, down to 90.0 last year) and we have a guy going in the wrong direction.
The light at the end of the tunnel would be if Robbie Ray and Zack Godley regained some control and could turn in better peripheral seasons. The concern there though would be either being up at the trade deadline considering they are on 1-year contracts and pushing towards 30 years old.
This is all to say, the 75.5 win total for Arizona feels like a tough pull considering their circumstances and the direction of the franchise in general.
Recommended bet - Arizona Diamondbacks Under 75.5 wins
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