It's a great feeling as a fan when your team is coming up to bat and the little "Due Up" box flashes the three-four-five hitters. "Oh Yeah! The big boys are coming up," you say to yourself, with dreams of a big inning flashing across your mind.
Not all middles of the order are created equal. But every team has them. Since baseball was in its infancy, managers have chosen to put their top hitters in the middle of the batting order. Ruth-Gehrig-Meusal ('27 Yankees). Mays-Cepeda-McCovey ('63 Giants). Suzuki-Cust-Kouzmanoff ('10 A's).
Whether your No. 5 hitter is Barry Bonds ('93 Giants) or some guy named Bob Smith ('99 Devil Rays), the middle of the lineup is the best you got. If it ain't happening this inning, it's never gonna happen.
Here are how the lineup cores in the NL West shake out. Keep in mind that Prince Fielder could change things up, but there have been no rumors that any of these teams are interested.