Springtime is almost here and that means … return of MLB baseball! Here’s a quick preview and prediction for the NL West this season, which should be a top heavy division this year.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Dodgers are odds on favorite to win the NL West yet again. Vegas Insider has them listed at 5/1 to win the pennant. The lineup is set to rake again with just the infield alone (Turner, Seager, Forsythe, Gonzalez, Grandal) enough to damage pitcher’s ERA’s all season long. The bullpen is stable with Jansen on the back end. The starting pitching is a question mark behind Kershaw, with pitchers with histories of arm problems and bouts of ineffectiveness. To improve upon that, the Dodgers have a top ten farm system with pitchers like Yadier Alvarez and Jose De Leon in the pipeline. Prediction: 96 win 66 losses (Division winner)
- San Francisco Giants: As long as you have Posey and Bumgarner, this is a team looking to win championships. The rotation is strong behind Bumgarner with Cueto, Moore, Samardzija. Either Tyler Beede and Ty Blach will push Matt Cain out of the rotation. The bullpen, beside Melancon, is unproven. Pence, Span will anchor right field and center, both looked like they were declining last season. Vegas Insider has them at 6/1 for the pennant mostly due to the rotation and stable infield. Prediction: 89 wins 73 losses (Wildcard)
- Colorado Rockies: Vegas Insider has them at 30/1, I like them a lot better than that especially with their strong farm system and overall lineup. Cargo, Blackmon, Arenado, Desmond, and DJ LeMahieu is enough offense to contend in any division. The big question mark, as it is yearly in Denver, is the starting pitching. A young group of pitchers led by Jon Gray will need to mature fast to contend with LA and SF. The bullpen is looking for a Holland and Motte comeback, which is asking a lot. Prediction: 83 wins 79 losses.
- Arizona Diamondbacks: When you read the names: Greinke, Corbin, Miller, and Ray, one would think the D’backs rotation is a strong suit, but it wasn’t last season. The fans in the desert are looking for the rotation to get on track, but the bullpen is very suspect across the board. There’s also nothing certain behind Jake Lamb and Paul Goldshmidt in the lineup either. Arizona is considered by some to be a sleeper pick, but it won’t be. Too many holes in the bullpen, lineup, and not a lot of high level prospects in the minors. Prediction: 69 wins 93 losses (Vegas Insider has them 60/1 for the NL pennant).
- San Diego Padres: In one way they’re in better shape than the D’backs because they have young prospects, yet underline the word young. This team is going to be brutal this season. The known quantity in the lineup is Wil Myers, who’s become a star. Every part of the Padres (rotation, bullpen, lineup, defense) is predicted to be sub-par. Vegas Insider has them at 60/1 like the D’backs, I expect worse because the young minor league talent will not help this season. Prediction: 61 wins 101 losses.