The National League West like all the divisions in baseball have been played with a heavy emphasis in interdivision play, which has depending how you have done, been good or bad for MLB picks.
This scheduling has given sportsbooks and those following the MLB odds a chance to understand how divisions might shape, at least for the time being. The NL West has been more competitive than what was first thought and we will breakdown each team and attempt to surmise what their prospects are for the short term.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Might Have to Start Making Alternative Plans
Don Mattingly’s team has gotten off to good start which was anticipated. The Dodgers offense has been much better than advertised with Adrian Gonzalez scalding hot and Howie Kendrick and rookie Joc Pederson making strong contributions. Even in more limited duty, Andre Either and Scott Van Slyke have fulfilled their roles and they are averaging close to five runs a contest. Yet as any MLB baseball handicapper knows, Los Angeles is built on starting pitching. Hyun-Jin Ryu has yet to take the mound though reports have him coming back in May. Brandon McCarthy took himself out on April 26th with apparent elbow issues (MRI slated 4/27) and fifth starter Brett Anderson has not thrown more than 113 innings since 2009. This could mean the L.A. starting rotation is nowhere what was anticipated. The next two weeks the Dodgers have the Giants and D-Backs at home before traveling to Milwaukee and Colorado. Likely a little cash to make with MLB picks, just not as much as what was believed.
Colorado Rockies – Colorado Staying Healthy and Winning (Thus far)
Colorado took a calculated risk the core players on their team would be good enough to contend in the NL West and a couple of their young arms would pull come through. To this point of the season, that has been the case, with the Rockies having a winning record. Many of the offense sparks have come from different sources like DJ LeMahieu (.419 BA), Corey Dickerson (.317 BA) and even slick-fielding Nolan Arrenado chipping in a .317. Plus, young hurlers, Tyler Matzek, Jordan Lyles and Eddie Butler are not over their heads taking the ball every fifth day. The coming slate is not easy with a dozen division confrontation, but the Rocks could make a profit versus the MLB odds if they handle Arizona whom they face six times.
San Diego Padres – San Diego an Offensive Juggernaut?
Last year, the Padres most of the season were on pace to be a historically bad offense and were bailed out by a couple of good stretches in August and September and ‘climbed’ all the way to 3.3 runs a game, the worst in baseball. First year general manager A.J. Preller engineered a dizzying amount of trades which brought Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks and like the lights going on at the Gas Lamp District in downtown San Diego, the party is on and the Padres, that’s right the Padres, are the top scoring club in the NL (Hard to comprehend). If a couple of the pitchers come around, this is a legit playoff team. San Diego will finish off the homestand with Houston and Colorado and play nine road games after that. If the Pads continue to hit, they should be profitable.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Hanging In
Arizona’s projected win total was 71 and right now they rank in the middle of the NL in most offensive and pitching categories. The D-Backs are getting a lot of production out of the top of their lineup with Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt. Will the league catch up with the top two in the order or are they just good hitters? Outside of Archie Bradley, the starting rotation is not built to last and Bradley at some point will see innings limited despite what looks to be a true talent. Over the next two weeks Arizona will face Colorado, who coming into the season was their equal. If money is to be made betting the Snakes, it would have to come against the Rockies.
San Francisco Giants – Giants Searching For Answers
The defending World Series champs understood it would not be easy to repeat as they even failed to make the playoffs from their previous two championships since 2010. Almost immediately the offense went into a shell and even with a bit of a surge this past week, they rank 28th at 3.1 RPG. The starting pitching once a strength of the organization, is trying to hold together but the facts are their ERA is in the lower third of the league. It is San Francisco and Bruce Bochy is the manager, which gives them the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, playing at the Dodgers before opening a homestand versus the Angels, Padres and Marlins, will not leave much room for error.