Coming into September, it’s hard not to have the Dodgers as the favorites to win the World Series this year. Their pitching staff is anchored by Kershaw; their lineup features stars such as Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Chris Taylor. They also have the best record by far in the majors at 92-43.
So why Arizona? They currently have a seven game lead in the wild card race, which means they have to play the vaunted one game playoff scenario. They currently have a nine game win streak and have had the lead in ballgames for over 57 innings straight, but their current hot streak is not the reason I think Arizona goes all the way.
Let’s start with Arizona’s lineup, the addition of J.D Martinez has made it one of the best in the Major Leagues. After a disappointing 2016 campaign, David Peralta has nailed down the leadoff spot with a .298 average. The 3-6 punch of: Lamb, Goldy, Martinez, and Pollock is arguably the best in the game. Even LA’s great lineup can’t beat the power/average combo the Diamondbacks have.
One of the biggest reasons the Diamondbacks are where they are today is their pitching staff has returned to form. Last year was a disaster for their pitching, but the resurgence of Greinke, the breakout of Robbie Ray, and the return of Patrick Corbin have made the Diamondbacks a team not to be trifled with. Greinke is currently 16-6 with a 3.08 ERA; Ray is 11-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 170 strikeouts. Having two competent pitchers can propel you into the playoffs, but with Patrick Corbin having 13 wins with a 3.83 ERA, the Dbacks have the three pitchers needed to get them through the playoffs.
Of course, like with almost any team, the Diamondbacks have their weakness, and that is the bullpen. The bullpen can simply not compete with what the Los Angeles Dodgers have. The only pitcher they really can rely on is the breakout star Archie Bradley. You never know what you will get from their closer Fernando Rodney, and then you have a mixed bag of guys like J.J Hoover, Andrew Chafin and others.
The bottom line? The Diamondbacks have some weaknesses, but their lineup and pitching is good enough for a deep run into the playoffs, this is one team you shouldn’t sleep on.
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