NL West Betting Preview
The Arizona Diamondbacks emerged as a longshot division champion last year and will now try to parlay their combination of good pitching and timely hitting into back-to-back crowns.
But they'll have their hands full with the still pitching-rich San Francisco Giants and possibly even the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are hoping to put the McCourt era behind them.
Here's a quick summary of the upcoming season in the NL West, and a look at the NL West betting board posted at Bovada.
San Francisco tops the betting on Bovada's NL West board at +150. The Giants are only two years removed from their World Series title, and they've still got that wonderful starting rotation. Not many teams can claim their No. 4 guy posted an ERA of 2.70 last year.
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The problem for San Francisco is the same one they've had for several years now; scoring runs. But they're hoping the addition of Melky Cabrera and a full healthy season from Buster Posey might alleviate that situation.
The defending division champion Diamondbacks are the second favorite at Bovada to win the West this year at +200. Arizona, in its first season under fiery manager Kirk Gibson, won 94 games last year, and went 43-29 vs. Western Division foes.
For this season the D-Backs brought in a good No. 3 starter, Trevor Cahill, to back up Cy Young contender Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson, and they bolstered the bullpen. They also bring back an everyday lineup that ranked fourth in the NL in scoring last year.
Los Angeles is the third choice on Bovada's NL West odds board at +550. The Dodgers have a portion of the requisite talent to contend in the West, with SPs Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, MVP candidate Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
They've added Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano to the rotation, and getting out from under Mr. McCourt's ownership situation can't help but help. But there are still several question marks throughout the lineup and in the bullpen.
Colorado Rockies' fans will need an updated scorecard to keep track of all the moves their team made over the off-season. Colorado finished a disappointing 73-89 last year, and in the spirit of change saw over a dozen names and faces come and go.
The question now is 'Are the Rockies any better for it?' Colorado is getting +650 to win the West this year.
And finally we have the San Diego Padres, who played 20 games under .500 last year and then let go half their starting rotation and their closer. San Diego is listed at +1,200 at Bovada to win the NL West this season.