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Preview #150: Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Franciso Giants

With 13 games left, the D-backs have already won the sixth-most number of games in franchise history. How high might they go?

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

David Peralta - LF Denard Span - CF
Chris Iannetta - C Joe Panik - 2B
Jake Lamb - 3B Austin Slater - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Brandon Crawford - SS
J.D. Martinez - RF Jarrett Parker - RF
Daniel Descalso - 2B Pablo Sandoval - 1B
Ketel Marte - SS Nick Hundley - C
Rey Fuentes - CF Ryder Jones - 3B
Taijuan Walker - RHP Chris Stratton - RHP

Here are the top six seasons by Diamondbacks’ wins.

  1. 1999, 100 wins
  2. 2002, 98 wins
  3. 2011, 94 wins
  4. 2001, 92 wins
  5. 2007, 90 wins
  6. 2017, 87 wins so far

With 13 games left, none of them scheduled to be against teams above .500 (the final series against the Royals still has a shot - they’re currently two below .500), I would expect number #5 and #4 to be surpassed relatively easily. If the team continues at its current overall win-pace (.584), that would give them 7.6 wins, so they have a decent shot at getting past #3 as well. Indeed, you could argue we should use the D-backs’ winning percentage against sub-.500 teams, given the upcoming schedule. They are 48-27 there, which is a .640 W% and projects to 8.3 additional wins the rest of the way, giving slightly more margin for error.

Of course, there is a case that, once the team has clinched both a wild-card spot and home-field advantage, they may take the foot off the gas a bit. It’s quite possible that the final series in Kansas City will be entirely meaningless for both sides. I can see Torey Lovullo running out line-ups that will be more familiar to Reno Aces’ fans than Arizona Diamondbacks’ ones, as he rests the everyday guys for the post-season. I am perfectly fine with that: imagine the anguish if, god forbid, someone significant was hurt in those meaningless contests. Once home-field is locked up, the playoffs then become what matters, not the team’s ranking on a meaningless list.

But it would be a startling achievement, considering where the team was. Getting to 95 wins would be a 26-game turnaround from last year. But that seems to have been the “Diamondbacks way”, and would only be the third-biggest turnaround in team history. For the 2007 team were +29, and the 1999 one a startling +35. Though particularly in the latter case, there was a lot of money spent and a lot of new players. This year, with the exception of Taijuan Walker and the catchers, it’s largely the same roster which flopped so badly last year. They’re just playing much better, which I’d say is an enormous tribute to Torey Lovullo and the coaching staff.