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Arizona Diamondbacks 2016 Preview: How many wins?

Time for our writers to put their money where their mouth is, and state how many wins they think this team has in them.

Visitors look at the former Palace of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesized the future, at the ancient archeological site of Delphi
Visitors look at the former Palace of Apollo, where the oracle once prophesized the future, at the ancient archeological site of Delphi
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

This was a "secret ballot", with the authors invited to fill in a form with their predictions, so they were not influenced by anyone else's opinion [though let's face it, anyone likely to be influenced by anything is not the kind of person we want as a SnakePit writer...] These were then collated, and the results are below. As well as a win total, people were also asked whether we'd make the post-season, and their reasoning, be it long or short. Also, so you can get an idea of previous form and whether they tend to pessimism (a negative number indicating they were below our actual wins) or optimism, is how far away they were from the actual mark in our 2015 predictions.

piratedan7 - 91 wins

Post-season? Yes, as a wild-card
2015: N/A

Because as good as we may seem to be at this point, injuries happen and there's a certain cachet to having been there and done that. Plus, it's not as if the Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Giants, Nationals, Mets or Dodgers are just gonna roll over.

Clefo - 89 wins

Post-season? Yes, as division winners
2015: -3

Cause f*** it, I'm all in. There are a lot of things that can go right for this team is things coalesce in a good way (there's also a lot that can go wrong, but let's ignore that). The team's rotation is stacked, the offense has a chance to be really good, especially if someone in the middle infield figures out how to baseball, the Dodgers' rotation is Clayton Kershaw and a bunch of hobos, and the Giants' even-year bulls*** has to end sometime. This has the potential to be one of the more exciting seasons in Diamondbacks history.

It could also be underwhelming and terrible, so the Diamondbacks need to decide if this season is "The Phantom Menace" or "The Force Awakens" in terms of anticipation/results.

freeland1787 - 86 wins
Post-season? No.
2015: N/A

My baseline for the 2016 season is 86 wins, but with some better luck in one-run games, it's quite possible they get to 94 wins and take the division and have home-field for the NLDS. The Dbacks have one of the best lineups in baseball and finally have a rotation they can win games with. Cautious optimism is the theme for the early part of the season.

Xipooo- 96 wins

Post-season? Yes, as division winners
2015: -10

I expect the offense to be just as good as last year with a bit more power despite lower numbers for Pollock. The pitching will do wonders for the team and I see a lot of games being put away early.

preston.salisbury - 85 wins
Post-season? No
2015: N/A

The Diamondbacks enter 2016 with a vastly improved rotation, but with an offense and defense that will almost certainly be worse than in 2015. While performance during Spring Training has increased optimism, they will still need almost perfect health or surprise breakout performances from depth players in order to make the postseason. That could happen, but I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 wins is most likely.

I Suppose I'm A Pessimist - 88 wins

Post-season? Yes, as a wild-card
2015: 0. Nailed it!

We have the best offense and defense in the NL, along with better pitching. I can see us playing .500 baseball for awhile, but I expect a big push late in the season.

Nate Rowan - 87 wins

Post-season? No
2015: N/A

The additions of Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, and a full year of Corbin are able to get the Diamondbacks right on the cusp of the playoffs. Goldy, Pollock, Peralta will all be all-star caliber players. However, they can't quite produce enough offense to make up for the loss of Inciarte and the offensive woes of the middle infield. In a year where the NL Central and West look to be strong again, 87 wins just won't be enough for a play-off berth.

James Attwood - 87 wins

Post-season? No
2015: N/A

With the improvements made to the pitching staff as a while, I like the team's chances to stay in games longer than last season. I also think they now have a chance to throw a number of shut-down games themselves. The offense is looking good this spring, but I am still very skeptical that the team is not due for some negative regression from some key performers in 2015. Paul Goldschmidt will probably have another MVP-caliber season. A.J. Pollock may have another strong year in him. I expect both to slide at least some though, if not much. Others, like Castillo and Peralta worry me a bit more. Their games are less rounded out. They may still be strong positive contributors, but I am not buying that they beat last season's numbers by any noticeable margin.

On the flip-side I expect improved performances from Jake Lamb and the middle infield. I think these improvements could offset a good majority of the losses from the stronger performers.

Left field will be a big part of the success or failure for this team. The team need Tomas+Brito to offset the loss of Ender Inciarte. I'm still a bit worried that they will be hard-pressed to match the 2015 level of production that Inciarte provided. I need to see more of a healthy Tomas in MLB action.

Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives and that the team improves on last year's push that had them finishing just short of a .500 record. At the same time, I think this team got cold feet after signing Greinke, and fell short of doing enough to pick up those marginal wins necessary to win a divisional title.

Makakilo - 89-92 wins (damn bet hedger!)

Post-season? Yes, as division winners
2015: N/A

Compared to 2015, pitching improves dramatically. Top three starters are a powerhouse – Greinke, Miller, and Corbin.

Compared to 2015, weaknesses at second and third become strengths. Lamb, Ahmed, Segura, Owings, Gosselin, and Drury provide both strength and depth at second, third, and shortstop.

The outstanding core players are young and are back this year.

The door is wide-open for the Diamondbacks to win the Division. I project the Giants at 87.5 wins, which is marginally better than last year. I project the Dodgers at 85 wins, mostly caused by degraded starting pitching and weak relief pitching.

My optimistic prediction is 92 wins, which does not include an injury or performance slump. A more detailed explanation of my optimistic prediction can be read at:

A more realistic prediction would include an injury and a performance slump. For some positions, the Diamondbacks have a quality player ready to step in. The Diamondbacks will be in contention, raising the possibility that funds could be found for an addition to fill-in for an injured player. Therefore, my realistic projection is 89 wins. Will that be enough to win the NL West? Yes!

Jim McLennan - 88 wins

Post-season? Yes, as a wild-card
2015: -5

This is one of those questions where my heart is pulling strongly in one direction, but my head is yelling something about restraint. We've been optimistic before, and been disappointed - but the sense of excitement and anticipation for 2016 seems above any beyond anything in recent memory. Will that mean the subsequent disappointment is worse?

As mentioned in the preview conclusions, I think we will need a couple of things to break the team's way to push to the next level. These aren't impossible: any two of Tomas blossoming, Segura rebounding or Miller developing would probably push Arizona right into the heart of the division race. But there is equal scope for downside: injuries, especially to key players like Pollock, Goldschmidt or Greinke, could have a very significant negative impact. The error bars on my prediction this year are certainly bigger than for quite some time, and nothing from 75-95 wins would seem outside the bounds of possibility.

That said, I think our rotation is enormously improved all round, going from the biggest weakness to one of the best in the league. If that's not worth half a dozen extra wins, I'll be surprised, and even if losing Inciarte will hurt, the slack can be taken up elsewhere on the diamond. If the team stays healthy, they'll be there or thereabouts, and the prospect of meaningful baseball in September is quite exciting, isn't it? If not... Well, this team will become the poster child for why spring W-L records are meaningless!

Turambar - 91 wins

Post-season: Yes, as division winners
2015: +6

The Dbacks will crush their enemies, see them driven before them and hear the lamentations of the women. As was foretold in the Scrolls of Skelos.

Steven Burt - 73 wins

Post-season: No
2015: +1

Despite the success of the team in Spring Training, things will go wrong in just about every way for the D-backs in 2016. Injuries to key players, off-season acquisitions will disappoint and players who have no business starting will continue to be given chances to underperform. In the end, you have a disaster of a season that will leave more questions than answers and a front office that will continue to follow the beat of its own drum.

John Baragona - 91 wins

Post-season: Yes, as division winners
2015: -9

Dbacks are undervalued across the board. Many more opportunities IMHO to exceed projections than to underperform. I think they win the division going away.

soco - 95 wins

Post-season: Yes, as division winners
2015: -4

New uniform magic!

imstillhungry95 - 90 wins

Post-season: Yes, as division winners
2015: -7

I personally think the Wild Card is going to be a tough path for any team this year, what with the Cubs, Cards, and Pirates probably all fighting for it. We can't count on beating all three of them plus others As for the division, I see it coming down to us and the Giants. The Dodgers are already fighting injuries, and after Kershaw, there just isn't a whole lot in their rotation. Ultimately, its going to come down to is the off season acquisitions of Grienke+Miller better than Cueto+Alphabet Soup. My money is on the D'backs there.


With guesses from 73 all the way up to 96, I think we've probably got the range covered. However, only one person had the D-backs winning below 86 games, with the others clustered in the high eighties or low to mid nineties.Two-thirds of respondents think the team will make the post-season, though this obviously reflects a certain degree of fan optimism.  It's certainly a far distance from this time last year, when only person thought we would even reach .500. Our average estimate there proved five games too low, and hopefully that will be the case again this year. If it is, I think we'll be in good shape, because adding them up (and giving Makakilo the middle of his range!) we get:

Overall average: 88.5 wins.