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UCB Project: NL West Predictions

March 4, 2008

edmonds-padres.jpg 

(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

today, the participating united cardinal bloggers are doing their predictions for the nl west and I’m one of them. so, with out holding you up, lets get started.

this division is going to be an absolute dog fight if the teams play like they did at the end of last season. I expect the nl west to be the most competitive division in the nl.

just think about it; there is so much star power and budding and established ace pitchers in this division. san fransisco is the only team that I don’t see competing for a division crown. if players perform up to their potential and all teams stay relatively injury free, this is going to be a great division to watch. we all know that does not happen often and injuries usually separate the contenders from the would-be contenders.

First up, you got the revamped dodgers. they got a new manager, joe torre. they added bye power hitting andruw jones who should add some much needed pop to the lineup. they got the jackrabbit juan pierre who is you prototypical leadoff hitter and usually gets the job done. then, their are the aging veterans like jeff kent and garciaparra who should be the leaders (although its known that kent is not a very friendly guy). the staff ace, brad penny, is one of the best righthanded starters in the nl and behind him you have a kid who possess tremendous stuff who needs to put it together; chad billingsly. broxtan and saito are a great setup/closer combo. also, the stud catcher, rus martin.

then, you got the reining nl champs; the colorado rockies. this is a very good young team that got it all together the last two months of last season. some very good to great players on this bunch. tulowitzki, atkins, hawpe, holliday, jimenez, buckholz, hirsh, etc. you can keep going. the got a solid bullpen and a deep rotation that includes the forementioned fireballer, jimenez, aaron cook, jeff francis (stud lefthander), buckholz, hirsh, the kipster, mark redman, and on. they should be very good at least for the next couple of teams. let’s not forget the solid bullpen.

don’t forget about this division’s champs last season, the arizona d’backs. their rotation is solid with webb, haren and the aging johnson at the top. owings is a good young pitcher and doug davis is a .500 lefty bringing up the back of the rotation. they got some great young players in the infield and what I think of as future all-stars, justin upton and chris young in the outfield. their bullpen is solid even though they did trade away valverde, a 40 save closer.

last but not least, my heart’s pick, the san diego padres. peavy, young, wolf and old master painter (maddux) for a pretty good 1-4 starter bunch. then you got the enigma that is mark prior. we’ll see what happens with that. the bullpen is solid with all the weird motion relievers and the ageless trevor hoffman and his devistating changeup. the infield is solid with gonzalez, iguchi and greene. I honestly don’t know who plays third, I think it was a platoon last season. then, what makes this team my heart’s pick: jimmy edmonds. I think he will have a very productive season because he is determined and has put a lot of effort into working out this offseason; at least that’s what I got from all the articles I’ve read. giles is aging and I don’t know who is playing left, supposed to be some prospect that they think highly of.

I’m not even going to discuss the giantsbecause I think they will be pretty bad like the cardinals. with them, waisting a whole lot of money goes hand in hand with being bad after signing zito and rowand.

now, let’s pick’em! logically it’s hard to decide between the d’backs, rox and padres. the dodgers are the darkhorse in this division. I’m thinking the wild card team will probably come out of this division for the 2008 season. so, my mind saysd’backs and my heart says padres. I don’t know, I just don’t happen to think that colorado’s starting pitching will not hold up all season although they really can pound the ball with all the great hitters they got. I also don’t know if their bullpen can be spectacular like it was the last two months of last season to put them over the top and get them to the playoffs.

So, those are my predictions and I’m sticking to them!

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