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Is the Arizona Diamondbacks Hot Start For Real?

Before the start of the season, it was believed that this was one of the more predicable baseball seasons in terms of which teams would win their respective divisions. Certainly, many expected the well-rounded Los Angeles Dodgers to once again win the NL West and possibly get back to the World Series. However, the Dodgers are currently three games below .500 during the young season while the impressively determined Arizona Diamondbacks are currently atop of the division standings.

While their consistent production on offense this season has certainly been crucial to them pulling away from their opponents in their first ten games, it has been the dominance of their fearless pitchers that has allowed the Diamondbacks to be one of hottest teams thus far in major league baseball. With three of their five starters posting ERAs of 3.27 or better and all but one of their relief pitchers posting ERAs 3.38 or better, the Diamondbacks have been sensational at baffling the various batters that they have faced thus far.

Even more impressive than the Diamondbacks pitchers holding their opponents to minimal runs scored is their ability to keep opposing hitters from getting on base. With an average WHIP of 1.02, the pitchers of the Diamondbacks have displayed impressive command and control of their pitches, which has prevented their opponents from cheating by waiting on a tantalizing fastball that travels down the middle of the plate.

Of course, it becomes fair to ask if the Diamondbacks can sustain this type of success throughout the course of a 162-game season. If last years numbers are any indication of what the Diamondbacks are capable of from a pitching perspective, this is a team that should be in great shape to not only make the playoffs again but could very well severely challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West division title. With four of their five pitchers posting ERAs of 3.49 or better last season, the Diamondbacks should be expected to be about as productive from a starting rotation perspective this season.

Offensively, the Diamondbacks may not be the most explosive team in baseball, but they could still be fairly efficient even without the immense power of J.D. Martinez in the lineup. Of course, the ever consistent Paul Goldschmidt should be expected to be one of the most reliable hitters in baseball yet again this year while Jeremy Hazelbaker and David Peralta possess both the power and plate discipline to eventually become exceptional contributors from a scoring perspective.

Although it may be a bit early to suggest that the Diamondbacks will easily win the NL West by the end of the season, it can't be denied that this team possesses some of the more efficient pitchers in baseball that can hold their own throughout the course of a grueling major league season. If the offense can find some prolific production from someone other than Paul Goldschmidt, this is a team that could be one of the surprise contenders to win the World Series come October.