Heading into this season, everyone thought the Dodgers were the clear favorites and that hasn’t been the case. The San Francisco Giants have bounced back nicely from their subpar 2013, in which they won just 76 games. Off to a hot start, the Giants currently sit a top of the NL West. However, the NL West is much stronger this year than it has been in the past.
San Francisco Giants (24-14) 1st place (Last 10: 7-3): The Giants are owners of the best record in baseball. Off-season acquisition Tim Hudson has been sensational at 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA and the third best WHIP in baseball (0.81). Much of the Giants success has been because of their bullpen. Jean Machi leads the team in wins out of the pen (5) and has given up just one earned run through his first 18.1 innings this year. Setup man Santiago Casilla (0.81 ERA) has done a great job getting the ball to closer Sergio Romo, second in the league with 12 saves. Coming off a series win over the rival Dodgers, the Giants enter what is sure to be a good series against the first place Braves.
Colorado Rockies (23-17) 2nd place (Last 10: 6-4): The Rockies have the best offense in all of baseball, let that sink in for a moment. As a team they’re batting .306. Where do we begin with this lineup? How about Troy Tulowitzki? “Tulo” is having an unbelievable start to the season; batting a leagues best .395, he’s tied for second in home-runs (11), third in runs batted in (33), and first in on base percentage (.497). Right behind Tulo is one of baseballs biggest surprises this season , Charlie Blackmon. He’s hitting .352 which is enough for second in the league. Can’t forget to mention guys like Justin Morneau (.329 BA), who is reviving his career in the rocky mountains, or Nolan Arenado who is fresh off that 28 game hitting streak. The only thing that may stop this team from going far this year is their mediocre pitching staff. Outside of Jordan Lyles (5-0 2.66 era), they’re the definition of average. Colorado has lost two of three to the Reds and will travel to Kansas City for a three game set.
Los Angeles Dodgers (20-19) 3rd place (Last 10 : 3-7): This is not where they expected to be at this point, but there aren’t many worries in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are one of , if not the most talented teams in all of baseball. They just got Clayton Kershaw back, and Zack Greinke has been amazing in Kershaws absence. Starting the season 6-2, while on a streak of 20 consecutive starts of allowing two earned runs or less. Their lineup is one of the best in baseball and is finally getting healthy. Matt Kemp is finally playing everyday and Yasiel Puig has been tearing the cover off the ball recently, going 15-37 (.405) in the month of May to this point. Former disappointment Dee Gordon has finally arrived, he’s batting .331 and has 24 stolen bases. Although they’re struggling of late, expect this team to pick it up soon now that they’re healthy. Having lost two of three to the rival Giants, the Dodgers will take on the Marlins.
San Diego Padres (18-21) 4th place (Last 10: 5-5): The Padres are actually doing better than people thought, because they’re not in last place. Andrew Cashner (2.86 ERA) has emerged as one of the better young pitchers in the game, leading what is quietly a good young staff. Following Cashner ,is Tyson Ross (3.02 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (3.12 ERA). Houston Street has been great, recording 11 saves with an incredibly low ERA of 0.56. San Diego’s offense will more than likely prevent them from beating out any teams above them. The Padres are fresh off a sweep of the Marlins and are headed to face The Reds, who will be happy to see this offense after taking on the Rockies.
Arizona Diamondbacks (15-25) last place (Last 10: 7-3): The Diamondbacks have looked absolutely miserable so far this year, mostly due to their pitching. The team owns a 4.91 ERA, the lone bright spot on the mound has been setup man Brad Ziegler. He has a 0.90 ERA through 20 innings. The D-backs offense hasn’t been that bad though. Paul Goldschmidt (.321 BA) is following up his breakout year nicely and is enjoying the month of May, batting .353. Arizona took two of three from the White Sox and will go back home to face the struggling Nationals.