NL West Preview

Updated: March 9, 2018

NL West Preview: Best of the West in LA?

This week we will look at what some consider the best division in baseball. The NL West posted the best overall winning percentage at .517. The Dodgers won the division last season and finished just short of winning the whole thing losing to the Dodgers in game 7 of the World Series. Both wild cards from the National League with the Rockies and the Diamondbacks also came from this division.

The Dodgers are again favored to take down the division but there are several quality teams in play that could pull the upset or reach the postseason via the wildcard.

Los Angeles Dodgers: -245 to win NL West, +300 to win Pennant, +600 to win World Series

While they cannot be expected to duplicate last season’s dominance this team is still expecting big things this season. Favorites to take down the division, the Dodgers largely chose to stand pat during the offseason as there were no major moves of note. The core of this team is one of baseball’s best and deepest starting rotations, the games premier closer, and a young stable on offense that can hit for tons of power.

The staff ace is Clayton Kershaw, who is maybe the most dominant pitcher seen in the past 10 years. It is always a nice slump buster when you have him taking the hill every 5 days. The rest of the staff is solid and deep featuring Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The bullpen will again feature Kenley Jansen who looks to blow away hitters as he celebrates Dodger W’s.

The offense is young and should hit a lot of home runs. Two of their best hitters (Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger) are both younger than 24 and should only get better at the plate.

Arizona Diamondbacks: +555 NL West, +1305 NL Pennant, +2585 World Series

This team came out of oblivion last year to win 93 games before losing to the Dodgers in the division series. Like their rivals, this squad is built around a solid starting pitching staff that looks to win a lot of games.

Zack Greinke will look to shake off some negative spring training reports and put together another solid season. The staff fills out with several guys on the right side of 30 including Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, and Tajuan Walker. Human implosion Fernando Rodney has moved on to the Twins so the closer situation will have to be sorted going forward.

Perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt will lead the offense. Despite losing JD Martinez (Boston) this offense still has plenty of weapons to score runs. The humidor story will be an interesting one to watch play out and see the effect on the bats.

San Francisco Giants: +530 NL West, +975 NL Pennant, +1950 World Series

This will be one of the most improved teams in baseball this season after some major offseason reloading. They added Andrew McCutchen, Evan Longoria, and Austin Jackson to bolster last years rather weak lineup. The pitching staff will be led by 1-2 combo of Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto which should be as solid as anybody leading the staff. Health will be a big concern for this group as they are not as deep as some of the other contenders. They will be better than the 64 games they won last year but it remains to be seen if they improved enough to matter.

Colorado Rockies: +570 NL West, +1650 NL Pennant, +3500 World Series

This is a different edition compared to Rockies teams of the past as this group actually has a solid core of young pitchers. Colorado has developed a stable of arms that have the potential to become good, major league quality pitchers. Eight pitchers started for the Rockies in 2017 with none older than 28.

San Diego Padres: +4500 NL West, +9000 NL Pennant, +18500 World Series

Another season approaches and to nobodies surprise the Padres are in rebuilding mode. Lucky for the Pads the Marlins decided to completely blow up the organization or this team would be one of the favorites to lead the NL in losses. Good things to come? While they will be bad the farm system is absolutely loaded and they are the only game in town since the NFL Chargers left for LA so maybe they get a little extra leash.