NL West Preview

Usually, I make at least some effort to keep my blatant homerism in check. No such promises today. The regular season is right around the corner and optimism is high across MLB… except for maybe Pittsburgh, where it seems the Pirates are destined to suck regardless of what they do. And then there’s the Cubs… okay, so maybe not ALL across MLB.  Without further ado.

1) Dodgers – This team is practically guaranteed to go 162-0… No? Ok fine. I had them finishing second in the West up until about three days ago when it dawned on me: The Guggenheim Group is pretty much convinced it can buy its way out of anything. That, and Tim Lincecum as a starter is done, and that’s going to severely dent LA’s closest competitor’s chances. Make no mistakes, this team has flaws and the floorboards creak a little bit, but on the surface they would appear to be less flawed than the other teams here.

2) Giants – They’re still a pretty good team, and just locked up superstar Buster Posey for the next 9 years. They can pitch, and they can field for the most part. But man, they have overachieved. Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro are capable big league players, but the cloud 9 thing is going to have to evaporate at some point. They should still contend for a wild card but a division championship probably won’t happen. They don’t have the resources to match the Dodgers at the trade deadline.

3) D Backs – I probably could have lumped Colorado and San Diego in here too. I decided to give Arizona the nod because they have pitching from top to bottom. The line up has some big time holes, especially with Justin Upton’s departure. Chris Young’s exodus won’t hurt quite as much, but there was still some power and speed from him, and the Cody Ross/injured Adam Eaton combo is probably not going to make up for it. Kudos for locking up young stud Paul Goldschmidt though. That’s a good move for the franchise.

4) Padres – I nearly had them as a dark horse contender for a wildcard. And then I remembered, Yasmani Grandal was a bad boy. And then I also remembered, they’re relying on Jason Marquis to be the staff ace. Don’t get me wrong, they’re loaded with young talent. But talent doesn’t translate to wins, and wins are what get you to the postseason.

5) Rockies – Here’s your $66,000 question. Who is gonna get anyone out? Tulo and Cargo are two of the game’s finest talents, but they could each knock in 4 runs a game and it won’t matter if the staff gives up 20.

Random thought of the day: The more I think about WAR (Wins Above Replacement), the more I hate it. There are some very good saber metrics, and there are some that are just ludicrous. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it…

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