Mitch’s MLB Preview-NL West
The Winter months are coming to close and that means baseball season is here! Spring Training games begin this weekend so with the start of the season just a month away its a perfect time to preview each division in baseball over the next few weeks. So to begin with the previews we will start with the National League West.
The Rockies are simply not a good team in a really solid division and didn’t really make any splashes or moves in the offseason to improve their team. They finished last season in dead last with a 68-94 record. The Rockies did attempt to make some moves last year like signing Kris Bryant, but he did not perform the way the Rockies were hoping and they will need him to bounce back to have any shot of improving.
But as I mentioned not a lot of significant moves were made by the Rockies to add to the roster, there were rumors they were going to make a run for Cody Bellinger but that obvisouly never worked out.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockies as sellers at the deadline and start a complete rebuild because I see this team being once again sitting in last when the season is over and winning only around 64-68 wins.
The Diamondbacks finished last season at 73- 88, which was the fourth best record in the NL West. The big move that was made by the Diamondbacks was trading for Lourdes Gurriel Jr from the Toronto Blue Jays. Gurriel Jr batted .291 last season and drove in 52 runs.
The Diamondbacks will also hope to have bounce backs season from Ketel Marte who only batted .240 last year, they would love for him to be healthy and have the season he did in 2019 when he batted .329 in 144 games played. The Diamondbacks have also built a pretty good farm season as according to MLB.com they have the fifth best farm system, so they could call up some young talent this year.
Their starting pitching does have an Ace with Zac Gallen who was 12-4 last year with a 2.54 era and Merrill Kelly is solid but after those two arms go the rest of their starters are iffy.
The Diamondbacks in my opinion are heading in the right direction, but they are in tough division and simply just not there yet, I see them being only 75 win team this year and sitting in the 4th spot once again but they can possibly be flirting with the 3rd spot.
San Fransisco Giants
The Giants after finishing third in the division last year and going 81-81 on the season, they had a crazy offseason which started with the pursuit of my personal favorite player Aaron Judge. As you can imagine that was nerve racking for me, and the Jon Heyman tweet about gave me a heart attack when he tweeted that the “Arson (His typo he meant Aaron) Judge appears headed to the Giants”. A few minutes later he apologized for jumping the gun as he was told that Judge did not make his decision yet, and then the next day Judge announced he was signing with the Yankees.
After missing out on Judge the Giants pursued Carlos Correa and they landed him signing him to a 13 year 350 million dollar deal but after a physical and looking at his injury history with his ankle the deal fell through. The Giants did manage to sing Mitch Haniger, which that deal was done before Judge signed, but Haniger was a nice addition for the Giants and they took a flyer on Michael Conforto, who has been injured the past couple of season but has had some big seasons.
They also were able to keep Joc Pederson, who had a strong season for them last year and they have a solid rotation led by Logan Webb. They did lose Carlos Rodon to the Yankees but overall they do have a solid team. I see the Giants competing for a wild card spot, I don’t know if they land a spot but they should be in the mix and i see them winning 83-88 games this season.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers won the division last year winning 111 games but they did have a lot of departures this offseason. Trae Turner, Tyler Anderson, Justin Turner, Chris Martin, and Craig Kimbrel are all on new teams. But they did manage to sign JD Martinez and brought back Clayton Kershaw and signed Noah Syndergaard.
The Dodgers are certainly not as deep as they were last year or even in the last couple of years in my opinion but they are still going to be pretty darn good and in the mix to be World Series Champs. I feel the last couple of seasons they were the top favorite to win it all, but this year I don’t view them as the absolute favorites.
I still think the Dodgers will have a chance to win the division and should still have any were from 95-100 wins on the season. The question is do the Padres have enough to finally over take them?
San Diego Padres
The Padres are a team that is going all in to win a world series they have made many trades and have spent many dollars to build their roster. The Padres were 89-73 last season and lost in the NLCS to the Phillies. They made the trade at the deadline to acquire Juan Soto and the deal took some time for the results to show. But having a full offseason to settle in I expect a big season from Soto.
Their lineup is absolutely stacked They have Fernando Tatis Jr, whose suspension from PED’s use will be up in April. They have Manny Machado, Soto, and they added Xander Bogaerts, Matt Carpenter, and Nelson Cruz. That’s not a fun lineup to have to navigate through.
Their starting pitching in my opinion is not the deepest but still plenty of good as they are led by their ace Yu Darvish and have one of the best closers in the game, which you can argue he is the best closer in the game and that is Josh Hader. This Padres team in my opinion should win this division and I see them winning 103+ games and have a pretty good shot to win it all.