Continuing on with my predictions of who going to finish where and why, it's time to finish up on the National League and go over what I think will happen in what I believe will be the weakest division in the NL, the National League West.
5. San Diego Padres - As bad as the team from our nation's capital is going to be, I still can't see any team being worse than the Padres. My best friend lives in San Diego and is a Padre fan, and I feel for her. I really do. Last year, this team was one loss shy of 100 for the season. And what did they do this off-season? They traded their over-priced shortstop (Khalil Greene) and spent the better part of the winter meetings trying to unload their ace pitcher (Jake Peavy). They are slashing payroll, and they have just found a new owner. I think 110 losses isn't out of the question this season.
4. Colorado Rockies - I think the 2007 postseason run was nothing more than a fluke for these guys. Last year the Rockies finished with a 74-88 record, which is about where I would put them in 2009, if not worse. They traded their best hitter (Matt Holliday), and their ace, Jeff Francis, is out for the season. They do still have some pop in their lineup, but the back end of the rotation is very weak.
3. San Francisco Giants - This team has the best starting rotation in the division, but because they did not go out and add an impact bat, I cannot see them being more than a .500 team. Tim Lincecum is great, and Randy Johnson still has some stuff left in the tank, but Bengie Molina is the cleanup hitter, and that just won't cut it. Fred Lewis is quick, and Aaron Rowand is dependable, but the Giants overpaid for an aging Edgar Renteria and will have a ton of inexperience at the other infield positions. Still, this starting staff will be enough to win a number of games, but this team needs to add a power hitter by the trade deadline, or they will be going nowhere but home at season's end.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks - The D-Backs, much like the Giants, boast a strong starting rotation that includes possibly the best 1-2 punch in baseball, Brandon Webb and Dan Heren. They added Jon Garland to the mix, and their offense, while not the strongest, is better than San Francisco. but like the Giants, they lack that true impact player on offense. Mark Reynolds can hit, but this team needs guys like Chris Young and Justin Upton to step it up if they are going to take the division in 2009.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - This is the best all-around team in the west. After Manny Ramirez re-signed with the Dodgers, fans began making postseason plans. Any why not? No other team's offense in this division comes close to matching what the Dodgers will bring. Along with Ramirez, Los Angeles has Russell Martin, James Loney, and Matt Kemp to go along with their other new addition, Orlando Hudson. The rotation is not as strong, having lost both Derek Lowe and Brad Penny to free agency, but the offense will make up for their shortcomings. I give them anywhere from 85-87 wins, which should put them in front by a few games at the end of the season.
Just my opinion.