Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
For the last decade, no division has been more consistently polarized than the NL West.
In 2013, we’ve seen beginning of an overall decline in talent from all parties, Dodgers notwithstanding.
Arizona, with the loss of Justin Upton this offseason, is on pace to score significantly fewer runs than 2012. After beginning the season red hot, the Diamondbacks have tailed off in the second half.
The San Diego Padres, a team with a virtually nonexistent offense, have been unable to find answers in their rotation. Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner have fallen victim to a lackluster lineup, receiving little run support.
The rest of the rotation, including the newly acquired Ian Kennedy, doesn’t appear to be stable enough for long-term success.
The biggest surprise in the division this year goes to the San Fransico Giants and their abysmal pitching staff. After posting a team ERA of 3.68 last season, the Giants are allowing 4.13 runs every nine innings in 2013.
Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong have been unable to repeat last year’s success on the mound, while Tim Lincecum is mirroring his poor 2012 campaign. A Giants offense that scored 718 runs last season has scored just 538 so far.
The Rockies are in the midst of another disappointing season, but the improvement is difficult to overlook. After a 98-loss team last year, the 66 wins this season shows the Rockies are better off under Walt Weiss.
If the Rockies can continue to grow as a team and bring all the individual pieces into one, they could make some noise as soon as next season.