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2020 MLB Team Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Julian Edlow provides his thoughts on what the 60-game MLB season could look like for the Diamondbacks.

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July Update: Nothing has changed with the Diamondbacks in the transition into the shortened 60-game format, which is a positive in my eyes. While I don’t expect Arizona to contend with the Dodgers for the division, this is a dangerous team that should have a chance to grab a wild card spot. So with no players opting-out of the season, I have the same high expectations for the team. ARI to win more games than SD at -124 is one of my favorite MLB futures on DK Sportsbook.

The Diamondbacks improved from 82 wins to 85 wins in 2019, but were disappointing absences from both postseasons — including a monster September collapse in 2018. Despite trading Zack Greinke at last season’s deadline, this team went all in on some major offseason acquisitions. While being +900 on DraftKings Sportsbook to win their division, the Diamondbacks are still second behind the Dodgers, who are slotted at an insane -715. The offense and pitching has improved in the offseason, which has the expectations set at a playoff birth.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds

— Division Winner: +900

— League Winner: +3000

— World Series: +5000

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Key Departures:

Steven Souza, OF; Wilmer Flores, 2B; Jarrod Dyson, OF; Adam Jones, OF

Key Acquisitions:

Starling Marte, OF; Madison Bumgarner, SP; Kole Calhoun, OF; Stephen Vogt, C

2020 Fantasy MVP

Starling Marte, OF

Marte not only brings a consistent bat to the middle of Arizona’s order, but he also returns some of the production that was lost when Paul Goldschmidt left for the Cardinals. I’m not saying Marte will put up those numbers that had Goldy as one of the best fantasy baseball players during his prime, but I do expect Marte to put up better numbers than he did in Pittsburgh. Playing in a better offense with more threats around him should lead to an increase in runs and RBI. Potentially being on base more could lead to an increase in steals — Marte’s swiped at least 20 bags in seven straight seasons. The upside is really exciting, while the floor is one of the safest in baseball.

2020 Fantasy LVP

Robbie Ray, SP

The Diamondbacks have a lot of talented arms heading in the right direction in 2020, but Ray might not be one of them. Madison Bumgarner gets a chance to try and recapture becoming one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, while Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver and Alex Young are all really encouraging young arms. Meanwhile, Ray continued to pitch worse as the season went on, finishing up with a 6.85 ERA over the last month of the season. Ray just may not get the opportunities this season given the other arms available, and he struggled as 2019 progressed.

2020 Breakout Player

Zac Gallen, SP

One of the reasons Ray could see fewer opportunities to pitch in 2020 is the emergence of Gallen. I was obsessed with this kid as a rookie last season, constantly presenting value from a DFS and betting perspective. Gallen made 15 starts last season (seven with the Marlins) and finished with a 2.81 ERA. I’m expecting Gallen to take things to the next level this season, and the 24-year-old to be one of the pleasant surprises from a value standpoint.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, I can’t back the Diamondbacks to win the division. The Dodgers just have too much firepower to bet against them in the long run of a season. But that doesn’t mean I won’t invest in Arizona futures on DraftKings Sportsbook. They are a great bet to breakthrough and make the postseason. Prior to the postponement of the season, I bet on the Diamondbacks to go over their win total of 82.5, which was on the rise. This offense should take a big step with the addition of Marte, and we all know what kind of ceiling Mad Bum brings to an already high upside group of pitchers.

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