Keegan Thompson: 74
Still think pitching is the largest opportunity with the team and may ultimately be the Achilles heel. Not confident that the team did enough in that area to improve on their results from last season. It’s pretty well known that the young position players are the strength of the team, so expect no surprises from that group. The only factor that I could see pushing this team above .500 is if young pitchers Drey Jameson, Ryne Nelson, Tommy Henry, and Brand Pfaddt prove that they have staying power in an MLB rotation. That’s a tall ask.
Steven Burt: 75
I’m just not a believer in the starting rotation and bullpen, despite the improvements in the latter. Gallen and Kelly are good starts, but 3/5ths of the rotation are question marks. Bumgarner and Davies are way below average, and the young guys have promise but because you’re penciling in those two giving you ~60ish starts you’re stuck with one spot for Jameson, Nelson, and Pfaadt to get valuable starting experience so they’re ready when your team is gearing up for postseason contention.
On offense you’re expecting growth from all your young outfielders, which isn’t guaranteed, as well as sustainment from Walker who’s entering his decline years of the aging curve and Rojas, who struggled a bit in the 2nd half. Ketel Marte didn’t show much in the WBC, and while I’m excited to see Ahmed again after Perdomo, you’re a defense first SS coming off a shoulder surgery. Call it a pessimistic view, but I don’t see this team being the Wild Card surprise that others see.
Spencer O’Gara: 85
I think this team is better than last year. I think the young players can/will overcome the drags on the roster (Madbum/Longo). I won’t be surprised to see them in the playoff race late in the season. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the same win range as last season of development doesn’t happen super quickly
I have high hopes for the team and especially the youth movement. Torey may manage a 500 or even 500 + team with the talent available, or he may over-manage himself into another losing season. I would keep the leashes very short for players like MadBum, Davies, Ahmed, Longoria etc. If they cannot perform to expectations or better, then Torey has to be quick to let someone else get the playing time/starts. Is the team World Series bound? Not very likely. But the team can compete and put a fun, exciting, winning product on the field. Torey, if you’re reading this, please do not be “Torey too nice” Crack the damn whip, sit someone if needed, and manage. Sometimes it’s not the decision you make...it’s how long it takes you to make it.
Last season the Diamondbacks finished with 74 wins, so it is obvious that is the floor for this season. The ceiling is high, like Makakilo has written, but I have serious doubts about the pitching corps. Gallen will be good, Kelly will be useful but everything else in that starting rotation will be a question mark and in the bullpen the question marks are even bigger, especially after reading Torey Lovullo’s quotes about it in Jack Sommer’s article. If I compare the Diamondbacks with the teams in the NL West I am sure we are better than the Rockies but I am not sure if we are better than the Giants. We are better than last year, but I have a hard time believing this team will finish at .500, so 78 is right in between.
My very super scientific glancing at the schedule month by month and writing on a napkin how many wins I think they’ll have each month and then adding it up? I have them 4-6 throuhg the first 10 games against the Padres and Dodgers. 14-15 for April/March. 15-12 in May, 13-4 in June, 10-14 in July, 14-13 in August and 12-15 in September. But seriously, glancing at it aside, I do expect to be in the mid to high 70 wins range. A couple of career years and maybe we see 84 or 85. That said, Gallen goes down or someone not producing what they should, etc it could be 72 or 73 wins. Unlike the past few years, we have guys like Pfaadt who could step up. Although, obviously, Pfaadt wouldn’t be Gallen out of the gate. We have reinforcements.
For a full explanation, see this AZ Snake Pit article. A quick summary follows:.
- Talented young players. At least one will have a breakout season..
- The rotation, although underrated, is average in the Majors..
- The bullpen will improve dramatically because pitchers who make it difficult for batters, unconventional bullpen roles, and four pitchers will likely pitch better than projected..
- The Diamondback batters will be successful for 3 reasons: because their OBPs will be high enough to create built innings, because Pavin Smith will exceed projections, and because three players were acquired to create better matchups (more hits) against left handed pitchers. .
- The Diamondbacks’ defense, always a priority, will be very strong
The youth movement matures, and with it our hopes of glory finally starts to become realized. We’ll not be looked upon as contenders yet, but the ground is being laid right before our eyes.
James Attwood: 79
The fan in me wants to peg them at 83. Also, I think that if the team fails to post a record over .500, Mike Hazen, Torey Lovullo, and a good many other analysts are going to eb unemployed. However. 79 wins would mark a five-game improvement over last season. This is going to be largely the same team that had to finish strong last season to win 74 games. Arizona’s pitching, while having reasons to be bullish for the future, still has some massive flaws. So, I’m sticking with the more sensible 79 wins. If they address some of the issues with pitching, both in the rotation as well as the bullpen before the end of May rolls around, I may adjust my total upwards a few games.
I believe the youth movement is actually starting to bear fruit, and we’re going to see the benefit of that this year. The young players who are coming up still have some maturing to do, but with the path mostly clear to them getting the majority of playing time, we will begin to experience the benefits of that.
The Diamondbacks will participate in the 2023 Playoffs. Maybe I’m being ridiculous, maybe I’m naive, but I truly believe that this team has a lot going for it right now. They are loaded with some of the most exciting young players, both hitters and pitchers, in the league. Some of those players have already made it to the bigs and were successful. There are going to be challenges, but I firmly believe that this will be the first Diamondbacks team to really be in any sort of contention since 2017.
There are, of course, plenty of question marks, as one would expect with a team that is relying on young talent to get the job done. Sure everyone, including clearly the Diamondbacks, believe that Corbin Carroll is going to be the NL ROY, but he might not. Zac Gallen might not make the writers who didn’t put him on their Cy Young ballots eat crow. Madison Bumgarner might find a way to lose multiple games in a single start. But there are enough potential positive outcomes that this team can weather some negative ones.Every year, there is a team that isn’t “”supposed to”” contend. The Diamondbacks will be that team. I will see you all in October.”
I know that basing future results based on past experience can be suspect, but I think it’s worthwhile in this case. While I am among those that would have preferred to see the D-Backs have a more aggressive approach to the offseason and free agency, I still think Hazen and the front office did enough on the margins to raise the floor of the team. In addition, I’m hopeful that the team performs better against sub-.500 teams compared to its 2022 record of 25-28.
I think that’s one area where the balanced schedule could really aid the D-Backs’ attempts to return to the postseason. Having said all of that, this clearly isn’t a complete team just yet and there are still a number of question marks around the entire roster that will likely keep this team from reaching that latter goal. But I think some solid production from the youngsters combined with some bounce-back candidates could push this team into solid contention throughout 2023.
C. Wesley Baier: 87
I think the team’s offense and defense are being underrated and the projections generally have been very conservative. I expect more than one breakout from the position players (Carroll and Moreno, specifically), and more than one breakout from our pitching prospects. If we had a rotation of Gallen, Kelly, Pfaadt, Jameson, and Nelson, I’d feel a lot more confident in my projected win total... If that is our rotation by the All-Star break, or if Madbum and Davies are at least serviceable, this team will be very good. The balanced schedule also helps, since we’re no longer playing a third of our games against the toughest division. I could just as easily see 87 losses instead of 87 wins though.
Jim McLennan: 84
The team has a lot of good, young talent which I expect to make a significant difference with a full season of play. The fact the bullpen has been almost entirely replaced after last year’s disaster is an indication of better to come. Even simply being league average will be a huge improvement, and likely worth a good handful of wins. I would have preferred to have gone full youth rather than resign Davies, but I think we’ll get there eventually. I don’t think the 2023 D-backs will quite by post-season caliber, but I think at the end of the year, we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we need to make that step.
And, finally, a guest prediction from SnakePit alumni Jack Sommers! Check out his work for Sports Illustrated on their site:
Jack Sommers: 82
This is more hope than science. I’m still working on my own updated projections, pending final roster predictions. So what I publish on my own site could end up a little different. My hope is Carson Kelly returns by June 1, not July 1. My hope is that Bumgarner and Davies either do better than their projections, or the team moves swiftly to limit their innings in favor of Nelson, Henry and Pfaadt. And my hope is that Corbin Carroll stays healthy all year and wins the rookie of the year. Young teams tend to improve. So while most of the projections systems, betting lines, and “experts” will have between 75-79 wins, the warmth and safety of being with friends at AZSnakepit is a place I can flash my optimism and hope for a winning season.
All told, that’s 15 predictions, with a range of 75 to 90 wins, and gives an average prediction by the SnakePit writers of 82.6 wins for the 2023 season. That’s considerably higher than the Vegas lines, which seem to be around 75 wins, and is even above the Pit Your Wits line, which was set at 80.5 wins. Optimism seems to be the order of the day, though it does appear most writer were cautious in their faith for the youth movement. But here’s where you get to tell us YOUR prediction. There’s a poll with some bands, but for bonus points, go on the record in the comments with a specific value, and your reasoning...
How many wins for the 2023 D-backs?
This poll is closed
70 or under
95 or more