Three members of Covers’ editorial team – namely Andrew Avery, Andrew Caley and Justin Hartling – continue their tour around the bigs to take a stab at where oddsmakers will open win totals for each club.
The final stop is the National League West.
Click here see:
National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers
2014 record: 94-68
2014 win total: 95
Andrew Avery: The question is whether or not the Dodgers will have the highest projected total for the 2015 season. I’m going to say they will. Obviously, the team is absolutely loaded throughout the order and the pitching staff. They won 94 games last season, so what’s to stop oddsmakers with tabbing the Dodgers with 94.5 wins?
Justin Hartling: Yeah, the Dodgers are really good at baseball. They had the highest OBP last season, they were third in batting average and sixth in team ERA. The team has not lost any pieces this offseason and they should be just as good as last season. I’m guessing 91.5…oh yeah, they have this guy too.
Andrew Caley: Look we all know the Dodgers are going to win a lot of games this season. They re-worked their middle infield adding Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick and placing Brandon McCarthy in the rotation is a nice move. Oh yeah, that Clayton Kershaw guy can pitch. I remember them having an absurdly high win total last year and it’s going to be very high again. Prediction: 93.5
San Francisco Giants
2014 record: 88-74
2014 win total: 85.5
Andrew Avery: When I think of this team, I can’t get past Madison Bumgarner’s dominance in the postseason en route to a World Series title. The Giants are a scrappy bunch with pretty good pitching and, what, average hitting and offense? They added Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki, but lost Panda to the BoSox. I just see a lot of questions with this team: health, what to expect from hurlers like Matt Cain, have the Padres surpassed them, etc. Still, they are the defending champs and they will be a player in division. I’m gonna say 85.5 wins for this club.
Justin Hartling: Avery goes digging into the old clichés calling the Giants “scrappy.” This is a team thank ranked in the top 12 in almost every single major category last season and sure they lost Panda, but this team was far from purely based on him. There are some question marks in the starting rotation, mostly due to age, but their relief pitching is some of the best in the majors. There will be a slight dropoff, but I can’t foresee too much. I’m pegging them at 86.5.
Andrew Caley: Win the World Series, miss the playoffs, win the World Series, miss the playoffs, win the World Series… I wonder what happens next? I have the most respect for Madison Bumgarner. I honestly don’t think what he did last October is getting enough praise. I think it was one of the greatest sporting performances I have ever seen. That being said they need to make the playoffs. Losing Pablo Sandoval hurts and banking on Jake Peavy and Tim Lincecum at the backend of the rotation is tough. Prediction: 86.
San Diego Padres
2014 record: 77-85
2014 win total: 78
Andrew Caley: This is the team everyone is going to want to talk about. A brand new outfield with Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp. Plus an All-Star catcher in Derek Norris to go along with “Big Game” James Shields. Oh and now they’re linked to Cole Hamels. This is not the Padres of old. While this team has improved drastically, they probably won’t be flashy and will have to win a lot of close games. Prediction: 86.5.
Andrew Avery: Clearly the biggest wild card in the majors. The Pads just completely reloaded and went after big names both in the field and on the bump. And yeah, latest rumors involve Hamels. Amazing. They’ll make the Friars worth talking about again, which is a good thing. Like we had discussed earlier, the real Over/Under could be 500 strikeouts for that outfield. Yeesh. I’m going to go a tick lower and say 85.5 wins for this team.
Justin Hartling: Like you said Avery, the new outfield may set a new standard for accumulative K’s in a season. Upton, Myers and Kemp had 406 strikeouts last season and that’s with Myers only player in about half of the games. When I see this team I see a lot of names, but I think there are some players who are overrated. The pitchers will be great, which should make winning in the pitcher friendly confines of Petco Park, but I’m not sold on the bats yet. I’m going lower than both of you and saying 84.5
2014 record: 66-96
2014 win total: 76
Justin Hartling: To the surprise of nobody, the Rockies’ hitting numbers looked great and their pitching numbers look bad last season. I don’t necessarily blame Coors Field on the poor pitching numbers as the Rockies rotation screams “we aren’t very good!” Not one of the starters had an ERA less than 4.10 and only one managed to hit triple-digits in K’s. I expect one of the lowest totals in the MLB for Colorado, which I’ll put at 71.5.
Andrew Caley: My pick to finish dead last in the NL West this season. Outside of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, this is a team full of holes. They can hit, mind you, and Coors Field is a hitters park of course, but no starter with an ERA under 4.10? That spells trouble in the thin Colorado air. Prediction: 71.
Andrew Avery: Tulo is so awesome, but like you guys mentioned, this team just cannot pitch. They’ll mash at Coors, but they will struggle to win 70 I feel. I’ll say 70.5. I don’t have much to add that you guys haven’t covered, so…
2014 record: 64-98
2014 win total: 78.5
Andrew Avery: You probably aren’t alive inside if you don’t like Paul Goldschmidt, but…Sigh. 68.5 wins. This is the D-backs in gif form.
Andrew Caley: Prediction: 67.5. 🙁
Justin Hartling: 66.5
What do you think? Leave your thoughts on win totals for the NL West clubs in the comments section.