Arizona Diamondbacks 2020 Pre-Season Analysis

Arizona Diamondbacks 2020 Pre-Season Analysis

Written by on March 18, 2020

The Arizona Diamondbacks finished with a third straight winning season in 2019 but missed the playoffs for the second year in a row – it doesn’t help they reside in the same division as the powerhouse Dodgers. How are the Snakes looking for 2020? Let’s check the MLB Odds and World Series Odds for the Arizona Diamondbacks 2020 Season.

Arizona Diamondbacks 2020 Pre-Season Analysis

Arizona Diamondbacks Offensive Analysis

There look to be two new players in the every-day lineup for 2020 in center fielder Starling Marte and right fielder Kole Calhoun.

Arizona gave up two good prospects to land Marte from Pittsburgh but he fills a huge need in center field and will allow Arizona the ability to shift All-Star Ketel Marte back to second base, where he could have an easier time staying healthy. Marte is coming off a season in which he hit .295/.342/.503 with a career-high 23 homers in 586 plate appearances for the Pirates. He owns a career .287/.341/.452 line and has two years remaining on his contract.

Marte had been the longest tenured and best compensated member of the Pirates. Over the last three seasons, he’s averaged 17 home runs and 26 stolen bases while hitting .284/.334/.458 (111 OPS+). Those numbers are skewed by a suspension-shortened 2017, as he was a below-average hitter that season for the first (and thus far only) time in his career.

Calhoun got a two-year free agent deal. Calhoun hit .232 with a career-high 33 home runs and 74 RBIs in 152 games for the Angels last season, a nice bounce-back year after he struggled in 2018. The 32-year-old right fielder is a clear fit for the D-backs, who needed a corner outfielder after they non-tendered Steven Souza Jr. at the beginning of December.

Ketel Marte, meanwhile, is one of the most underappreciated players in the majors – he’s not related to Starling. Ketel Marte was leading the National League with 187 hits when he was shut down for Arizona last September with a back issue, batting .329 with 32 homers and 92 RBIs. Crazy numbers from a guy who was coming off a nice 2018 season in which he hit .260/.332/.437, and after hitting just eight home runs his first three seasons in the majors.

Third baseman Eduardo Escobar is also a terrific player. In 2019, Escobar had a career year by slashing .269/.320/.511 with 35 HR, 118 RBI, 94 R, 50 BB, and five steals in 636 at-bats over 158 games. He set career-highs in each of the above-mentioned counting stats and had 70 more at-bats last year than in any previous season.

While Escobar did set career highs in exit velocity (87.8 mph) and hard-hit rate (31.5%), they were not impressive numbers. The exit velocity was only .3 mph above league average and the hard-hit rate was three full points below league average.

Arizona Diamondbacks Pitching Analysis

Arizona has a new ace in Madison Bumgarner, a former World Series MVP of the division-rival Giants. Last year, the southpaw went 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA (90 ER in 207.2 IP), 2.45 opponent average, 1.13 WHIP, 203 strikeouts and 43 walks in a career-high-tying 34 starts for the Giants. MadBum tied for the NL lead in starts and finished second in innings pitched.

Bumgarner is a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion whose career 3.13 ERA is third among active pitchers, behind the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (2.44) and Red Sox’s Chris Sale (3.03).

Fellow lefty Robbie Ray has as good of stuff as anyone and could be in line for a big season with free agency up next. Will Arizona trade him this season in order to get something back for the pitcher or will the Diamondbacks be content to hold onto him and see how the season plays out? Ray went 12-8 with a 4.34 ERA for the Diamondbacks last season, striking out 235 and walking 84 in 174.1 innings.

The closer is Archie Bradley, a one-time top starting pitching prospect. Last year, he was 4-5 with 18 saves, 7 holds, a 3.52 ERA (28 ER in 71.2 IP), .246 opponent average, 87 strikeouts and 36 walks in 66 appearances. He set a career high for strikeouts as a reliever (85) and averaged a career-best 10.93 strikeouts-per-9.0 IP.

Arizona Diamondbacks Offseason Movements

  • Arizona Diamondbacks Notable additions: SP Madison Bumgarner, OF Kole Calhoun, RP Junior Guerra, SP Edwin Jackson, OF Jon Jay, OF Starling Marte, OF Trayce Thompson, C Stephen Vogt.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Notable subtractions: RP Matt Andriese (LAA), IF Wilmer Flores (SF), RP Yoshihisa Hirano (SEA), OF Adam Jones (Japan), OF Steven Souza Jr. (CHC), OF Jarrod Dyson (PIT).

Arizona Diamondbacks Season Odds

Diamondbacks +6600 for World Series and +2400 for pennant.