An optimistic outlook on the Arizona Diamondbacks and the National League West

Let's give a positive take on the Arizona Diamondbacks and their chances against the Dodgers in the National League West.
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Seven
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Seven / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The National League West is going to be a challenge. Even though the Arizona Diamondbacks are coming off a National League pennant, the Los Angeles Dodgers won 100 games last year and are handing out contracts with blank checks attached. It might look like an impossible battle, but let's give an optimistic outlook for the Diamondbacks and the war they'll have to fight in 2024.

The Diamondbacks have a lot of young talent who could get better next year. Gabriel Moreno and Corbin Carroll were standout stars in 2023. Maybe Alek Thomas breakouts next season. On top of that, we should see the arrival of top prospect Jordan Lawlar. If he hits anything like his potential suggests, that's an all-star caliber middle infielder with Gold Glove potential. Combine them with Christian Walker and Ketel Marte, two players who are some of the best at their respective positions of first and second base, and the Diamondbacks' line-up is looking very good.

The Diamondbacks need to take advantage of the strength of their starting pitching. This is something they could have a huge edge over the Dodgers in. The Dodgers' rotation could either be great or disappointing. According to FanGraphs, the Dodgers' rotation consists of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Bobby Miller, and Emmet Sheehan. Only Miller and Glasnow threw more than 100 innings in Major League Baseball in 2023. For Glasnow, his 120 IP was the most he's ever thrown in one year. Buehler is coming off Tommy John surgery and hasn't pitched more than 100 innings since 2021.

Now compare that to the Diamondbacks' starting five. They have Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Brandon Pfaadt, Eduardo Rodriguez, and one of Tommy Henry or Ryne Nelson. Three of them, specifically Gallen, Kelly, and Rodriguez threw at least 150 innings with an ERA+ of 125 or greater. Pfaadt looked great in the second half of the year and into the playoffs. If someone from the future told me that the D-Backs would have four starting pitchers with 25+ outings and an ERA under 3.50, I would totally believe you.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you the Diamondbacks aren't going to have a tough time in the National League West. It's going to be an uphill battle, 0but the hill is Mount Everest, and the battle is Normandy. But I don't think it's going to be as much of a cakewalk for the Dodgers as some are making it out to be. If a couple of things go wrong for the Dodgers' pitchers and a couple of things go right for the Diamondbacks' young players, I think it's going to be a lot closer than some may think.