Dano_in_Tucson: 90 wins
Simply put, I’m choosing to be an optimist here, to perhaps an unrealistic degree, but so be it. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I wasn’t nearly as surprised as a lot of folks as to how 2017 turned out, and while we didn’t manage to hold onto Just Dingers, we in many respects upgraded our outfield with Souza (he’s hurt right now, I know, I know, but optimism, right?) and Dyson, and I’m fairly convinced that Lovullo and Hazen are gifted enough to encourage our team to perform at a level superior to the sum of its parts. So here’s hoping!
Keegan Thompson: 83.5 wins
The National League West as a whole is an improved division, and should be highly entertaining to watch all season. While the San Fransisco Giants are not nearly as bad as they were last season, and even though they made moves to improve their roster, I do not see them as a better team than the Diamondbacks. They will be without MadBum for at least the first two months of the season, and Jaws will begin the season on the DL as well. Those are two key cogs in their rotation, and Cueto has had his share of injury concerns in the past. I’d put the Giants close to 78 wins.
The San Diego Padres will probably finish in the cellar, but I expect improved play from them due to age and experience. No longer the punching bag of the division, the Padres should be able to steal wins from the other four teams. I expect the Dodgers to repeat as NL West Division Champs provided they are not ravaged by injury. However, I think it will be difficult for them to finish over 100 wins this season. My “hot take” of the season is that the Colorado Rockies’ gold plated bullpen turns out to be a counterfeit, and they seriously regret spending as much money as they did on bullpen arms by mid-season. The Arizona Diamondbacks, for only the second time in their franchise history, make the Postseason for a consecutive year by squeaking out a Wild Card.
Michael McDermott: 84 wins
This team if healthy the rest of the way can win the top NL Wild Card, but I’m not too optimistic about the team’s chances of staying healthy enough to stay in the Wild Card race.
Makakilo: 90 wins
In stark contrast to last season, many changes are in-place for this season. One game-changer is the humidor. Team strengths and weaknesses are changed because of new players (Avila, Souza, Dyson, Hirano, Boxberger, Suarez, Salas,…).
Based on last season’s runs-scored and runs-allowed, Baseball Reference’s Pythagorean projected wins was 96.3. That number was close to the actual wins (93). For this season, let’s predict the changed runs allowed and changed runs scored, and use those numbers to predict season wins.
The primary cause for last season’s success was run prevention. The D-backs allowed the third lowest run total (659, which was 94 runs below average) in the Majors. That impact was larger than ranking eighth in runs scored (812, which was 59 runs above average) in the Majors. With that context, let’s look at this season’s major changes.
- The humidor will reduce runs allowed (and runs scored).
- Better outfield defenders (Souza & Dyson) will reduce runs allowed.• High ceiling relievers (Hirano and Boxberger) will reduce runs allowed.
- 100% retention of last season’s starting rotation, which was ranked #2 in the Majors (wins above average of 13.7) will reduce runs allowed.
All of these changes will work together to reduce run allowed. I predict a reduction from 659 to 600 runs allowed.
That reduced runs allowed is at risk because the Diamondbacks lack immediate depth in starting pitching. Banda was traded. Some starting pitchers (like Shelby Miller) who are not immediately ready will be ready at some point during the season. Therefore, the potential impact gets smaller as the season progresses.
Last season, the D-backs scored 59 runs above league average over the 162 game season. Those 59 extra runs are less than half a run per game. The team added a hitting strategy coach. That makes sense because adding a half-run-per-game would be huge! Nevertheless, for several reasons (including the loss of JD Martinez’s 65 RBIs, and the humidor), I predict the D-backs’ runs scored will fall from 812 to 712.
In summary, I predict 712 runs scored and 600 runs allowed. Those numbers provide a Pythagorean projection of 93.6 wins. Last season, the D-backs won 3.3 games less than the projection. To be conservative, I subtract 3.3 games from 93.6 wins. My projection is 90 wins.
Wesley Baier: 96 wins
This is pretty much the same core team as last year, so I am just going to go with their Pythagorean w-l. I think that Pollock is going to be playing out of his mind for a contract and will have a career year. I think Peralta will be above average again after a couple down years, just like Pollock, minus the contract situation. The improved defense brought by Dyson and Souza when he comes back will more thank make up for the loss of JD Martinez, once you factor in the latter’s awfal defense. I think things will work themselves out, and we will have a good team again this year.
Hazzard21: 91 wins
Pitching will be better and hitting won’t be as great at home with the humidor. Missing Souza for a bit hurts but overall I think we’re about the same as last years team
Jim McLennan: 90 wins
I get the feeling the pitching will regress a bit from the stellar heights achieved last year. In particular, the lack of depth will make it tougher to sustain the vast improvement of 2017. However, I’m a bit more confident about the bullpen, and think the position players will generally be able to keep things together going forward. Last year’s roster was actually a bit better than their record, by Pythag, and that should help cushion the blow of regression. Still, a couple of games off would not surprise me, though I predict another season of contention, and fingers crossed, a further play-off appearance.
CumulusChoir: 92 wins
The fate of this season comes down to two factors: starting pitching and overall team health. If Godley and Walker can take the next step, Corbin continues his success from the end of last season, and the team can maintain a reasonable level of health, 92 wins is a conservative estimate. If not, we may be looking at 92 losses instead. I’m expecting one of those things not to happen, which is why I’m gunning for 92. Optimistic? Sure. Unrealistic? Not in the slightest.
I’ve seen some concern regarding the lack of JD Martinez’s bat to protect Goldy, and while yeah, 45 homers (29 in the second half alone!) isn’t easy to replace, the acquisition of Steven Souza Jr. really was the best possible way to make JD’s loss palatable. In 2017, JD put up 4.1 WAR due in part to his unbelievable second half. Souza put up 4.2. Granted, Souza played 30 more games than JD, but > 4.0 WAR is still > 4.0 WAR, and his emphasis on defense while still possessing the raw strength to hit monster dongs in a pitchers’ park speaks to just how valuable he could be in a humidorified Chase Field.
It should be a great season. I look forward to spending it with all of you. Go D-backs!
Jayego9: 95 wins
I am predicting a high number, but so much depends on injuries. Of course, the D-backs will not be injury-free, but if we can manage like last year with the injuries coming at the right times with the right players, the team will be fine. Although, counting on another Zack Godley or Ketel Marte or Just Dingers filling in gaps may take some luck. The starting rotation is just too good to be a below .500 team. The bullpen looks improved. The offense should score runs. Even an injury to one rotation member at a time will still make for a good rotation with whoever is replacement.
Charlie Gebow: 92 wins
This is pretty much the same team as most of last year, nobody else in the NL really got that much better, and it’s not like we can have a third straight post-playoff appearance year with annoying regression, right?
Xipooo: 85 wins
I fear we’ll have some regression pitching wise this year and perhaps a key injury. We lost some bats in the lineup during the off-season, and pre-season. I still don’t see sustainable protection for Goldie in the lineup.
Turambar: 96 wins
The time is nigh!
Nate Rowan: 85 wins
I am not too worried about a significant drop in offensive production, even with the departure of J.D. Martinez. However, I expect significant regression from the starting pitchers. Every single member of the rotation had an ERA better than their career average last year. You could make the argument that they all figured something out and will improve even more this year, but I believe at least one of the pitchers will regress. Regression from the pitching staff, coupled with the lack of depth in case of injury, will cause the D-Backs to just miss out on a wild-card berth.
Alexander Boxwell: 85 wins
The loss of JD will prove somewhat costly. With that being said, the return of Shelby Miller and a more bullpen options could allow this team to be a lot more balanced in 2018.
ISH95: 96 wins
I’m really optimistic about the team’s chances, to be honest. I see them as the clear second best team in the division, and in my opinion, they’re going to end up closer to the Dodgers than they will the third place team. I wasn’t a huge fan of the moves the Giants made, and then the injuries to Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Smarzdja put them even further back. The Rockies went all in on their bullpen, which is an interesting choice for a team that hasn’t had a good pitching staff really at any point during the time I’ve followed baseball. The Padres might be a dark horse good team, but until they prove they aren’t a joke, I’m going to keep on assuming they will be.
Aside from the weaknesses in the rest of the division, I think what we saw last season was pretty much what we expected from the team in 2016, only to be disappointed by injuries and poor management. The improvements Hazen made to the outfield are not insignificant. He got a lot of interesting pieces for the bullpen, and all the improvements we made really only cost us Banda as far as prospects go, leaving the rest of our farm system either to provide reinforcements or get us a missing piece at the deadline.
All in all, I like where we are as a team, and think we’re well positioned to take advantage of what remains of our current window of contention with our main core.
James Attwood: 87 wins
This is largely the same team that won 93 games last season, so I could honestly see them doing so again. I’m really thinking 87-90 wins, but if I have to pick a number, I tend to err on the low side. Pitching depth concerns me. A big part of 2017’s success was the pitching. If anyone stumbles this season, or does worse and gets injured, this team is not as “”well-equipped”” as it was to handle the situation as it was last yer. That’s saying something, as the team actually turned to T.J. McFarland to start a game last season, that’s how stretched they were for proper depth. A healthy, effective return of Shelby Miller and development of Hirano and Box into a dynamic duo could pump the win-total up a few. So could Pollock staying healthy all season.
This is going to be a better defensive team this season. However, the offense, as we saw in spring, can disappear in a hurry, and even stay lost for a bit. The Diamondbacks are going to need to stay consistent when it comes to offense. Extreme highs followed by extreme lows is going to tax the bullpen to match things. Playing solid defense while also performing at a steady, reasonably expected level at the plate will be a big deal.
If health and regression favour the Diamondbacks, they could win 93 again. I think their thin pitching probably costs them 3-5 games though. So I’m going 87.
The average of the sixteen predictions above was 89.84 wins, so the SnakePit is collectively calling for a 90-win season. Now, it’s time for you to make your prediction. Can you be as accurate as BenSharp last year?
Below is a poll with some general bands of possible win totals. But feel free to pick a specific number in the comments, and explain how you came to that conclusion!
How many regular-season wins for the 2018 Diamondbacks?
This poll is closed
77 or less