2008 NL West Preview
How the West was won last season was extremely interesting. San Diego found itself out, having lost the Wild Card playoff game to the upstart Colorado Rockies by one run. The Arizona Diamondbacks managed to win the division outright by one-half game. The Dodgers finished eight games off the pace and the Giants were anything but giants, coming in 19 games behind the leaders.
This season, the Arizona Diamondbacks look to repeat as West Division champs. With the addition of Dan Haren, the club’s pitching staff is stronger. But the big question is The Big Unit—Randy Johnson. A healthy Johnson equals a division flag. If Johnson cannot pitch effectively, this team is in trouble.
Many expect the Colorado Rockies to be the number two club once again. It’s possible but a lack of depth in the rotation could be a problem. The team can generate offense, which will certainly help. The Rockies’ great fielding is also a big asset. Matt Holliday is an extraordinary player who can make electric things happen at the plate.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a new manager and you’ve heard of him—Joe Torre. Torre will manage a team that has some fine hitters and pitchers. These guys could be contenders, although depth is certainly a problem. And some of the important players have health issues. Don’t expect Torre to turn this club around instantly.
In San Diego, the Padres will field a team that features a good starting rotation, an effective bullpen and little to no offense. At the end of last season, the pitching staff could not hold it together and there wasn’t enough offense to compensate. The team is pretty much in the same spot it was then.
The San Francisco Giants have fallen on tough times. With precious little offense, a shaky rotation and a lack of defense, it’s time for Giants’ management to implement some type of rebuilding plan. It should be a long season in San Francisco.
2008 National League West Predictions
Projected Order of Finish:
Click on team name for individual team preview.