MLB Second Half Preview 2013: The National League West

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Arizona Diamondbacks (50-45)

Apr. 1, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt against the St. Louis Cardinals during opening day at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Five games over .500, the Diamondbacks occupy first place in the NL West. I hate to put a damper on things, but they have the lowest winning percentage of all first-place teams in baseball.

Nonetheless, they’re in first place. First place is first place.

Now, just how is Arizona atop the West? We can count offense out of the euqation. Similar to Coors Field, the hitters’ friendly Chase Field isn’t help its home team.

Below are their MLB ranks in the major offensive stats through the first half.

wRC+: 24th (90)

wOBA: 19th (.309)

SLG: 18th (.390)

ISO: 25th (.134)

OPS: 19th (.708)

Offensively, it’s Paul Goldschmidt and, well, a mixed bag of contributors. Aaron Hill missed 63 games with a fractured hand, but he’s back. That will be a help. But the slumps of Miguel Montero, Martin Prado, Jason Kubel and Cody Ross have the Diamondbacks searching for offense, which generally isn’t the case.

The Diamondbacks’ starters, aside from Patrick Corbin, haven’t been very productive either. They have the 14th-highest starters’ ERA in baseball and 12th-highest FIP.

The one bright spot? Their bullpen, which spots the 10th-best ERA in baseball. Over the last 30 days, however, it has the 13th-highest bullpen ERA in baseball.

So, we aren’t looking at a bunch of positives. The word’s out by know that they’re in the market for a starting pitcher of the top-of-the-rotation variety, but nothing is imminent on that front.

Offensively, the Diamondbacks’ brass can only hope that others pick up the slack, because there isn’t a bat that’s going to solve that problem. After all, Montero, Prado, Kubel and Ross have all proven to be viable contributors in the past. It just didn’t show up in the first half.

But hey, they’re in first place.