NL West Predictions

We have officially entered Opening Day week. With the first two games of the MLB regular season down, all 30 teams will kick off their schedules on Thursday. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say it’s about time. My final predictions will come from the NL West.

2018 NL West Standings:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71)
  2. Colorado Rockies (91-72)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80)
  4. San Fransisco Giants (73-89)
  5. San Diego Padres (66-96)

The 2018 NL West was basically a 3 team race the whole year, minus the D-Backs in the last 2 weeks of September. The Dodgers did not look like the reigning pennant winners for the majority of the season, yet still managed 92 wins without their all world shortstop Corey Seager. The Rockies were in 1st place for a decent amount of time, and ended up getting a Wild Card game victory. Nolan Arenado was his normal All-Star self, and the emergence of Kyle Freeland really propelled them. The Diamondbacks spent quite some time on top of the division last year, until the aforementioned September collapse. The Giants, with the additions of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen were primed to contend, but that quickly faded and it ended up being a very disappointing year by the Bay. Lastly, the Padres, who were in a full rebuild year, ended up exactly where most people expected; the cellar. That is not to say that last year didn’t have its bright spots, however. Many of their young prospects took major steps in their developmental process, and are primed to make their much awaited debuts (*cough cough Tatis Jr.).

Offseason Summary

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Notable Additions- OF AJ Pollock, RP Joe Kelly, C Russell Martin, OF Paulo Orlando

Notable Subtractions- 3B Manny Machado, C Yasmani Grandal, OF Matt Kemp, OF Yasiel Puig, SP Alex Wood

Colorado Rockies:

Notable Additions- 2B Daniel Murphy, 1B Mark Reynolds

Notable Subtractions- 2B DJ LeMahieu, RP Adam Ottavino, OF Carlos Gonzalez

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Notable Additions- INF Eduardo Escobar, INF Wilmer Flores, SP Merrill Kelly, RP Greg Holland, SP Luke Weaver, C Carson Kelly

Notable Subtractions- 1B Paul Goldschmidt, OF AJ Pollock, SP Patrick Corbin, UTIL Chris Owings, RP Brad Boxberger

San Fransisco Giants:

Notable Additions- SP Drew Pomeranz, RP Nick Vincent, C Stephen Vogt, OF Gerardo Parra, 3B Yangervis Solarte, RP Trevor Gott

Notable Subtractions- OF Hunter Pence, RP Hunter Strickland

San Diego Padres:

Notable Additions- 3B Manny Machado, 2B Ian Kinsler, SP Garrett Richards, RP Adam Warren, RP Aaron Loup

Notable Subtractions- SP Clayton Richard

The NL West offseason was highlighted by big name players either leaving the division, or entering the division (and in a few cases, changing teams in the division). The Dodgers shipped off Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood, but wasted no time bringing in a reinforcement by the name of AJ Pollock, whom they plucked from the D-Backs free agency carousel. Trading for Russell Martin was an under the radar move, knowing that Grandal would most likely not be returning. They also gave the back end of their bullpen some help by signing Joe Kelly after an electric showing in the Fall Classic….against the Dodgers. Losing Machado is not all that big of a deal, considering Corey Seager will be returning after being out all of 2018. The Rockies were not involved in many transactions, but the ones they were involved in could prove to be significant. Bringing in Daniel Murphy to replace DJ LeMahieu will most likely make their offense slightly more prolific (as if they needed that). However, losing Adam Ottavino could prove to be a major loss in their quest to find a bridge to Wade Davis. Longtime Rockie Carlos Gonzalez also departed. The Diamondbacks major move was shipping Paul Goldschmidt off to the Cardinals in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, and Andy Young. Weaver and Kelly regressed in 2018, but there is still plenty of hope for guys that are so young. They also lost significant pieces in AJ Pollock and Patrick Corbin, signifying something of a rebuild on the horizon. Bringing in Eduardo Escobar and Wilmer Flores will provide some veteran depth and versatility, and signing Merrill Kelly out of Korea could prove to be very positive. The Giants, while they did not lose too many guys, did not add to their roster in a major way either. They brought in a crop of veterans in Pomeranz, Parra, and Vogt, while adding a very inconsistent Solarte and trading for up-and-down reliever Trevor Gott. Quite possibly the biggest move of their winter was the addition of a new GM, Farhan Zaidi, who was part of the Dodgers front office. The major question for this new regime could be, how long does Mad-Bum stay in a Giants uniform? Lastly, the Padres made major, major headlines, obviously, when they signed Manny Machado to a 10 yr/ $300 million deal. They also added a veteran infielder in Ian Kinsler and took a flyer out on the injured Garrett Richards, who will not play in 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. Adding bullpen depth in Warren is also a big plus. With a loaded farm system, and a revamped excitement at the major league level, the Padres could be very good in the years to come.

Projected 2019 Standings:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)
  2. Colorado Rockies (88-74)
  3. San Diego Padres (80-82)
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks (76-86)
  5. San Fransisco Giants (70-92)

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