After the excitement of yesterday, when we talked about the only division that matters, I can’t fault you for being less enthused about going out West. We know what those West Coast trips are like, full of late games and barely-propped-up eyelids. Basically the same concept applies here.
National League West
Los Angeles–Even though the Cards have seemingly figured out Clayton Kershaw, at least in part, no one else has. That rotation is still extremely good after the Cy Young and MVP goes and they have an offense that should put up plenty of runs if they can stay out of the way of Yasiel Puig‘s bat flips. The Dodgers are going to be hungry to put their postseason woes behind them and they could compete with the Nationals for the best record in baseball.
San Diego–All the off-season wheeling and dealing make San Diego a much better team and the rest of the division isn’t exactly a juggernaut. I’m not sure what Petco will do to Justin Upton and Matt Kemp, but I don’t think it will hinder them enough to not see an upgrade on offense. Putting James Shields in a rotation with an improving Andrew Cashner and the Padres seem to have what it takes to make a wild-card run.
San Francisco–Even year, gotta miss the playoffs. Isn’t that the way their contract with the devil was written? Madison Bumgarner is still a force to be reckoned with but the rest of that rotation has seemingly slipped into more mortal territory. Buster Posey will lead the offense, but will anyone follow him? Â Even last year, offensive production wasn’t exactly their forte and then Pablo Sandoval shipped up to Boston. There’s enough to fend off the two weaklings of the division, but it would be surprising if they stay in the playoff chase past August.
Arizona–It’s really tough to pick between these last two teams, as there doesn’t seem to be much going on for either of them. The Diamondbacks did get a new manager, but the odds are long that he’ll be able to turn it around all by himself. Fans will probably enjoy watching Paul Goldschmidt do what he does and perhaps some of the younger talent starts to make a name for itself, but it looks like another long season out in the desert.
Colorado–The Rockies could probably pass up the Diamondbacks if Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stayed healthy all year. If you are willing to bet on that, though, I have a better idea for your money–just give it to me. Either way, you aren’t going to see it any more. Even with both of their stars on the field, Colorado just doesn’t have much to surround them with. Kyle Kendrick is going to be their Opening Day starter. That might say it all right there.
Tomorrow, we’ll see how the postseason pans out and throw darts to see who wins the major awards!