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Predictions For Betting On Arizona Diamondbacks – National League Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/6/2013 6:27:47 PM

Football betting experts know that the Arizona Cardinals have fallen in recent years after being a playoff team. It's a similar situation with respect to Arizona's Major League Baseball club.

After surprising many analysts at online sports books with a playoff trip just a couple of seasons ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks came back down to earth a bit last season. At 81-81, the Diamondbacks finished 13 games out of first and couldn’t get the same production from the lineup they had in 2011. If the Diamondbacks don’t get career years from some players, it is hard to imagine they will contend for much more than anything other than a .500 record.

The rotation has the same names it has had the past few years. One will see whether the 2011 or 2012 version of this pitching staff shows up. When poker is played, the dealer sometimes keeps spitting out the right cards, but on other occasions, the cards don't hit the mark. The Diamondbacks fell in 2012 because they lost the dominance starter Ian Kennedy had given them in the 2011 season, and that is an ingredient which played a big part in the team’s success. Kennedy will again sit atop the rotation as the key guy to the Diamondbacks' success.

After a 21-win season with a sub-three ERA in 2011, his ERA rose to over four last year, though he managed to still put up 15 wins. Trevor Cahill was a pickup which Arizona had hoped would give the squad a reliable number two man, and while his win-loss record didn’t reflect those wishes, his innings and his ERA numbers were along the lines of what D-Backs executives were hoping for. Wade Miley proved to be the biggest surprise on the staff in 2012, as the first-year starter went 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA and had nearly a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Arizona needs at least two of those guys to step up and have big years in 2013, because there isn’t a ton of room for error.

The lineup has a major change in its appearance: Browsing over it, you’ll notice a popular name missing. The Diamondbacks dealt Justin Upton in the offseason to the Atlanta Braves in a deal that brought back Martin Prado, among others, for the young and promising outfielder. Upton represented the power bat in the Arizona lineup after a 31-home run campaign in 2011, but he fell back a little bit last year, causing the Diamondbacks to think they could sell high on his value.

Jason Kubel and Aaron Hill now take over the role of power hitter, though this is a team which didn’t have a 100-RBI guy in 2012. This year those two men – Kubel and Hill – will carry a heavy burden once again, and they'll do so on a team that doesn’t have any eye-catching names in its lineup. Prado comes over from Atlanta as a good contact hitter for certain situations, and Cody Ross will look to continue his production after a solid year in Boston.

Arizona has its work cut out for it if it has any hope of winning the N.L. West. The Diamondbacks will have to deal with the defending World Series champions from San Francisco, who figure to have a strong rotation again, as well as a Los Angeles Dodger team that has ramped up the spending in the last year and has as talented a team as nearly anyone in the National League. One or two injuries would put Arizona in pretty tough shape. Right now the ceiling for this team feels like a play-in game, with the reality likely being another postseason-less year in the desert.



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