2013 Preview- NL West
It’s been a busy week for me. One week ago, I was on the news. Then I published my second-most popular post, the Matt’s Bats Chat with Heather Zimmerman. Finally I am able to do this is a post about my predictions for the NL West. It will be followed by the last division, the AL West. I hope you like it. If you missed any of the earlier posts, you can click on the links below to see my predictions for the NL East and Central Divisions and the AL East and Central Divisions.
5. Colorado Rockies
The duo of Troy Tulowitski and Carlos Gonzalez may delight fans out in the mountains, but Denver never seems to pull their season together. The high altitude in Denver’s stadium makes the ball shoot out into the outfield and has a higher home run rate than any other park in the major leagues. You would think that would help the Rockies because they play half their games there. But, the Rockies don’t have enough power hitters in their line up to take advantage of the high altitude and they kind of have a poor pitching staff. That was because their best pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, was traded to Cleveland. Their best man in the rotation is rising star Christian Friedrich. The Rockies don’t have a lot of super talent in their farm system. The Rockies may lose as many games as the Nationals win this year.
4. San Diego Padres
The “fathers” of baseball should know how to play well. But if you take a look at the Padres’ roster, Chase Headley is the only current star. San Diego was once the team to beat in the NL West. For example, in 1995, Tony Gwynn and Fernando Valenzuela (after he was a Dodger, and after Fernando-mania) were taking over the San Diego area. People don’t root for the Padres probably because the fan favorite mascot, the San Diego chicken, is not San Diego’s mascot anymore. I think they’ll finish just under .500.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
This team has Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Ian Kennedy, Heath Bell, and Didi Gregorius (“ssssss” like a snake) on their active roster for 2013, and Chase Field is definitely snake-proof. Kirk Gibson (who hit a walkoff home run in the 1988 world series) will lead the D-Backs to third this year. Martin Prado killed the Nats with Atlanta, so it is good that Washington does not play against Prado as much now as when he was in the NL East.
2. San Francisco Giants
The reigning World Series champs still have definite MVP Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey, but I think Los Angeles has a better shot at winning, despite their exceptional pitching staff of Jeremy Affeldt, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Sergio Romo, Ryan Vogelsong, and Barry Zito. I’m guessing that Tim Lincecum’s new look will affect the team this year; he doesn’t look like “The Freak” anymore. Fans hope the Giants will sign back former closer Brian Wilson, and then they opposing hitters with FEAR THE BEARD again!
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
L.A. has 3 top-notch starters- Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and now Zack Greinke. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier take L.A.’s batting crown. Could a team get any better than this? Power hitting and lights out pitching. I love listening to Vin Scully; he’s been saying “It’s Time For Dodger Baseball!” for more than 50 years. I think the Dodgers have a good chance at winning the World Series. Look out, Nats!
Tomorrow I’ll be posting the final part of this 6-part series predicting the Divisions. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my predictions. You can leave a comment, or write to me on Twitter at @MattsBats. You can also email my editors–I mean, parents–at web[@]mattsbats.com. Also let your friends and other Nationals fans know about my blog (www.mattsbats.com) and Twitter or by retweeting me. If you want to receive an email whenever there is a new post you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.