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MLB insider: D-backs will “scrap” to 3rd place in NL West

While the Arizona Diamondbacks are optimistic about their upcoming season, there are analysts placing them low on the National League West totem pole.

ESPN MLB insider Keith Law writes in his annual “Picking Division and award winners” that the D-backs will not make a push past third place in the division.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will grit and scrap their way to the most hard-nosed third-place finish ever, but their run-scoring (especially the outfield) and run-prevention sides look short relative to the Dodgers and Giants.

Law predicts the D-backs will finish 84-78, just three games better than their .500 season in 2012.

But if Law’s predictions are anything like they were in 2011 — when the D-backs won the division — the team may be in good shape.