NL West Preview

The Giants won the World Series in 2012, but the Dodgers will try to become the team to beat in 2013.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks finally pulled the trigger on trading Justin Upton, receiving Martin Prado and prospects.  In a division thats littered with great pitching, Ian Kennedy must regain his form from two years ago. The likely scenario is the DBacks finish third, but improve from their 81 win total last season. (Warren Croxton)

The Diamondbacks lost Justin Upton but got the ultimate utility guy Martin Prado in return.

Colorado Rockies

After finishing with the franchises worst record a year ago, Rockies fans must pray that Disney writes the script for their team this year, putting Angels in the infield and outfield in order to put wins on the board this year. To best describe the Rockies roster this year can be simply described as “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” The Rockies had two top-tier player in Carlos “CarGo” Gonzalez and Troy “Tulo” Tulowitzki. Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler will fill out the outfield that looks to shape out pretty well. Unfortunately, the rest of the team pans out to be on the rebuilding side.

Health and productivity are two of the biggest hurdles to get over again this year. Todd Helton and Tulo will have to stay healthy if this club wants to stay out of the basement of the division this year. The starting rotation after Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa looks nauseating and ugly. New manager Walt Weiss will have his hands filled in a two team race in the NL West this year with the light at the end of the tunnel looking very dim. (Kevin Langner)

The Rockies will need a healthy Troy Tulowitzki to contend in the West in 2013.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Over the past few years it felt like the Dodgers were a ship adrift. Thru ownership battles and revolving door for key players there just might finally be something here. Picking up all the Red Sox broken pieces in Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez gave the Dodgers an immediate talent infusion. Zach Greinke’s status will be much watched and if/when healthy could be an absolute game changer. Matt Kemp remains a professional hitter and with the surrounding talent, which includes Florida castoff Hanley Ramirez combined with the jettisoned Red Sox, the Dodgers have only moderate drop offs. All told this should be a season in which the price paid for and by the Dodgers should show up with some long awaited wins. (Michael Bedard)

Zack Greinke will join Clayton Kershaw as a lethal 1-2 punch atop the Dodgers rotation.

San Diego Padres

Despite a recent injury to Chase Headley, many fans hope the Padres can build on last seasons performance that had the team flirting with the .500 mark. The key for this team will be scoring runs which was a significant issue in 2012. The 651 runs scored ranked 23rd in all of baseball. Expect the Padres to be improved this year but the NL West is a loaded division at the top so the playoffs may not be a reality for the Padres. (Glenn Coyle)

Chase Headley is the big bat in San Diego and will need to spark the Friars offense.

San Francisco Giants

Just another season begins with the Giants on top of the baseball landscape. San Francisco returns most of their title team and will be right in the thick of the West race all year. Buster Posey just got a huge contract extension and will be the focal point of the Giants offense. The Kung Fu Panda and Brandon Belt anchor the infield on the corners and the unsung hero of the playoffs Marco Scutaro will make the switch to second base in 2013. Angel Pagan will set the table and roam the spacious center field in San Fran and Hunter Pence will be expected to drive in  plenty of runs in the middle of their lineup. This is now Matt Cain’s staff after a season in which he was perfect against the Houston Astros. San Fran’s bullpen was lights out in the post season and will cause match up nightmares for teams late in games. Expect the Giants to battle their rivals the Dodgers at the top of the West all year long. (Scott Boutcher)

After getting a huge extension from the Giants, Buster Posey is due for a huge 2013 season.

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One thought on “NL West Preview

  1. Pingback: 2013 Sports with Balls MLB Predictions | Sports With Balls Blog

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