ESPN: As is, D-backs’ offense would be historically poor for a playoff team
Jul 23, 2018, 11:06 AM
(AP Photo/John Amis)
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense has been anemic throughout the 2018 season.
A combination of injuries as well as poor performances have hurt an offense that has averaged only 4.4 runs per game and a poor .231 team batting average.
ESPN’s Dan Szymborski projected how the remainder of the 2018 MLB season will play out, and he isn’t too high on the D-backs presently.
The D-backs offense has produced a lowly OPS+ of 82, and that’s bad news considering there has only been one team to make the postseason with than low of an OPS+.
How bad is an OPS+ of 82? There are 430 teams that have made the playoffs, going back to 1903. There are also 430 playoff teams that can beat an 82 OPS+ at the plate, the current all-time low being the 83 OPS+ produced the Diamondbacks in 2007. If there’s any team in baseball that needs to find a way to acquire offense, it’s Arizona. When Paul Goldschmidt was slumping in May and the Diamondbacks lost A.J. Pollock, the team scored fewer than three runs a game that month.
Despite the poor offense and up-and-down starting rotation, the D-backs still remain in the postseason hunt.
Szymborski gives the D-backs a 33.8 percent chance of making the playoffs as currently constructed. The Dodgers’ acquisition of Manny Machado boosted L.A.’s chances of winning a sixth straight NL West title, as well as hurt the D-backs’ postseason aspirations by Arizona not being able to acquire a player it coveted.
Unfortunately for all of the other contending teams, Machado was the easiest way to add two wins; with him off the table, it probably will take some creativity and/or more than one transaction to beat what the Dodgers just managed to do.
Szymborski projects the D-backs will finish the season at 86-76, tied with the Rockies for second place in the division.
The D-backs currently 1.5 games behind the Dodgers in the division and are 1.0 game behind the Braves for the second Wild Card spot.
With a little more than a week until the trade deadline, the D-backs expect to be active in trying to improve the current roster.