The Best of the West–2013 NL West Preview

NL-WestNow that spring training is in full swing (yeah..that’s a pun)) I figure it’s a good time to give the blogosphere what it really wants–obviously that’s my predictions for the two divisions that call the West Coast home.  First, lets look at the NL West.  The NL West continues to become one of baseball’s stronger divisions.  The Dodgers have shown the world that they aren’t afraid to spend big bucks, the Giants have been taking home championships, and the Diamondbacks and Padres are poised to be strong contenders in 2013.

In doing some research for this post, I saw some crazy statistics used to predict who will take the NLWest crown in 2013.  One that I have seen before, and that is used repeatedly, is known as the Pythagorean Expectation.  This statistic is actually very simple, and is calculated by dividing runs scored by runs allowed to arrive at predicted winning percentage.  Using this formula yields a fairy surprising result.

NL West 2013 Projections

SD 88 74 721 664 0.734 3.77
SF 87 75 688 638 0.717 3.61
COL 73 89 811 899 0.781 5.22
ARI 93 69 786 678 0.768 3.85
LAD 97 65 690 568 0.717 3.17

While it’s definitely not unreasonable to think the Padres can end 2013 as NL West champs based on their young talent and solid pitching staff, I’m not sure I agree with this list.  To me, the NL West will boil down to three teams: The Padres, Giants, and Dodger. As a Giants fan, it pains me to admit this, but Im taking the popular pick and have the Dodgers winning the West this year.  It’s the obvious choice–I know—but I don’t think you can deny a team with that much talent for long.

Baseball is about team chemistry more than any other sport, and the Dodger have yet to establish that chemistry. However, I can’t help to think that this year will be a break out season for LA.  They’ve had more time to jell as a team over the course of the off season, and baring a bunch of injuries, the Dodgers can put a talented lineup on the diamond day in and day out.  Their offense is one of the toughest in all of baseball–Kemp, Gonzalez, Ethier, Crawford, and Hanley pose a hufe threat to opposing pitchers.  On defense LA has Kershaw, Greinke, Billingsley and Beckett—again one of baseballs best units.

As I’ve mentioned before, the baseball season is about endurance, and if the Dodgers stay healthy they are set up for success in 2013.  What do you guys think? Feel free to leave your predictions below, and until next time, follow me on Twitter @JCConway1.

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