Arizona Diamondbacks: Is There Still Reason For Playoff Hopes In NL West Race?

Aaron Hill
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks got off to a promising start this year, leading the National League West for a good chunk of the spring, before the days got hotter, and the Los Angeles Dodgers began their absolutely ridiculous run to the top of the Major League standings.

As of now, things aren’t looking too great for the Diamondbacks. They currently sit 7.5 games back in the National League West division, and the Dodgers don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. As far as the Wild Card, they’re still five games back there as well.

Which means the Diamondbacks have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs, as we near September. While the outlook isn’t terrific, given the teams in front of them, there’s still plenty of reason for the Diamondbacks to be hopeful, given the high level at which this team is capable of playing.

The Diamondbacks employ an MVP candidate in Paul Goldschmidt. Both Aaron Hill and Martin Prado have found their groove since the month of August got underway. While they lack impact talent outside of those three, they have guys capable of stepping up every night.

What is going to determine the playoff fortunes of the Diamondbacks is likely going to be their pitching. The rotation has been up and down, while the bullpen has been shaky, though the turnaround of Heath Bell and the addition of Joe Thatcher should each prove extremely beneficial.

On paper, this team is a contender in the National League. They still have almost a month and a half to pull it together and get a run towards the playoffs. Lucky for them, outside of six games against the Dodgers, not a single team they play for the remainder of the year is in playoff contention. So while they currently sit pretty far back in the NL playoff picture, there is absolutely hope.