D-backs Second Half Strength of Schedule Ranks as Toughest in National League

If there’s any good news coming from that title it’s that the Diamondbacks have established a sizable six game lead in the Wild Card race at the start of today. Yes, even though they’re 2-8 in their last 10 games, the D-backs still hold a commanding lead. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the team that’s chasing both them and the Rockies for a Wild Card spot is the defending world champion Cubs. Of course, the Cubs haven’t been very impressive so far this season but after pulling off a blockbuster trade to acquire LHP Jose Quintana, it’s not hard to imagine them quickly turning their season around. In fact, they’ve won four straight coming out of the All-Star break.

So where does that leave the Diamondbacks? The fine folks over at Fangraphs published an article earlier last week projecting each MLB team’s second half strength of schedule (find it here).

You’ll notice that the Diamondbacks, according to this calculation, have the toughest schedule in the second half of the season. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have what looks like the easiest remaining schedule. Of course, the Dodgers don’t have to play themselves, and they’re the toughest team in the National League, so it stands to reason that their path would be a bit easier than everyone else’s.

The Colorado Rockies find themselves right around the middle of the pack. The Cubs are near the top with the third easiest schedule in the NL. So what do we make of all this?

The D-backs are in great position and control their own destiny. It’s tough to make a case that they can compete for the NL West title, especially with the Dodgers looking literally unbeatable. And here’s part of the rub. Since the D-backs and Dodgers faced off before the All-Star break, each team has gone in exact opposite directions.

Including the series against each other, the Dodgers have won nine straight, while the D-backs have dropped 7-of-8 games. On the face, it appears that the D-backs may have had the wind taken out of their sail after being swept by the Dodgers – all games that were decided by only one run each. Sure, the Diamondbacks got swept, but they were extremely competitive and should have walked away from that series encouraged and not wrecked.

Of course, that’s easier said then done.

In order for the Diamondbacks to get back on course, and to be able to conquer what is clearly a tough schedule ahead, they need to remember just how good they really are. Their talent level will take care of the rest.


Jon Strong

Jon is the editor and lead writer at Dbacks Insider. He is a life-long, passionate baseball fan who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, playing stickball and watching baseball at the College World Series. He aims to bring you the most up-to-date and relevant Dbacks news and commentary every day.

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