We continue our MLB preview with a look at the National League West.
The Dodgers will take the division and will do so with future Hall of Famer SP Clayton Kershaw being a huge question mark with arm troubles, so it’s time for SP Walker Buehler to step up and lead a rotation towards another World Series appearance. These Dodgers, however, are healthy, SS Corey Seager and 3B Justin Turner, and with a breakout 2018 season can utility man Max Muncy do it again, 35 HRs in 396 plate appearances?
It all starts and ends with Colorado’s pitching rotation, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, and Jon Gray. If those three arms have similar or better seasons than 2018, fans can really cheer and expect to compete for the division. 3B Nolan Arenado is one of the best players in the league and paid accordingly, 8yr/$260mil! He could have the best glove at third base in a generation and teamed up with OF Charlie Blackmon will once again have loaded stats.
2019 will be a swan song season for San Francisco as 3x World Series-winning manager Bruce Bochy will retire. Giant fans have to hope aging veterans C Buster Posey, SS Brandon Crawford, and SP Jeff Samardzija play lights out and overachieve, not to mention SP Madison Bumgarner, who has been oft-injured the last two years. What do the Giants plan to do with Bumgarner, extend him or trade him? Giants look like an aging team with questions moving forward.
San Diego used 10yr/$300mil to lure 3B Manny Machado who is now ‘The Franchise.’ The Padres have seven pitchers in the MLB Pipeline top 100 so expect lots of competition because SP Joey Lucchesi, quite frankly, just can’t cut it as a top of the rotation guy. The Padres have a ton of upcoming talent, i.e., 2B Fernando Tatis Jr., but are still a couple of years away from making a divisional splash.
Now that 1B Paul Goldschmidt and OF AJ Pollack have packed their bags who will Arizona turn to now? OF David Peralta and 3B Jake Lamb are solid but nowhere near Goldy and AJ. Starter Zack Greinke has had a stellar career and pitched very well for the Diamondbacks, but fans are waiting to see if and when the wheels are going to fall off entering his age 35 season. It’s going to be difficult to move that age attached to that contract.