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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Mar 31, 2014 - 1:49 pm

Little expected of D-backs in 2014 season previews

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Owings hits against the Chicago Cubs during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

For the second consecutive season, the Arizona Diamondbacks won as many games as they lost (81).

After acquiring power-hitter Mark Trumbo and closer Addison Reed, the D-backs look to be on track to compete in one of the toughest divisions in baseball.

However, with Patrick Corbin's recent season-ending Tommy John surgery, the starting rotation is thinning out, and it could keep the D-backs out of the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

The D-backs are a popular pick to finish in the middle of the division, but most baseball experts and writers predict the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the NL West.

SB Nation - MLB Preview 2014

Steven Goldman, SB Nation writer:

Prediction: D-backs finish 3rd in NL West

Best Case: The starting rotation shows more depth and durability than last year as Arroyo shows that pitching in the desert air won't lead to any more home runs than he would have given up at the GAP.

Worst Case: Trumbo is more notable for doubles played into triples in left field than anything he does at the plate

AP - NL Preview

Jay Cohen, AP Sports Writer:

Prediction: D-backs finish 2nd in NL West

Arroyo has pitched at least 200 innings in eight of the last nine seasons, and he had 199 innings with Cincinnati in 2011. The durable right-hander also wins, recording at least 12 victories in five of the last six years.

The 37-year-old Arroyo has been bothered by a bulging disk in his back. And that was a relatively minor problem for the Diamondbacks compared to the injury for Patrick Corbin, who had season-ending surgery on his left elbow. At least Arizona has pitching prospect Archie Bradley, who could provide a boost this summer.

SportingNews.com - MLB Predictions 2014

Jesse Spector, MLB writer:

Prediction: D-backs finish 5th in NL West, win under 80 games.

Arizona found help for Paul Goldschmidt and added bullpen depth in the offseason, but the Diamondbacks are still looking for some level of consistency from their starting rotation.

Grantland.com - NL West Preview

Jonah Keri, MLB writer for Grantland

Prediction: D-backs finish 3rd in NL West

Best-case scenario: Bradley wins NL Rookie of the Year, and a weak wild-card class allows the Diamondbacks to play on into October.

Worst-case scenario: This is a deceptively deep division, and Corbin's injury makes last place a frighteningly real possibility.

CBSSports.com - MLB Season Prediction

Jon Heyman, Baseball Writer CBSSports.com

Prediction: D-backs finish 4th in NL West

The loss of star left-hander Patrick Corbin is devastating. Lineup is solid, but they'll require healthy seasons for Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill, and a contribution from feature star Archie Bradley wouldn't hurt, either.

Sports Illustrated - 2014 Season Preview

Tom Verducci, SI Writer

Prediction: D-backs finish 4th in NL West

Yahoo! Sports - MLB Predictions

Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports baseball expert

Prediction: D-backs finish 3rd in NL West (83-79)

Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports baseball expert

Prediction: D-backs finish 4th in NL West (79-83)

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