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MLB.com ranks D-backs as No. 15 favorite to win 2020 World Series

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a grand slam in the seventh inning of the MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on September 04, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Every team starts the year anew with the same goal: to win the World Series.

But unfortunately for most clubs, only a select few are poised with the proper combination of talent and coaching to go on a deep postseason run.

MLB.com’s Will Leitch and Mike Petriello ranked the D-backs No. 15 in their 2020 World Series favorites “draft.”

The duo alternated picking which teams they think have the best shot at winning it all in October, which started with Leitch selecting the New York Yankees at No. 1 and Petriello picking the Los Angeles Dodgers at No. 2.

Arizona was selected at No. 15 by Leitch, making the D-backs the eighth-highest National League club to be chosen.

The Starling Marte trade not only gives them two Martes atop the lineup — can we get Damaso as a pitching coach somewhere? — but it frees up Ketel Marte to play second base like he should have been doing in the first place. Suddenly the top of that lineup looks scary. I don’t know if what the D-backs are doing will work, but you have to love that they are doing it: Rather than starting over, tearing down and waiting for competitive windows, they are all, “We’re going to just pedal real fast and see if we can win right now.”

In a league where only 10 teams make the postseason, No. 15 puts the D-backs on the outside looking in. Last season, Arizona’s 85-77 record finished No. 13 in MLB and just four games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot.

And while the Dodgers may be the D-backs’ biggest obstacle in the NL West, the rest of the division might be the key to Arizona’s playoff chances in 2020.

The Diamondbacks went an even 38-38 against NL West opponents in 2019, including going 8-11 against the Dodgers. That meant a 30-27 record against the San Diego Padres (11-8), San Francisco Giants (10-9) and Colorado Rockies (9-10).

In 2020, Arizona will have an opportunity to play 57 of its 76 division games against teams that Leitch and Petriello ranked toward the bottom of the list in the Padres (No. 20), Rockies (No. 23) and Giants (No. 27).

And following offseason additions such as Madison Bumgarner, Starling Marte and Kole Calhoun, general manager Mike Hazen has put manager Torey Lovullo in a position to play meaning baseball in September at the very least.

The Diamondbacks have done just that in each of the last two seasons since the team’s last playoff berth in 2017.


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