NL West Preview
April 3, 2013
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The season may be a couple of games into it at this point but with four teams in the NL West sitting at 1-1 and the Padres a ½ game behind at 0-1, it still isn't too late at who will end up coming out on top in this division.
Although there may be a four-way tie right now, this division should come down to the two powerful California teams; San Francisco and L.A.
NL West odds
No Hope: Colorado +1500; San Diego +1200
These two organizations will once again be the basement dwellers of this division as they just have too many holes across the board to be considered a contender.
Colorado is built around their offense and rightfully so given where they play. But their four-man rotation experiment failed miserably last year and most of those starters are back again this year in a starting role or as a long man in the bullpen. They don't have the pitching and defense to win the low-scoring games that are needed against the likes of the Giants and Dodgers, and when Colorado's offense is slumping they look like one of the worst teams in all of MLB.
San Diego's biggest issue is exactly the opposite as they don't have the offense to keep up with the likes of their other division rivals. They play in a very pitcher-friendly park and will use all that space to pitch to contact but that doesn't work on the road and they don't have one guy in their lineup that strikes fear into opposing pitchers.
Small chance: Arizona +550
The Diamondbacks won this division in 2011 and can still create some waves this year but I don't believe they have the talent to sustain a run at the crown for the entire 162-game schedule. They lost one of their best hitters in Justin Upton over the winter and although Upton was unhappy and struggled last year, he was still a prime player in Arizona's offense. They will be able to beat up on the two teams I've already mentioned but contenting with the highly paid Dodgers or defending champion Giants seems like a longshot at this point.
Who will win: L.A. -120 or San Francisco +180
The Dodgers might have already won the all-hype team in the NL and bettors appear to have bought it with them listed as the favorites here. It's tough to argue against it with how many talented hitters and pitchers they have on their roster, even if a few of them are overpaid. But they've already showed in two games that they can struggle to score runs at times (no runs in 17 of 18 innings so far) and a couple of significant injuries could derail their chance at a division crown.
The Giants are the clear play here as they won this division last year, almost by double digits, and parlayed that into a 2nd World Series title in three years. The experience and confidence in this roster just oozes onto the field and they are the one team that simply scoffs at the Dodgers trying to buy their way to a championship.
At this price, the Giants are impossible to pass up.
Take San Francisco at +180 to win the West