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2013 NL West Predictions – All Star Break Update

July 15, 2013

It is almost time for the All-Star Game, which is a good time to review the predictions that I made at the beginning of the season.  It is also a good time to make some mid-season adjustments.  Let’s take a look at how I had the NL West finishing:

1   Giants
2   Dodgers
3   Diamondbacks
4   Padres
5   Rockies

At first glance, it looks like I was way off on the NL West.  But other than the Giants, the teams are playing about how I expected them to.

1 Giants – The Giants are looking to back up their World Series win with another deep playoff run.  Buster Posey will be leading the Giants offensively.  The pitching staff that he will be handling includes Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, and Barry Zito.  If they stay healthy, they will be the team to beat in the West.  The Giants surprised me.  A lot.  Their road record is horrible.  I do think they will recover, but I no longer think that they will win the division.

2 Dodgers – The Dodgers picked up Zack Greinke, who should help their rotation.  With Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez leading the charge, they should score some runs.  An injury to Hanley Ramirez will keep him out for the first six weeks and leaves a big hole at third base.  Any early slide will make it difficult to catch the Giants this season.  The Dodgers have dealt with some injuries and kept themselves within striking distance.  Yasiel Puig is adding some excitement to the team that should carry over to the second half.

3 Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks will have a young rotation, all under 30 years old.  Losing Justin Upton does not help matters.  They finished 81-81 in 2012 and look like they will finish with about the same record in 2013.  Even though the D-Backs are in first place, they are about where I thought they would be.  I just thought the Giants and Dodgers would be better.

4 Padres – Other than Chase Headley (who will start the season on the DL), the Padres do not have any stars on their team.  Rookie phenom catcher Yasmani Grandal will be missing 50 games due to a PED suspensioin.  Their pitching rotation is underwhelming.  The Padres are another team that is doing about what I expected them to.

5 Rockies – The worst pitching staff from 2012 does not look like it improved much for 2013.  Troy Tulowitzki is the undisputed star of the Rockies, but there is not much more on this team.  If the pitching comes around, they may battle the Padres for 4th place, but even that looks like a long shot.  The Rockies are doing a little better than I expected and they are only 4.5 games out of first place.  They are also only 4 games ahead of the last place team.

The NL West may not have a 90 game winner in 2013, but their division champ could make a deep playoff run.  The Giants and the Dodgers are the front runners.  I still don’t think that there will be a 90 game winner in the NL West.  These teams are all bunched up right now and there is no clear front runner.  The Dodgers are the most likely team to make a run for the division crown.

So here are my updated predictions:

1   Dodgers
2   Diamondbacks
3   Giants
4   Rockies
5   Padres

I think the Dodgers will win the division with 85-88 wins.  The Diamondbacks and the Giants will both finish around .500 and the Rockies and Padres will battle for last place.  I would not be surprised if there are less than 10 games separating first place from last place.

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From → Baseball, MLB

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