As part of our ongoing week of baseball coverage, this is the last preview for Tailgate Talk previewing the National League West listed in order of where I think teams place by October.
San Francisco Giants
2015 record: 84-78 (Second in NL West)
Offseason acquisitions:Acquired: Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Denard Span.
Offseason losses: Nori Aoki.
W2W4: It’s another even numbered year, and the Giants have been known for their great stretches in such years. The team has gone onto winning the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Does 2016 have the same result? The Giants did go out and bolster its starting rotation by adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to pitch behind ace Madison Bumgarner. They added Denard Span who will surely help with things in the deep outfield at AT&T Park and could be a viable option at the top of the lineup. Things are looking up for the Giants.
2015 record: 79-83 (Third in NL West)
Offseason acquisitions: Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Tyler Clippard.
Offseason losses: Aaron Hill.
W2W4: Very few teams have made as much offseason noise as the Diamondbacks. Adding Greinke and Miller to the rotation will surely make them a viable threat for the National League. The Diamondbacks have a threat for MVP with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and one of the best center fielders in AJ Pollock. Though we’ve seen teams make big hauls in the offseason that didn’t pan out (looking at you 2015 Padres), it’s at least got things heating up in the Arizona desert.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2015 record: 92-70 (First in NL West- eliminated by Mets, 3-2, in NLDS)
Offseason acquisitions: Joe Blanton, Scott Kazmir.
Offseason losses: Greinke.
W2W4: The Dodgers have been paying the most money for their players, and it hasn’t been working out in their favor, losing in the Division Series each of the last two years. It doesn’t help that the Dodgers were one of the worst rotations after Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, and seeing Greinke sign with division rival has to be a cause for concern. There are lot of questions coming from their everyday players being a mix of aging veterans and talented youth, but if everybody plays well, the offense should be a lot of to watch.
San Diego Padres
2015 record: 74-88 (Fourth in NL West)
Offseason Acquisitions: Fernando Rodney, Alexei Ramirez.
Offseason losses: Bud Norris, Craig Kimbrel, Justin Upton, Will Middlebrooks.
W2W4: After making big splashes in the trade market a year ago, much of those findings have now been lost to trades or free agency. Things didn’t pan out as well as the front office had envisioned when going all in at some star talent, and they’ve decided to part ways with majority of them including Kimbrel and Upton. Things aren’t going to be looking up for the Padres who will probably suffer an even worse year this year than they did last season. The only thing to look forward to is maybe a few good moments from Matt Kemp and a few arrows shot into the sky by Rodney.
2015 record: 68-94 (Fifth in NL West)
Offseason acquisitions: Jake McGee, Mark Reynolds, Jason Motte.
Offseason losses: Corey Dickerson.
W2W4: Couldn’t envision things getting much worse for the Rockies who traded away centerpiece shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the slugging Blue Jays for Jose Reyes who is looking to face suspension this season after a domestic abuse incident. Yes, things got worse for the team struggling to stay relevant in the league. The Rockies will rely heavily on Carlos Gonzalez to be the leader of the club, but it helps when they have one of the best all around third baseman, Nolan Arenado, to help with things. Mark Reynolds could make some baseballs fly in the Colorado air, but will also strike out 200 plus times. Moral of the team: take what you can get. Let’s just say expectations are much lower than the teams stadium altitude.