The NL west has been a league over the years been called the NL worst. The NL west though in the last 2-3 years has been won of the NL best it has had almost every team above 500%. The NL west is known for having dominant pitching more so then dominating hitting. The dodgers broke that idea last year by having excellent seasons from James Loney, Manny Ramirez, and Matt Kemp. The Giants more so fit into the old NL west by having dominant pitching lead by 2 time Cy young winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and the flame balling closer Brian Wilson who hit 101 on the radar gun. The Rockies were right in the middle with having good hitting and good pitching. The dbacks and padres had terrible seasons last year not hitting well or pitching well.
So what can we expect from the NL west this year? Lets go through each teams weaknesses and strengths.
The Los Angeles Dodgers last season finished in first and made it to the nlcs and lost to the Phillies. The dodgers had a great hitting team lead by the clutch James Loney, Matt Kemp, and Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers had above average Pitching in Randy wolf, Chad Billingsly, Clayton Kershaw and and Jonathan Broxton. The Dodgers played above there potential partially because of there great manager Joe Torre. The Down side for the Dodgers coming into this year is there lack of signing players this offseason. The Dodgers are giving away lots of players while signing hardly any. The Dodgers Lack of signing will put them fighting for a wild card spot but wont be able to compete for first.
The Colorado Rockies last season finished second and got the wild card spot loosing to The Phillies. The Rockies had a above average hitting lead by Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Brad Hawpe and Ian Stewart. There pitching was just decent but that's to be expected when youre pitching in Colorado where the ball carries very well. There pitching was led by Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Marquis, Jorge De la Rosa and closer Huston Street. The Rockies didn't make really in off season deals to add to this but Jeff Francis is healthy so look at them beating the dodgers out for the wild card spot and another trip to the playoffs.
The San Francisco Giants finished 3rd and missed the playoffs. The Giants had dominating pitching led by 2 time back to back Cy young winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Flame throwing closer Brian Wilson. The Giants however had below average hitting Lead By Pablo Sandoval Aka Kung fu panda, Aaron Rowand, Juan Uribe, and Bengie Molina. The giants however made big moves this offseason signing, Mark Derosa, Juan Uribe, Aubrey Huff, and Bengie Molina. The Giants have now improved there hitting so look at them winning the division and doing damage in the playoff.
The Arizona Diamondbacks finished 4th and obviously missed the playoffs. The Diamondbacks struggled with there pitching due to the loss of ace pitcher Brandon Webb due to injury. The Diamondbacks were lead by Dan Haren, Doug Davis and Jon Garland. The D backs hitting was decent lead by Mark Reynolds and Justin Upton. The Dbacks made very few offseason Moves so look at them getting 4th again and missing the playoffs.
The San Diego Padres finished dead last and missed the playoffs. The Dbacks struggled in every aspect last year truely had no pitching and there only bright spot was adrian Gonzalez. They picked up scott Hairston this offseason which should boost them a little bit but not enough to get them out of the cellar.
The NL west should be a very exciting league to watch this year with strong pitching and great hittting it should lead to a great season!