NL West Preview


Los Angeles Dodgers:

Top-to-bottom, the Dodgers are one of the most complete teams in Major League Baseball right now. Manager Don Mattingly has the task of trying to utilize four great outfielders into only three spots (Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp). If he can overcome his off-the-field issues, the young star Puig could flourish this season and separate himself from the pack of great outfielders. Fresh off a large extension this offseason, ace Clayton Kershaw leads a veteran heavy pitching staff that could cause problems for just about any opposing offense out there.

San Francisco Giants:

After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Giants look to get back to their winning ways. As they have always done, the Giants will rely on a legion of skilled pitchers to get them back on top. New addition 38-year old veteran Tim Hudson looks to put his career back on track coming off ankle surgery. He joins Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, who recently signed a hefty contract extension. The addition of left-handed hitter Matt Morse strengthens their lineup, adding more fuel to an already formidable heart-of-the-order consisting of Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence.

Arizona Diamondbacks:

The Diamondbacks finished second in the division at an even .500 record. They come into this season with a bit of a chip on their shoulder after watching the Dodgers celebrate their division title in their home pool. Paul Goldschmidt enjoyed a breakout campaign last season batting .302 with 36 homeruns and 125 RBI—if he can expand on those numbers, the D-Backs will contend. An offseason trade also landed them the powerhouse Mark Trumbo, who should see more at-bats than he did for a star-studded Los Angeles Angels lineup last season, when he hit 34 homers and drove in 100 runs.

San Diego Padres:

After just barely missing out on the playoffs back in 2010, the Padres have yet to register a winning season. With a roster that’s under construction, the outlook for the season, unfortunately for the Padres, seems to have them finishing near the bottom. They did make a few strong acquisitions in the offseason that should make them competitive, adding veteran starting pitcher in Josh Johnson as well as trading for outfielder Seth Smith. But it’s safe to say that you can put this team safely in rebuilding mode and out of the playoff race already.

Colorado Rockies:

The Rockies had one of the busiest off-seasons in the majors, bringing in a ton of new faces in an attempt to keep pace with the top half of the division. The Rockies signed first baseman Justin Mornuea, and pitchers Boone Logan and Latroy Hawkins, who should add some security to the back end of the bullpen. They also brought in lefties Brett Anderson and Franklin Morales. Combine that with consistent all-star performers Troy Tumowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, and the Rockies should improve on their 2013 campaign.

Division Winner: LA Dodgers

CY Young: Clayton Kershaw

MVP: Hanley Ramirez

World Series: Dodgers versus Tigers

Dodgers (4-2)