Charlie Gebow: 73
This team was very bad on offense in the last part of the year. Their two historically best hitters left via trade/free agency. There’s gonna be a lot of 3-1 games unless somebody steps up. I’m not too confident in that. Things could fall apart pretty fast.
Michael McDermott: 78
I get the sense this is a team that really doesn’t know which way they want to go. They’re not going to commit to a rebuild season and they’re certainly not going all in. This team doesn’t have star power on the roster, but it has a bunch of average to slightly above average production guys. I get the feeling this team will finish about 3rd in the division but will be out of the race by the end of June anyway.
Christian Walker. His name spells doom. His bat unmakes dreams. He supplants himself as the everyday 1st baseman after game two of the season and after that....glory.
Jack Sommers: 77
Vegas over/unders are 75.5, but FG has 79 and BP has 81. I’m in between.
Offense improves to 721 runs (2018 league average).
- Hitting Coach Darnell Coles is an optimist!
- New hitting coaches will focus on making hitting more consistent – which was a big problem in 2018. Hitting was inconsistent. Two examples follow. 19% of D-back runs were scored in the first inning, while 6% of runs were scored in the ninth inning. May hitting (2.85 runs per game) and June hitting (5.43 runs per game) were 2 standard deviations apart.•: Addition of Adam Jones. In an interview with Jody Foster, he indicated the team goal is 800 runs! WOW! Maybe the D-backs will score more than 721 runs! He hit very well in spring training!
- A small bounce back of Souza, although it may be transformational. Jeff Wiser wrote that Souza’s 43.8% hard-hit rate was above his career average, but his grounders had better results than his fly balls. Perhaps Souza will show he can excel in two types of hitting - power/RBI hitting and on-base hitting.•: More players with flexibility in positions they can play will help offense due to strategic changes before and during each game.
- As a team, offense will regress to the mean (which is an increase in runs). 720 runs In 2015, 752 runs in 2016, 812 runs in 2017, 693 runs in 2018. 2018 was an anomaly – in the previous 3 years the lowest runs was 720.
Defense allows 683 runs. Instead of allowing 77 runs under league average (2018), this season will achieve 38 runs-allowed under league average.
- Loss of Goldschmidt.
- Loss of Pollock. New playing surface should help in CF, keeping the drop in defense better than it would have been. •: Uncertainty of Marte’s defense in CF.
- Uncertainty of Flores defense at second base. •: Mitigating the worse defense are two factors: position flexibility and the outfield depth.
With 721 runs scored and 683 runs allowed, the Pythagorean projection is 85.0 wins. Let’s look at luck to complete my prediction. In last two seasons, D-backs performed 3.6 and 4.3 wins below Pythagorean. Instead of the usual under-performance, what if the D-backs achieve 4 wins above Pythagorean?
LUCK RAISED MY PREDICTION FROM 85 WINS TO 89 WINS. Luck accrues to players who are optimistic and prepared, in other word players with winning attitudes. The D-backs have three major reasons to be lucky:
- By trading Goldschmidt, the nature of the team changed – the team is now dominated by middle performers. According to an Air-Force-study talked about in the book Top Dog, that type of team will dramatically surpass expectations.
- Greg Holland is a better closer than Boxberger. The impact will be in the range of 3-5 wins, assuming 25 close games in the season. Boxberger had a 69% goose-egg conversion rate. Holland’s 2018 goose-egg rate of 81% would be 3 extra wins; Holland’s 88.9% (with Nationals) goose-egg rate would be 5 extra wins.
- I predict the team will successfully adjust and change during the season. “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” -- Helmuth van Moltke. Three contributing factors are position flexibility, coaches and managers, and mental strength in players.
- Mike Hazen will never give up on winning. During the season, if needs and opportunities align, he will make winning moves.•: Torey Lovullo will never give up on success for his players. This season’s team chemistry could be amazing!
- Coaches, especially Dave McKay and Darnell Jones, will never give up on player improvement.•: The Mental Skills Department will never give up on building mental strength in players.
- The fans will never give up cheering for the Diamondbacks.
The pitching is there, but the Dbacks lack offensive depth and a full-time POWER bat. The Dbacks have a rough schedule the first couple of months and face some BIG teams early on in the season. In order to win games, the Dback’s pitching staff must perform above league average, and the offense is going to have to find ways to move runners and scratch across some runs. I predict the team will lack in the slugging department and that defense may take a slight step back.
Keegan Thompson: 72
”I think the likelihood of this team finishing around .500 is slim to none. The D’backs are going to finish around 10 games either over or under .500. Mike Hazen has given himself the flexibility to evaluate where the team is before the trade deadline. If it’s obvious that Arizona is out of the playoff race by that point, we’ll likely see the departure of key players including but not limited to: David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, and Jake Lamb. Conversely, Hazen could make significant additions around the deadline if he likes the team’s performance to that point.
My personal opinion is that the D’backs will have a challenging time being nearly as good as they were last season and will finish around 72 wins. Too many things have to break in the right direction for this team to make the playoffs. My biggest concern is replacing last year’s contributions from Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin. A.J. Pollock was injured so often his loss is kind of “meh” in my opinion despite the value he produced when healthy.
I’m optimistic that Robbie Ray could have a nice bounce back. Luke Weaver and Carson Kelly have a chance to heal the sting of losing Goldy. On the other hand, what if Lamb’s shoulder surgery saps his power and thus any offensive value? What if Peralta and Ahmed regress from last season? There’s also not much depth in the minors to pull from when injury inevitably strikes. If I were Hazen, I’d have opted for the rebuild before this season began, but I won’t be criticizing him if the team surprises and makes the playoffs.”
Wesley Baier: 92
In addition to guys like Ketel Marte who I think are primed to break out this season, I think the Diamondbacks have some very underrated, talented prospects that could impact the the team’s performance much more than anyone would expect, as long as those guys somehow reach the majors. I am talking about guys like Jazz Chisholm, Jon Duplantier, Taylor Widener, Taylor Clarke, Daulton Varsho, et cetera who could really surprise this year if given the chance. TLDR: I’m optimistic about the youth of our team.
Steven Burt: 75
The tools are there to compete for the D-backs in 2019. The defense and pitching will carry this team to contention deep in the season but can they sustain that when the offense struggles to keep up and teams start asking about Greinke and Ray? I’m not so sure. It doesn’t help this offense lost an MVP-caliber 1st baseman and another solid centerfielder.
James Attwood: 73
The team limped to 82-80 last season despite the presences of Goldschmidt, Pollock, Corbin, Descalso, and Mathis on the team. This team is even more starved for depth than that unit was. I figure the team goes into hard sell mode at the deadline, making finishing at .500 a monumental task unless every prospect called upon performs as well as can be hoped for..
I’m not particularly optimistic about this season. I think the offense is a series of question marks, the defense is going to be tough, at least compared to the high standard we’ve had the past few seasons, and outside Greinke, Ray, and Hirano, the pitching is nothing impressive.
However, I do think that it’s good enough that they won’t be completely out of it by the deadline. Hazen might even make a couple of small “buy” moves. In the end though I think the same problems the team faced last year with burn out will be even worse, and they’ll end up falling off even harder.
On the flip side, if you squint hard enough, you can see a pretty decent team, so who the heck knows.
Jim McLennan: 78
I actually think 78 is an unlikely figure, but it’s where I’d draw the over-under line. I suspect we’ll probably not end up within five games of that: we’ll either be significantly better, or considerably worse. I can see Hazen hovering over the big red button in the GM’s suite, especially with the tough first month’s schedule, and if things go pear-shaped, we will shift into sale mode. But if we get through April in good shape, then we could be this year’s version of Oakland, if all goes well.
That will largely depend on the rotation staying healthy, with a lot riding on Merrill Kelly and Luke Weaver being what we want them to be. I tend to think the overall upside is probably lower than the downside, hence the drop of a few games in expectations compared to last season. We’ve lost all the players potentially most likely to put up huge seasons, in Goldschmidt, Pollock and Corbin. But any figure between 65 and 90 wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Sean Testerman: 85
The Diamondbacks are better than people realize and will exceed expectations. A solid lineup across the board and a still above average rotation will carry the Dbacks to a wild card hunt. Look for breakouts from Lamb, Marte, either Kelly, or Souza Jr.
Nate Rowan: 75
If healthy, I feel like this team has a fair amount of upside. I’m very excited to see what Merrill Kelly and Luke Weaver can do in the rotation, as well as what a Lamb-Walker platoon is capable of at first base. But wow, once injuries hit, this season could get ugly. I don’t feel like the team has any quality depth outside of the middle infield. However, I do expect to enjoy the season despite the low chances of a playoff berth. The prospect of a new era beginning this year gets me a bit giddy.
With the loss of Goldie, Corbin, and AJ, we’ve just lost too many good players to make a serious run at the playoffs again. I think Greinke will also lose another step this year due to age creeping in, and the fact he knows he’s been shopped around but no one is willing to pay the big price tag.
Sadly, this offseason’s moves, such as the were, cannot convince me at this point that we will even play .500 ball. I very much hope to be proven wrong, but we traded away Goldy for two perhaps-ready-for-prime-time lottery tickets, we got nothing but a compensatory draft pick for Pollock (our two main engines on offense last year), and we lost Corbin, last year’s most reliable member of the starting staff, as well. The additions of Merrill Kelly, Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver, Greg Holland, Wilmer Flores, and Adam Jones notwithstanding, the roster seems substantially less potent than it was last year.
Averaging the sixteen guesses above, we get an mean of 79 wins (actually 78.9), with a low of 71, a high of 95, the most popular choice being 75 and the median (half below, half above) sitting at 76 wins. It should be noted that the above were all made before last night’s injury to Steven Souza. While the extent of the damage is still uncertain, on that basis, you might want to take a win off all of the above numbers. Now it’s time for you to make your bold predictions as to where the D-backs will be at the end of the season. There’s a poll for general voting, but please feel free to call a specific number in the comments.
How many wins for the 2019 Diamondbacks?
This poll is closed
Fewer than 60
92 or more