The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t thought of as a team that is on the shortlist of World Series contenders. But they aren’t out of the race yet, either, which has made their approach to this year’s trade deadline an interesting one. With the pre-deadline analysis being about whether the team should be buyers or sellers, it’s almost as if everyone had forgotten that the team was still in the thick of the playoff hunt. And there is still plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Diamondbacks’ chances this year given their current positioning.
While their record hovered around .500 as the All-Star break wrapped up, the Diamondbacks are still in a spot where winning baseball through the second half of the season would put them in a great spot for a playoff berth. That berth would likely have to come through the Wild Card round, as it doesn’t look like anybody is catching the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. But Wild Card berths have led teams to deep playoff runs before, and this Diamondbacks team is more than capable of one of those runs.
Arizona has one of the four best run differentials in the National League by a decent margin, as they are the best of the non-division leaders in that category through the first half of the season. Their ability to score runs is the main reason behind that positive differential, as the D-Backs find themselves in the top five in the National League in offensive production through their first 95 games. But consistency has been the issue for the Diamondbacks, as winning series has been difficult for the team to do with regularity.
Of course, it’s hard to be consistent when you trade away one of your best players, which is what the Diamondbacks did when they traded Paul Goldschmidt away. He came back to haunt the team for that deal with a home run in a recent series against his new team, the St. Louis Cardinals. And that fact is one of the many that should have the Diamondbacks intent on keeping their roster intact heading into the stretch run of this season.
While World Series winner and MLB odds on bet365 see the Diamondbacks as a relative longshot to win the title, baseball is a sport where teams defy the odds frequently. And in a tight playoff race, the fewer star players you have to worry about in the opposing dugout, the better off you are. Trading your stars for prospects is a dicey proposition for that reason, not to mention the fact that there is no guarantee that the prospects pan out.
The end of the season will be an interesting one for the Diamondbacks, who have plenty of talent and could easily find themselves in the postseason by the end of the year regardless of who is on their roster. And with baseball being a game where upsets happen regularly, they could find themselves lifting the World Series trophy as long as they don’t blow up their roster in the middle of the summer.