2019 MLB Predictions: National League

USATSI_12452043_168382939_lowres

National League West

1.Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Colorado Rockies (WC)

3. San Diego Padres

4. Arizona Diamondbacks

5. San Francisco Giants

Transparency of NL West: The Dodgers’ Grip On The West Is Loosening

Let’s start right here, right now. The Dodgers should still win the NL West this season. The caveat to that is two fold: The Dodgers may take a small step back, the Rockies will take a step forward.

The Rockies are no strangers to the NL Wild Card game as of late, having appeared in the last two play-in games. This Colorado team may be the best of the last three seasons. The team inked Nolan Arenado to a massive contract extension this offseason and added Daniel Murphy to the middle of the infield.

This team, partially because of where it plays, and partially because of the talent level it hosts, is going to score a lot of runs. What is concerning, as has been for the last two seasons, is the starting rotation. Last year, just one starting pitcher, Kyle Freeland, posted a sub-3.50 ERA. This team cannot rely on Freeland to go 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA once again. Those are tough numbers to achieve. It’ll need to avoid plus-4.50 ERA’s from three of it’s five starting pitchers. German Marquez is the starter to watch as the glue for this rotation past Freeland. This team could win the division, should things break the right way.

But, as of now, the division still belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Walker Buehler is going to continue to find himself in the big leagues and have an even better season than he did last year. Ross Stripling comes into his second full season in the Dodgers’ rotation, having posted a 3.02 ERA in 2018. They’ll, of course, join future Hall of Famer Calyton Kershaw, who recently threw a simulated game, and will rejoin the rotation somewhere down the line.

The offense is going to hit many homeruns and strikeout quite frequently. The boom or bust style of play will lead to splits of 81 games of seven runs scored and 81 games of zero runs scored. It’ll be frustrating, at times, to be a Dodgers’ fan. It’ll also be very rewarding when the team hits six homeruns in one game. Those boom style games will help the team win the division for a seventh straight year, putting them in a position to make a third straight World Series trip.

This is really a two team division this season. The Giants have finally accepted it’s time to rebuild, and will be one of the worst teams in the National League. The Diamondbacks have lost too much over the last few seasons. Trading the team’s superstar first baseman to the Cardinals signifies the window of success has likely closed. Don’t be surprised to see Robbie Ray or Zach Godley on the trade block, as the team focuses on Luke Weaver moving forward. The Padres, of course, acquired Manny Machado this offseason, but the average fan won’t be able to name a pitcher in the starting rotation this season. The offense will be improved in San Diego, but it won’t be enough to propel the Padres further than third in the division.

That’ll do it for the divisional predictions for 2019. Let’s take a quick look back at the ten teams that will make the playoffs in 2019.

American League: Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Yankees (WC), Rays (WC)

National League: Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers, Phillies (WC), Rockies (WC)

Check back in at the end of the season to see how these predictions held up.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

More from our Sister Sites