The NL West – A Battle of Three
The NL West continues to be dominant. Well, the top three teams are the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants, who are still some of Major League Baseball’s best and must-watch teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, not so much. The Padres and Dodgers were favorites heading into the season, but the Giants have made a pretty strong case for themselves, boasting the MLB’s best record.
How do they do it? The teams pitch like no other. Defense wins championships, and these teams have that and more. From the looks of how each of these teams win games, one of them could easily win the World Series at the end of this season.
The Giants Are Deadly from the Mound
The Giants play defense better than anybody else. Gausman continues to be lights out on the mound. He has a 1.49 ERA and is 8-1 across 15 starts. DeSclafani is another one of those names that teams hate to see as a matchup. His ERA took some heavy-hitting recently, but his 8-2 record shows what his ERA doesn’t and that he pitches winning games.
This could all be because the Giants’ defense are fantastic on defense. They support their pitching like no other team in the league; they commit the fewest errors. And, everybody knows one of the simplest facts of baseball. The team that commits the most errors gives themselves a very difficult chance of winning a lot of games, let alone a championship. The Giants swing well, pitch well, and defend well. So, they win.
Even With Injuries, The Dodgers Make it Happen
The Dodgers sit pleasantly in second place in the NL West, but their team has never really been quite whole. Without Bellinger, Muncy, and Seager, the Dodgers have scored the second-most runs in the MLB and have the second-best on base percentage. Muncy and Bellinger came back this week, and Seager should be back shortly, so the Dodgers should have been looking stronger than ever…until they got swept by the Padres.
The Padres seem to be the Dodgers’ true Achilles heel this season, but even with their inability to get the job done against their intradivision rivals, they still remain one of the best teams in baseball. Just look at their stats. When it comes to pitching, they are within the top five of just about every major category. Bauer, Buehler, Kershaw, Urias. I mean, come on. Talk about deadly. There are few starting matchups that the Dodgers do not feel confident that they win, and they shouldn’t.
Padres Aren’t Even Hitting Their Stride Just Yet
The Padres are 46-32, which plants them in third in the NL West despite being at the top for most of the beginning of the season. They have run into similar issues as the Dodgers, as they are never quite playing to the best of their ability. As long as they get there eventually, the beginning of the season will just look like a warmup, but if Manny Machado and Blake Snell never get going, they are going to be one frustrated team.