Chet Popelka

Best and Worst Case Scenarios For Every NL West Team

By January 04, 2017
How Things Could Play Out in the West?

We’re but a few short months away from spring training, and while there still are a great many free agents still available and a few big trades away from wrapping up the winter, we generally know where every team stands for the upcoming season. With that, we’ll make predictions on the best and worst case scenario for every NL West team.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Best Case Scenario:

After years of long efforts, lost jobs, and bad trades, the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff finally arrives. Zack Grienke returns to Cy Young form, Shelby Miller returns to pretty good, Robbie Ray and Braden Shipley turn into solid middle of the rotation pieces. Paul Goldschmidt eclipses the MVP threshold. With AJ Pollack back and Yasmany Tomas and Jake Lamb playing up to 2016 standards, the Diamondbacks maintain one of the best offenses in baseball and compete for a playoff spot.

Worst Case Scenario:

The pitching staff stays exactly where they’re at, again. The Diamondbacks have just as many injury issues as last year. The offense takes a step back to league average, and the Diamondbacks have yet another dreadful season behind one of the league’s worst starter ERAs. 

Colorado Rockies

Best Case Scenario:

With one of the league’s most explosive lineups in the league’s most hitter friendly ballparks, the Rockies score the most runs in baseball. Nolan Arenado eclipses Kris Bryant for the MVP this time around. The Rockies see big steps forward from Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman and Eddie Butler. Then, while in contention, the Rockies trade some of their excess outfielders for a premier starter at the deadline. The Rockies finish with a league average ERA, and shock the world taking the division from the Dodgers behind the league’s highest scoring offense. 

Worst Case Scenario:

The Rockies’s young starters all fall on their faces both at Coors Field and on the road. The Rockies are forced to go to the trade market to fill their pitching needs, and get quality innings. Injuries plague some of the stars like Trevor Story or Carlos Gonzalez. After trades and injuries, the Rockies suddenly don’t have depth in the outfield anymore, and they set their rebuilding efforts back another year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Best Case Scenario:

The Dodgers get full seasons from Clayton Kershaw (another Cy Young trophy), and Kenta Maeda. Julio Urias proves not to be all-hype. The offense is held down by Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner. Even with a shaky outfield, with Kershaw, Maeda and Urias dealing, the Dodgers prove to be unbeatable and take another NL West crown. Maybe even this time see some better luck in the postseason.

Worst Case Scenario:

The Dodgers pitching staff once again goes through injury troubles, like the last two years. They bite the bullet and trade for a big time ace, who disappoints after being traded. Age gets the better of Gonzalez and Turner. Strikeouts get the better of Pederson and Grandal. Corey Seager is left to fend for himself. Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig causes a raucous in the clubhouse. The Rockies or Giants sneak up and take the division. Everyone loses their jobs.

San Diego Padres

Best Case Scenario:

A.J. Preller gets a time machine and skips ahead to 2020… I kid. The Padres can have a “successful” season if their veterans play up to standards and A.J. Preller can find new homes for them at the deadline. The team seals up the number one draft pick, and A.J. Preller can take on some major league salaries to acquire draft picks and international bonus pool money to sign 16 year olds. Like I said, 2020.

Worst Case Scenario:

Oh I’m sorry, the Padres’ best case scenario actually is also their worst-case scenario. 2020 will be here in no time.

San Francisco Giants

Best Case Scenario:

Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto duel each other in the last month for the Cy Young award. Chalk up two more all-star notches for Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. At the deadline the Giants work their midseason magic and acquire a left field slugger, there are many. And even though the farm is barren, they’ll still find some way to acquire a few more relievers. We all know they’re much needed. The Giants sneak up and steal a playoff spot. Madison Bumgarner does his thing, and the Giants snatch another World Series away from a deserving fan base.

Worst Case Scenario:

Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto are just as good as last year, but everyone else isn’t. At the ago of 29 Buster Posey starts feeling his legs a lot more. Brandon Crawford has an issue with his swing and drops down to a .250 hitter again. The front office can’t find ways to fill holes at third base, left field, and the bullpen, and the Giants miss the playoffs like every other odd numbered year. Only this time, Johnny Cueto exercises his opt out clause, and goes to Los Angeles. The Giants start the 2017-18 offseason with needs at starting pitcher, third base, outfield, the bullpen, with money tied up in veterans, and absolutely no farm system left. Three World Series’ is enough anyway.

Who do you think takes the NL West? Let us know why in the comments!

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