Arizona Diamondbacks Season Over/Under Wins 77.5 (5Dimes)
Heading into last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks had to look of a team ready to contend in the National League West. Following 2015's somewhat promising 79-win campaign, they went for it by bringing in a host of big name free agents -- Zack Greinke, Tyler Clippard, Shelby Miller, and Jean Segura. Expectations were fairly high with their season over/under wins lined at 81.5. The end result though was a disaster. Greinke regressed in a big way. Clippard and Miller underachieved. AJ Pollock played in only 12 games. The defense was awful. And by July it was clear the season was a wash.
This year, expectations are a bit more moderate. For starters, the front office -- which was one of the worst in MLB -- was gutted. Getting rid of GM Dave Stewart was arguably the best offseason decision the organization made. The new regime has already placed an emphasis on analytics, something Stewart had no clue about. And while this isn't going to be a quick fix situation, there are enough pieces already in place for this team to be competitive.
Last year's starting staff had the highest ERA in the National League (5.19) and the bullpen wasn't much better (4.94). As mentioned, Greinke and Miller both had their worst seasons of their careers. The same could be said for Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray. Those four pitchers combined for a 3.01 ERA in 2015. Last year, they were over two runs worse at 5.04. The good news is, the foursome, as well as newly acquired Taijuan Walker, should improve. Scouts have raved about Miller this spring. Corbin and Ray are still young and with the potential to be solid middle-of-the-rotation arms. Walker had perhaps too high of expectations placed on him in Seattle but at only 24-years-old, remains capable of being an ace in the National League. Greinke is a bit of a wild card. His odometer reads over 2,200 career innings and reports in the spring indicate his velocity is lacking. His days of bonafide ace are behind him but I still expect him to perform at an above league average level.
There are concerns however. Defensively, even with Pollack back, it's a below average unit. The bullpen also has major questions, especially with Fernando Rodney slated to close out games. And rather than "going for it" the front office appears focused on cleaning up the mess so there's the potential to cut bait late in the season. That said, I like the fact that a majority of Arizona's key players are either approaching or in their prime. If the starting staff as whole can post somewhere in between 2015 and 2016's numbers, there's a decent chance this team sticks around and finishes. 500 or better.