May 29, 2019
Los Angeles Dodgers (32-17)
Is this the year the Dodgers can finally win a World Series? If they even want to get there they will have to strengthen the team. All signs point to them making the playoffs by winning the NL West and maybe prove some people wrong.
Key Player: Clayton Kershaw (SP)
As Kershaw gets older, his prime years are starting to fade. If they want him to still dominate and win a World Series with him they will need to do it either this year or next. With him leading the way this year they should be poised for another run at a World Series.
Injuries: A.J. Pollock (OF)
Now with Pollock out, the outfield will still be able to perform well. Now they will all get more playing time and make the most out of the opportunity. If all of these players perform well in his absence, Pollock will have to earn his playing time back.
Arizona Diamondbacks (25-24)
Losing your star player in free agency hurts the whole organization. Surprisingly the D-backs are having a good year. With an ok rotation, the D-backs could shock some people and maybe win the NL West. A lot of things will have to go right for them to win.
Key Player: Adam Jones (OF)
Leaving a franchise after 11 years is tough, but putting up these stats is something to be happy about. So far, Jones has a .271 batting average with 9 HR. A resurgence from Jones could have him moving at the deadline if the team starts to fade.
Injuries: Jake Lamb (3B), Steven Souza Jr. (OF), Taijuan Walker (SP)
Losing top hitters on the team for a long time can take tolls on a team. With Souza Jr. out for the year and Lamb to miss almost 2 months, another injury for the year and the D-backs would go into sell mode at the trade deadline.
San Diego Padres (25-24)
Adding Manny Machado a week before the season began was a great move for the Padres. Not just for the team but for everyone involved. Machado brings his game west as he can elevate a teams play as soon as he steps on the field. With him on the team and all the young prospects, the Padres can be a dangerous team in the last weeks of baseball.
Key Player: Fernando Tatis (SS)
The franchises highest prospect, Tatis can take this team to another level when he returns from injury. He and Machado on the left side of the infield is a dangerous place to hit the ball. Then in the batting order, these two can do damage. Tatis will be the ultimate factor if they want to win the division and even some games in the playoffs.
Injuries: Francisco Mejia (C), Jose Pirela (OF), Garrett Richards (SP)
With the starting catcher on the IL, you would think the team is in shambles. Luckily Mejia will be back in a week and look to get back on track. This team has a lot of other players injured that don’t have a key role on the field. Having all of them healthy will be a boost for a team in need of one heading into the summer months.
Colorado Rockies (21-25)
With well-known superstars in the MLB on one team, the Rockies are here to let others know they have a good supporting cast as well. They have hitters to do some damage, but what about the pitching rotation? This years team will determine what the franchise should do moving forward into the next few years.
Key Player: Trevor Story (SS)
He’s the forgotten player because almost everyone is either talking about Charlie Blackmon or Nolan Arenado. Give this man some attention people! He’s currently hitting .265 with 11 HR on the season. Having him dominate at the plate is great for the Rockies.
Injuries: No key injuries
With minor injuries for a team around .500, they are just barely staying afloat. If they can stay healthy the whole year and other teams have injuries, that will be the only chance of the Rockies winning the NL West
San Francisco Giants (21-25)
This is the year that Madison Bumgarner will get traded from the Giants and start the rebuild. They had a good run with Bumgarner and now it’s time to move on. Unless this Giants team starts winning a lot of games, expect them to deal MadBum at the trade deadline.
Key Players: Infield
With the average age of the infield over 30, the experience is something they have. Don’t expect these men to make lots of errors in the field. But in the batter’s box is where they will struggle. Having all this experience is great, but when it comes to hitting, almost all of these hitters are past their prime.
Injuries: Johnny Cueto (SP)
Missing Cueto is why their record is what it is. Not having a solid starter after Madison Bumgarner hurts. The Giants will more than likely take there time bringing him back because there will be no need to rush him when you’re in last.
San Diego Padres (87-75)
Arizona D-backs (85-77)
Los Angeles Dodgers (84-78)
Colorado Rockies (81-81)
San Francisco Giants (74-88)
The NL West will have a surprise winner in the San Diego Padres. Adding Machado and with tons of young prospects, this team figures out how to play with one another and dominates at the end of the year. If they add a starting pitcher at the deadline, they will win a few more games than projected.