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NL West: D'backs take the reins
Whoever wins the National League West may end up making "winning ugly" hip again.
If the Arizona Diamondbacks are any indication, for example, there's nothing like a good blowout loss to propel your team to the top. Since July 17, the Diamondbacks have gone 14-4 -- and they've been outscored by two runs. Their four defeats have been by the scores of 10-1, 6-2, 14-0 and 11-0, a total pummeling of 41-3.
That's some pretty big yang to go with Arizona's yin, even if the yangs have been few and far between lately.
Essentially saving their runs for when they have best been able to use them, the Diamondbacks have become the third team to rule the NL West this season, taking leads of 1 1/2 games over the Padres and four games over the Dodgers, whom Arizona swept in Los Angeles this weekend. Colorado continues to lurk on the outskirts of the race, 5 1/2 games back.
The NL West has been the top division in the National League this season, with its teams entering play Monday a collective 16 games over .500. But the group seems to be about as fit as a run-over fiddle these days. All four contending teams face significant issues in their starting rotations:
San Diego, which could get Young back sooner than later to rejoin Jake Peavy at the head of the rotation, perhaps should still be considered the favorite in the NL West. However, it's interesting to consider that, if you stipulate that the Rockies had the least to lose when it came to pitching, that they have the most to gain from the wave of problems everyone is having.
If the NL West race becomes a battle of offenses against a majority of starting pitchers who appear to be throwing something close to batting practice each time they take the mound, would it be so strange for outfielders Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe to help Colorado get its turn at the lead?
Probably, one should continue to bet against the Rockies being on top come October, but no team in the NL West is invulnerable.
Labels: NL West
posted by SI.com | View comments |
The Diamondbacks will win this division because they have the least amount of injuries and the most talent. It is that simple
I love how overhyped the Padres are. They have no hitting whatsoever yet there are people penciling them in for a World Series appearance. Pitching can only take you so far because runs are needed to win ballgames lol.
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