Odds to win 2017 NL West

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Updated: March 1, 2017

The National League West division is once again, on paper, a two team race. The Dodgers are the richest team in all the land and spend their money smartly. They are one of the scariest team in baseball because they have the money, the front office and Clayton Kershaw. The Giants are their biggest rival and are just as resourceful, but don’t quite have the same level of young talent. It will be a dogfight again this year with the Colorado Rockies doing whatever they can to get in there and fight with the big boys.

NL West – Odds to Win

Los Angeles Dodgers -250
San Francisco Giants +275
Colorado Rockies +900
Arizona Diamondbacks +1600
San Diego Padres +5000

 
Let’s just get this out of the way first, the Padres are going to be the worst team in baseball. Betting on them to win this division is akin to lighting your money on fire. If you are even thinking about doing so, don’t. This isn’t fun. They will be eliminated by the first week of the season.

While I expect better things for the Diamondbacks this season, they are at best an 83 win team. They’ll win a few games, but they are in no man’s land. Not good enough to compete for a playoff spot, not bad enough to go for the full rebuild. That said, I love A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb. This team can hit like crazy and there is definite upside in Yasmany Tomas and David Peralta. The pitching is interesting with Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley and Shelby Miller has some interesting potential, but they don’t give you that tingly feeling in your stomach. I truly hope that Zack Greinke bounces back as he is one of my favorite pitchers, but this team just doesn’t inspire me at all.

One team that does interest me is the Colorado Rockies. We all know about the home park and the lineup. Carlos Gonzalez! Nolan Arenado! Charlie Blackmon! DJ LeMahieu! David Dahl! Ian Desmond? We covered that strange move when it happened, but overall this team will be very good offensively. Even without their home ballpark, they are a very strong offensive team.

The thing that really makes this team interesting is the starting rotation. They are actually really good! I love Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson, both of whom would get a lot more press with a different home ballpark. Jeff Hoffman has all the potential in the world. Chad Bettis and Tyler Chatwood are solid starters. Greg Holland could be the best closer signing of the offseason. If the stars of the pitching staff can stay healthy and make the type of improvements that they seem likely to make, this team could challenge for a Wild Card.

Last season the Giants were the best team in baseball during the first half of the season and then the second half happened. Not only did they lose the best record, they ended up settling for a Wild Card as the Dodgers surged past them in the standings. The reason for this was the bullpen. It absolutely fell apart in the second half and the Giants worked to remake it this offseason. Mark Melancon is the big name and last season’s trade acquisition Will Smith will be key. Hunter Strickland and Derek Law are the homegrown guys who are ready to step in. A bullpen improvement over last year will be huge for them.

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The core of the team is Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner. They are all still place with Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore making up the core of the rotation. The Bumgarner-Cueto top two is as good as any top two in the league and this team will win a lot of games this year.

But I’m not sure they will win more than the Los Angeles Dodgers. This team is just absolutely stacked. Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet, Rich Hill looked like the best pitcher on the planet at times last season and Julio Urias is one of the best pitching prospects in the game. The rest of the rotation will be filled by a combination of Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Alex Wood and Brock Stewart. The Dodgers use the disabled list and call-ups for spot starts better than any team in the league to maximize value of every start. Kenley Jansen and Grant Dayton lead the bullpen and the pitching staff alone can carry this team to a playoff spot.

Corey Seager won the Rookie of the Year last year and along with Justin Turner makes this offense run. The addition of Logan Forsythe will be huge for them and the defense will be great once again led by backstop Yasmani Grandal. The outfield is an interesting mash-up of players that should make for a great unit. Joc Pederson, Trayce Thompson, Andrew Toles, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Franklin Gutierrez will get most of the starts and there is everything you could want there. Power, speed and defense. The outfield, much like the pitching staff, is a uniquely Dodgers thing in which they use the disabled list and Triple-A to maximize value from the position. The only real worry I’d have with this lineup is Adrian Gonzalez who showed a steep decline in slugging last season. That said, the Dodgers will find a way to fill the hole if one is created. It’s just what they do.

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