Last season this division was a two team race the whole second half. I think this year will be a whole different story. One of the two NL West powerhouses will not make the playoffs this season. Here are my 2017 National League West Projections.
National League West Projections
5 San Diego Padres
San Diego is very close to being a very solid ball club. They are a young lineup, but do have some breakout potential. However, the thing holding the Padres back is their rotation. They are made up of a handful of veteran pitchers who are past their prime including Jered Weaver. In a couple of years, San Diego will be primed for a run.
4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona could contend, if they were in a different division. They have the best first baseman in all of baseball in Paul Goldschmidt, and a very young lineup. A.J. Pollock is due for a huge comeback after missing most of last season. Zack Greinke leads their rotation which has tons of potential, and Shelby Miller is determined to prove trading for him wasn’t a mistake. Fernando Rodney is a solid backend of the bullpen. Arizona is just in such a tough division it may be tough to keep up with the others.
3 LA Dodgers
LA has a very solid all around team. With Sergio Romo and Kenley Jansen in the backend of the bullpen, they are shutdown. Clayton Kershaw leads a relatively dominant rotation. Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner are in the middle of the strong top to bottom lineup. However, I shockingly don’t think they will make the playoffs next season.
2 Colorado Rockies
Colorado is going to be an interesting team this year. They have a deep lineup with Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado. They have a very underrated rotation led by second year starter John Gray. Colorado could have found a hidden gem for the backend of their bullpen in free agency in former closer Greg Holland. I do think this is the year the Rockies find a way to sneak into a Wild Card spot, shocking many teams.
1 San Francisco Giants
San Francisco always finds a way to sneak into contention come playoff time. They have a solid lineup on both sides of the ball led by catcher Buster Posey. Second baseman Joe Panik and shortstop Brandon Crawford are one of the best up-the-middle duo’s in the game. On the mound, they have two aces in Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto. Their bullpen is a bit shaky, however Mark Melancon will provide some help on the backend.
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