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OnBaseMachine
03-01-2008, 11:52 AM
Has anybody noticed how strong the National West is going to be this year? I can remember just three years ago when the Padres won the division with a 82-80 record and the other four teams were eight games below .500 or worse. Last season four NL West teams finished above .500, two reach the NLCS and one won the NL Pennant. This year there are four teams from that division with solid chances of winning the pennant (DBacks, Dodgers, Padres, Rockies). Even the Giants have strong pitching but with their offense they'll be lucky to win 65-70 games.

Check out the rotation for each team:

Arizona DiamondBacks:

RHP Brandon Webb
RHP Dan Haren
LHP Randy Johnson
RHP Micah Owings
LHP Doug Davis

Los Angeles Dodgers:

RHP Brad Penny
RHP Chad Billingsley
RHP Jason Schmidt
RHP Hiroki Kuroda
RHP Derek Lowe

San Francisco Giants:

RHP Matt Cain
RHP Tim Lincecum
LHP Barry Zito
RHP Kevin Correia
LHP Noah Lowry

San Diego Padres:

RHP Jake Peavy
RHP Chris Young
RHP Greg Maddux
LHP Randy Wolf
RHP Mark Prior

Colorado Rockies:

LHP Jeff Francis
RHP Aaron Cook
LHP Franklin Morales
RHP Jason Hirsh
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

The Rockies rotation is young but very talented. How well those young guys develop will dictate how far they go this season. From top to bottom this is the best division in terms of starting pitching IMO. The AL East is a close second but with the Orioles trading Bedard it hurts them.

cincrazy
03-01-2008, 12:15 PM
The NL West is going to be ridiculous. The Giants are going to be looking at an embarrassing season, to say the least.

KronoRed
03-01-2008, 01:07 PM
Just think a few years ago it was an embarrassment where the winner barely reached .500.

Stewie
03-01-2008, 01:50 PM
Plus the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the horizon, who very well could contribute in the majors at some point this season.

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2008, 01:56 PM
Plus the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw on the horizon, who very well could contribute in the majors at some point this season.

The Dodgers are going to have a filthy bullpen this season with guys like Takashi Saito, Jonathon Meloan, and Jonathan Broxton. Hong-Chih Kuo and Yhency Brazoban have a chance to be good relievers too if they can stay healthy.

*BaseClogger*
03-01-2008, 06:15 PM
The Giants are terrible, the D-Backs greatly outpreformed their Pythagorean W/L, and I expect the Rockies to fall back to Earth (as in not win like 20 games in a row in September)...

jmcclain19
03-01-2008, 06:44 PM
Just think a few years ago it was an embarrassment where the winner barely reached .500.

Which is why the continued thinking of NL Central teams that 85 wins will get you in the playoffs is foolhardy.

Baseball goes in cycles - you can bet the Central will be back up in another year or two.

cincrazy
03-01-2008, 06:47 PM
Which is why the continued thinking of NL Central teams that 85 wins will get you in the playoffs is foolhardy.

Baseball goes in cycles - you can bet the Central will be back up in another year or two.

Exactly right. As a matter of fact, if the Cubs ownership situation works out, and the Brewers and Reds young talent develops as it should, the Central isn't going to be a fun division to play in within a few years.

crazybob60
03-01-2008, 07:35 PM
As soon as the Diamondbacks acquired Dan Haren I knew that not only was the DBacks rotation going to be ridiculously good but as you stated, the entire division is as well. I just know that that first series of the season that the Reds have to open the year, which just our luck, against the DBacks, is really going to test us. We will get some of the best in the league in Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, and Randy Johnson.

red-in-la
03-01-2008, 08:00 PM
The list looks pretty impressive. How does the NL East look? I see some paper tigers in the NL West.....though overall it may be as impressive a list as there is.

Padres could turn into two starts and pray for rain....Peavy and Young are two great starts but the league will catch up to the Great Gray One (Maddux) eventually.....2008 is as good a year as any. Wolf and Prior may be inferior to the Reds' 4 & 5....time will tell.

The Giants are young and as pointed out already won't score many runs.

I think the D'Backs will struggle. Ownings is their Matt Belisle. If he doesn't continue to progress, 3/5th's of their rotation could be problematical also.

This is why the season is so interesting and why this is such a great thread. Thanks OBM. It gives me some extra things to watch out for.

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2008, 08:20 PM
The list looks pretty impressive. How does the NL East look? I see some paper tigers in the NL West.....though overall it may be as impressive a list as there is.


The NL East also looks it will be tough. The Mets have got to be the favorites with the addition of Johan Santana, arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Following Santana in the rotation is Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, and John Maine. That's a pretty darn tough top four. Their offense also looks to be very strong.

The Braves and Phillies both look like solid teams. The Braves have a good looking offense led by Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira, but do they have enough pitching. John Smoltz and Tim Hudson are a great 1-2 but they lack solid starters after that. Glavine is back but he's getting old and is just a shell of his former self. Jair Jurrjens has potential but's still young.

The Phillies have a great offense but like the Braves, they have two good starters (Hamels and Myers) and not a whole lot after that. Kendrick was decent as a rookie last year but his with his inability to strike anyone out it's hard to count on him to repeat that performance. Jamie Moyer is 45 years old and nobody knows how much he has left in the tank.

The Marlins have some young talent but they'll struggle to win 70 games this year. The Nats won't make much noise either.

KronoRed
03-01-2008, 11:11 PM
Which is why the continued thinking of NL Central teams that 85 wins will get you in the playoffs is foolhardy.

Baseball goes in cycles - you can bet the Central will be back up in another year or two.

Exactly right, I bet the champ of the C this year has 92 wins.