Finishing our look at the 2021 National League, we’ll be predicting the standings for the NL West. I’m very intrigued about who finishes on top of the division, but its definitely only a two team race, with the rest finishing far behind. And that’s probably how it will stay for the next few years at least.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The 2020 World Series champs look a little different this year, but that’s not going to stop them from edging out over the Padres for first in the division. While they lost strong bench bats Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez, they gained a huge arm in the rotation with the signing of Trevor Bauer. While I’m not a huge fan of his personality, he’s on the top of his game as a pitcher after winning the Cy Young, and he still might not even be the best the Dodgers have. Let’s put it this way: 2012 Cy Young winner David Price is projected to be the 5th starter for LA. Their pitching looks to be nasty this year, and that’s what will put them in the driver’s seat this year. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to also have Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Corey Seager.
2. San Diego Padres
I might have the Dodgers in 1st, but the Padres will likely only end up a game or two back from them. They boast a pretty great staring rotation themselves, featured by Yu Darvish and 2019 Cy Young winner Blake Snell. Snell has a real chip on his shoulder after how the World Series ended, and I expect him to mow down Dodgers hitters all season. On offense, Fernando Tatis Jr’s recent contract shows that the Padres are going to be a problem for years to come.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
Consider the Diamondbacks the best of the worst in the NL West: Ketel Marte is really the only player I trust in the lineup, and most of their pitching is below average. But that’s better than what I see in the remaining teams on this list. I don’t even see a truly impactful rookie on the horizon, so there’s even much to say there. I can say that Caleb Smith is pretty good in my Marlins MLB the Show 19 franchise, but that’s not how it is in real life.
4. Colorado Rockies
Now, there are some who see the Rockies as the worst team in the division with the trade of Nolan Arenado. I say they’re close, but not quite there right now. They still have some good players in Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon, though the latter is getting up there in age. Is it possible they trade Story before the deadline too? Either way, I think they have more going for them right now than the Giants. That’s not saying much, though. If I were a Rockies fan, I’d sincerely hope Brendan Rodgers shows some strong potential this year, because that’s all you can look forward to. Well, that and hoping someone like Jaden Hill or Jack Leiter falls to the 8th pick in the draft.
5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have a bunch of aging players, and Mike Yastrzemski (who is 30). Perhaps Maricio Dubon will break out this year? He’s the only starter under 30. They will no where near compete and don’t even have a slew of young rookies to develop (yet). Honestly, though, that’s not a bad thing for them. This is a tough division right now, so get some high draft picks while you can.
There you have it with my NL West predictions. I’m excited to see the battle between the Padres and Dodgers, but there’s not much else to see in this division. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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