2023 National League West Division Preview

Via SI.com

2023 National League West Division Preview


2023 National League West Division Preview


The countdown to Opening Day is now down to single digits as we are now only eight days away. The NL West hold two of Major League Baseball’s best teams in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. The West is also deep as both the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have the potential to surprise some people while the Colorado Rockies will look to slug its way to wins.

Colorado Rockies – projected record 65-93 – 5th NL West

The Rockies enter the season with a solid lineup but below average pitching. The hitting is headlined by Kris Bryant who was bitten by the injury bug last season. Colorado also consists of Charlie Blackmon, C.J. Cron, Ryan McMahon and Jurickson Profar. The rotation will be led by German Marquez and Kyle Freeland while Jose Urena, Austin Gomber and Connor Seabold fill out the bottom half. Daniel Bard leads a bullpen that also consists of Brad Hand and Dinelson Lamet. It seems to be the same old song and dance for the Rockies: good hitting and bad pitching.

Arizona Diamondbacks – projected record 79-83 – 4th NL West

The Diamondbacks are going to be a very interesting team this season. The lineup can mash as Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. bring pop to order while potential rookie phenom Corbin Carrol is in the preseason conversation for NL rookie of the year. Arizona’s rotation has upside as well with Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly coming off solid seasons. Madison Bumgarner and Zach Davies are both capable of putting together decent years, too. The D-Back bullpen is solid on paper with Kevin Ginkel, Andrew Chafin and Mark Melancon on the backend while 2022 all star Joe Mantiply and Jeurys Familia will be middle relievers. Arizona could make a push for a wild card spot but will need career years from a multitude of different players.

San Francisco Giants – projected record 83-79 – 3rd NL West

The Giants enter this season with solid pitching but a weaker lineup. San Francisco will have Joc Pederson, Michael Conforto and Brandon Crawford in the middle of the order while Mike Yastremski, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Joey Bart fill in around them. The rotation is led by Logan Webb who proved his rookie year was not a fluke and that he has ace-type stuff. Alex Cobb and Sean Maneaea will round out the top three in the Giant rotation while Ross Stripling and Alex Wood give the group both depth and balance. 

The San Fran bullpen features flamethrower Camilo Doval in the closer role while twins Taylor and Tyler Rogers will set him up. Anthony DeSclafani is projected to begin the year in a long-relief role but could see himself move into a starting spot at some point. Like the Diamondbacks, the Giants are average with decent upside. The team will need some hitters to have career years to make the postseason but that is not out of the realm of possibilities. 

San Diego Padres – projected record 98-64 – 2nd NL West

The Padres have opened up the wallet and built what some are calling a super team. Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim will be joined by Xander Bogarts, Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter. Trent Grisham and Austin Nola will round out and absolutely loaded lineup. The San Diego bullpen features lights-out closer Josh Hader. He will be supported by Robert Suarez, Luis Garcia and Drew Pomeranz.

If there is a weak-point in the Padres, it would be its starting rotation. Yu Darvish will be the “ace” of the staff  to start the season as Blake Snell and Michael Wacha will slot in behind him. Nick Martinez and Seth Lugo are the projected four and five starters as Joe Musgrove will likely miss the start of the season with a fractured toe. Musgrove will be the ace of the staff when he returns. The Padres will be in the postseason, the only question is how far this team will go.

Los Angeles Dodgers – projected record 105-57 – 1st NL West

Never, ever, discount the Los Angeles Dodgers. On paper this team may not appear as loaded as in years past, but, I assure you, the Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball. Starting at the top of the order is Mookie Betts. He is followed by Freddie Freeman and Will Smith. The heart of the order features Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez and David Peralta before Trayce Thompson, Miguel Cargas and Miguel Rojas round out the bottom third. That is ridiculous. Chris Taylor is also coming off the bench for this team.

As for the pitching, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias lead a staff that features Noah Syndergaard, a healthy Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. There is also a chance LA gets back its ace, Walker Buehler late in the season following Tommy John surgery in August 2022. The bullpen is loaded as well with Brusdar Graterol, Alex Vesia and Caleb Fergeson. Oh, and not to mention that Alex Reyes, Daniel Hudson and Blake Treinen will be healthy very soon. The Dodgers aren’t going away any time soon.

Los Angeles Dodgers 105 57 YES – NL #1
San Diego Padres 98 64 7.0 YES – NL #5
San Francisco Giants 83 79 22.0 NO
Arizona Diamondbacks 79 83 26.0 NO
Colorado Rockies 65 93 40.0 NO



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