Unscientific analysis has Dodgers winning another Western Division
For years I’ve done a silly little analysis before the start of the year to determine the Dodgers fate in the Western Division.
What I do is take the five NL Western Division team and compare them numerically from 1 – 5 with 5 being best at each position. I like to think I’ve always been objective in this analysis but I’m sure some Dodger bias always leaked out.
At the point where I rank them, I’m simply using my own subjective opinion about who I think is better. We have a lot of unknowns this year. The biggest for me was LF. If Dahl was healthy to start the year he’d have gotten the 5 but he’s not and I’m not sure how long his injury will linger.
Dodgers – Puig is a huge ??? but I’m fairly positive that Carlos Gonzalez is going to be better. Will Pence? Probably. That was pretty much the only question mark I have on this team until you hit the rotation. You know what you are going to get with Kershaw/Kenta but Hill / McCarthy / Wood / Urias / Kazmir / Ryu all come with questions but between the lot of them, I still think they are the best option in their rotation spot than almost all other options for the other teams. The rotation is just so bloody deep, it is a mockery for the rest of the division. Even Kazmir as the 5th option would be the best option when compared to every other team’s 5th option and he’s the worst 5th option the Dodgers have. I may be giving the Dodger bullpen to much credit.
Giants – From 1 – 4 the Giant rotation almost matches up with the Dodgers. They fall heavily after that and I’m not impressed with the bullpen after Melancon. On offense, they have only one five player and that is Posey. I’m not down on Panik I think he’s a fine 2nd baseman but the Division is deep with Forsythe / DJ LeMahieu / Solarte. Yes, the Padres have moved Solarte from 3rd to 2nd this spring. I gave Belt the nod over Adrian simply because of age. Belt should get better or at last stay the same, while Adrian should continue to decline. Nunez might be a fine 3rd baseman but he’s not better than Arenado/Turner/Lamb.
Rockies – The offense is loaded but beyond Arenado/Blackmon/Gonzalez they have some huge holes at catcher and now 1st base without Desmond. Even a healthy Desmond would have had a hard time cracking higher than a 1 going against Adrian/Belt/Myers/Goldy. They get two 5’s with Arenado/Gonzalez and just missed a 3rd with Blackmon. As of now, they are missing Dahl/Desmond/Murphy. That is a tough way to start the season and it impacted the ranking. On the rotation side, I do think they have one of their better rotations and I’m a big fan of Jon Gray but he simply can’t measure up against Kershaw/Bumgarner/Grienke. Without injuries, I think this team is just a hair behind the Giants, but those injuries are going to hurt. Chad Bettis would still have ranked as the 2nd worst option as his spot, but the difference could be huge. Or not. Maybe German Marquez can do exactly what Bettis would have done.
Diamondbacks – Goldy gets one of their two 5’s. Lamb is good but not better than Arenado/Turner. The middle infield is the weakest in the division. I’m giving Pollock the benefit of the doubt and he gets the other five over Blackmon/Pederson. I could be very wrong on this one if he can’t stay healthy. Peralta needs to bounce back so for now, he’s ranked with Renfroe. The rotation could actually be good headlined by Greinke. Walker has the stuff to be a legitimate number two and I’m ranking him that way. Robbie Ray is solid as a number three. I’m a fan of Corbin and expect one of Corbin or Miller to bounce back. This is a decent rotation but it comes in 3rd simply because they are facing off against the Dodger/Giant rotations. Their biggest problem in my view is up the middle at catcher/SS/2nd Base. I could be underselling Drury but I don’t think I’m underselling Iannetta / Owings. The bullpen could be their undoing, maybe the new GM knows exactly what he’s doing in building this bullpen but it looks like a unit that is going to piss off many a starting pitcher.
Padres – We kind of know the Padre rotation is going to be awful. but we don’t know what kind of production the Hunter Renfroe and Margot duo are going to provide. Renfroe could end up back in AAA or hit 30-40 home runs. Margot looks like he could be a solid player but CF is deep in the division with Pollock/Blackmon/Pederson. Myers is their best player and gets their highest ranking but they have no 5’s because of Goldy at 1st base. I do like the bullpen with Mauer/CappsHand.
So that is my little foray into prognosticating the NL Western Divison race.