Well, maybe no hitting is a bit strong but a simple glance at the stats tells you that is a pitchers division through and through. ERA-the top 4, and 8 of the top 20 are from the NL West. Saves-4 of the top 5. Strikeouts- 8 of the top 20. So is pitching going to win it or will it actually be the team that gets hot in the batters box? I’m damned if I know, but here is a quick rundown of the chances of each team. (By the way the picture of Brandon Webb is there because I’ve finally worked out out to put images into this blog, it’s actually ludicrously easy so expect many more tiresomely irrelevant pictures as the weeks and months drag on).
Giants- the runt of the litter, too reliant on BB, and not enough of a bullpen to make it through the season, will finish 5th.
Rockies- a nice surprise (I know that sounds patronizing,it was meant to) but they are over .500 and if they keep their heads they can stay that way. Can’t really see them competing for first place but could have a big say in who does finish there, or even who gets the wild card.
Dodgers-grrr I hate the Dodgers, don’t know why I just do ( maybe it’s because Alyssa Milano never returns my calls). Anyway, at the start of the season I thought they were too old and lacked a big hitter. I still think that, but one good trade could change it all, but then again so could one bad injury. It’s a knife-edge whether they can win this thing or not.
Padres- they are like spiders in the garden, you don’t really notice them but you know that they’re there. Undoubtedly the best starting rotation of the 5 teams, and they have Trevor Hoffman. In an earlier post I compared them to Coldplay i.e. tedious but all conquering I stand by that and in my heart of hearts I think they will win this one.
Diamondbacks- almost match the Padres for pitching but the Big Unit is vulnerable to injury and the bullpen (I think) has slightly over performed. All that said there is enough pitching there to ensure that they never have a really awful run and that will keep them in the race. If the oft touted young hitters ever hit as good as their promise then they will be unstoppable, but that is a very big if. Could be the D-Backs and the Dodgers battling for the wild card.
Obviously within a week these predictions will be ashes in my mouth but for now I stand by them.
For those interested my wife thinks that the Diamondbacks will win the lot. Let’s hope her feminine intuition trumps my ruthlessly objective analysis.
Enjoy the game.