2014 MLB NL West Odds and Predictions – Vegas Odds to Win the National League West Division: While the NL West hasn’t been the deepest division in the league in recent years, the teams that have made the postseason have made some serious noise. The division has had at least one team reach the NLCS in six of the last seven years. During the stretch, three teams from the NL West have reached the World Series with the San Francisco Giants winning it all twice in the last four years. The Los Angeles Dodgers made it to the NLCS last year, and whether they or another team can continue the streak in 2014 remains to be seen. In the meantime, here is a closer look at how the National League West stacks up heading into the regular season.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ownership has paid a hefty price, but the Dodgers are absolutely loaded. The lineup features the likes of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez while the rotation is anchored by a pair of former Cy Young winners in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The bullpen isn’t bad either with Kenley Jansen blowing away batters in the ninth. The 42-15 run that saved their season a year ago should be the norm in 2014.
2. San Francisco Giants: After winning the World Series for the second time in three years in 2012, the Giants took a step back in 2013 as their normally-reliable pitching faltered. That being said, Tim Lincecum did show some signs of returning to form, and Madison Bumgarner emerged as a legitimate ace. Throw in Matt Cain, the offseason addition of veteran Tim Hudson, and an excellent bullpen, and San Francisco’s pitching should be able to bounce back. Meanwhile, the lineup has three quality bats in Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence. The window isn’t slamming shut just yet on the Giants’ time as contenders.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks overachieved last year finishing with a .500 record, and in the offseason, they added a big bat in Mark Trumbo to team with rising star Paul Goldschmidt. On the flip side, the pitching staff is depending on veterans Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill staying healthy and youngsters Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley repeating their success. Throw in a suspect bullpen, and the Diamondbacks just don’t seem to have the arms to compete with the top teams in the NL. Another season around the .500 mark seems likely.
4. Colorado Rockies: With Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado, scoring runs shouldn’t be an issue for the Rockies, especially in their hitter-friendly park. Unfortunately, there mediocre starting rotation has to find a way to keep opponents from scoring runs in the same hitter’s paradise. While Colorado will overwhelm teams with its offense at times, the lack of consistent pitching will keep the Rockies from contending in 2014.
5. San Diego Padres: Shortstop Everth Cabrera will pile up stolen bases and second baseman Jedd Gyorko showed a lot of promise in his first year, but the rest of the lineup is shaky at best. Chase Headley returning to form will help the cause, but San Diego’s offense is destined to be below average. Meanwhile, the rotation is relying heavily on Josh Johnson and Ian Kennedy staying healthy to provide support for Andrew Cashner, and that is a major gamble to say the least. In the end, this team just has too many holes to be competitive in 2014.
Prseason Odds to win the 2014 NL West Division
Los Angeles Dodgers win NL West -300
San Francisco Giants win NL West +325
Arizona Diamondbacks win NL West +1100
San Diego Padres win NL West +1500
Colorado Rockies win NL West +1800
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