MLB 2023: NL West Division Preview

by Scott Rickenbach

Thursday, Mar 30, 2023
NL West Division Preview for MLB 2022

Arizona Diamondbacks – Well it is tough being in a division with the Dodgers and Padres but here is the team that should finish #3 in the division. The Diamondbacks have some solid top arms at the front-end of their rotation and if the more unproven guys at the back-end pan out this team has a real shot to make noise in the division. Respectable batting lineup and solid bullpen too. Organization is run on a tighter budget than the big-market teams yet is still scrappy and ultra-competitive and that can make them a good team to ride at times from a betting standpoint. 

Colorado Rockies – This team continues to fall and is likely to be solidly in the basement of the division this year. The lineup just does not have enough, especially when you play at hitter-friendly Coors Field. The Rockies have some decent pitching on paper but it never seems to pan out on the field. Also, year after year, this team tends to be so bad on the road and again last season they lost 2/3 of their road games. Keep that in mind when looking to invest on this team which did play .500 ball at home last season. 

Los Angeles Dodgers – Great team, great organization and could play out this season with a chip on their shoulders after being knocked out of the playoffs by the Padres last season. If the pitching staff stays healthy, this rotation certainly looks like it could be a gem and the bullpen is solid and they have a dangerous lineup that is hard to find holes in for opposing pitchers. It is the depth of the lineup that makes them so tough to face and the pitching looks solid again. 

San Diego Padres – Adding Xander Boegarts is huge for this team and they have a dangerous lineup. Also, strong pitching rotation especially with the top 3 but can Josh Hader bounce back in the bullpen? This team will challenge the Dodgers again in the regular season and perhaps, just like last season, also challenge them in the post-season.  This division will be fun to watch another power struggle between these two teams for top billing in the NL West but the key for me is how the #4 and #5 guys in the pitching rotation pan out. What kind of production will they get from those guys? 

San Francisco Giants – Not a good team defensively (outside of Brandon Crawford) and that costs them when you have guys on the mound that are inducing ground balls but don’t have the best of support behind them in the field. I was shocked at how well this team played under manager Gabe Kapler in 2021. Sure enough in 2022 they came back down to reality and were a .500 team. They will fall even further this season most likely as just can not trust their lineup and they also made some changes to the rotation and bullpen this season. But the changes are with adding guys coming off tougher recent seasons that may not be a fluke either. In other words, these are guys that over-achieved in the past. The reality is that is the case for this team overall. 2021 was an overachievement and the descent that began in 2022 continues in 2023. 

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