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Dodgers Are Heavy Favorites to Win the National League West

The Los Angeles Dodgers are halfway to becoming MLB’s version of the Buffalo Bills after losing in the last two World Series to Boston and Houston. Undeterred, the Dodgers are -450 to win the National League West, easily the biggest favorite on the senior circuit.

Last season, LA (92-71) beat the Colorado Rockies (91-72) in a one-game tiebreaker to win the division, forcing Colorado into a wild-card game against the Cubs. In 2017, Dave Roberts’ squad finished a comfortable 11 games up on the Diamondbacks to claim the division.

Since MLB moved to six divisions in 1995, LA has won the division 10 times, including the last six years in a row.

With that, let’s break down each team and their chances of taking the division crown this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers (-450)

Who’s Gone: A lot of guys! Notably Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Manny Machado, Alex Wood and Chase Utley.

Who’s New: Joe Kelly and Russell Martin.

Russell Martin is nowhere near the player he once was and although he still calls a good game behind the plate, his body is starting to fail him. Joe Kelly was a huge part of the World Series-winning Red Sox and will provide a needed fireballer in the bullpen.

Who’s Still There: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager.

Overall, it’s evident that the Dodgers aren’t as strong nor as deep as they were in the last couple of years. I think they were expecting to land Manny Machado or Bryce Harper and ended up with neither.

This core group has come up just shy in the World Series in the past couple of years, but they might be good enough to at least get back to the postseason.

Colorado Rockies (+400)

Who’s Gone: Most notably DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra have departed from the lineup while veterans Matt Holliday and Carlos Gonzalez were not re-signed. The bullpen was hit hard with the loss of Adam Ottavino, who joins LeMahieu with the Evil Empire in New York.

Who’s Back: A great deal of the playoff team from last season, including starting pitchers Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray. Nolan Arenado was signed to a big extension while Trevor Story and David Dahl are primed to continue an upward progression.

Who’s New: Colorado acquired veteran Daniel Murphy, who is expected to play first base. Murphy split the year between the Cubs and Nationals last year, hitting 12 home runs with 42 RBIs in 91 games.

San Diego Padres (+1100)

The Padres made a huge splash in the free-agent market by signing Manny Machado and instantly drew more eyes to a team that was woeful last season, finishing 66-96 and dead last in the division.

All is not lost in San Diego, though, as the Padres already had one of the best prospect pools in MLB and they didn’t have to give any of them up to add the talented Machado. The Padres added another veteran presence in 37-year-old Ian Kinsler.

The problem for San Diego remains the pitching staff and you probably haven’t even heard of a lot of their guys. Joey Lucchesi is probably the ace of the staff and just in his second year of big-league play.

Arizona Diamondbacks (+3500)

You’ve almost gotta feel bad for an Arizona team that was so close to getting into the playoffs last season at 82-80. The Diamondbacks fell off down the stretch and then free agents departed en masse.

Who’s Gone: Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis), Patrick Corbin (Washington), Clay Buchholz (Toronto), Brad Boxberger (Kansas City), AJ Pollock (LA Dodgers), Jon Jay (White Sox), Daniel Descalso (Cubs).

Who’s New: Wilmer Flores

There will be a lot of unproven entities in the Arizona lineup this year, although pitchers Zack Greinke, Zack Godley and Robbie Ray could give them a chance if they are able to repeat their success from last year.

The team will need a lot of guys to step up and there will be a transition period away from the face of the franchise, Paul Goldschmidt.

San Francisco Giants (+4000)

The Giants are certainly a long shot to win the division this year and the biggest story to follow with this team could actually be Bruce Bochy’s retirement tour. The skipper has announced that his 13th season with the Giants will be his last.

Who’s New: The Giants have added 2.5 left-handed pitchers through free agency by re-signing Derek Holland, and signing Drew Pomeranz and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte. Also invited to spring training were Yangervis Solarte, Gerardo Parra and Stephen Vogt.

If none of that sounds overly exciting – you’re right. The Giants were all-in on Bryce Harper until the final days of his free agency, ultimately losing out to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Who’s Gone: Gorkys Hernandez (Boston), Hunter Pence (Texas), Gregor Blanco (Mets), Hunter Strickland (Seattle).

The Giants finished last season at 73-89 and are still holding on to many of the guys whom they had success with many years ago. I don’t foresee any real improvement based on any moves that have been made (or not made) this offseason.

My Best bet for the NL West

Picking the Dodgers is no fun because there’s no value and picking the Padres, Giants and Diamondbacks certainly seems like throwing money away, so, therefore, I’ll be taking the Colorado Rockies at +400.

Colorado still has a pretty good roster and there are some talented young guys filtering up from the minors. Kyle Freeland became a bona fide star last season, and with a strong supporting cast, I don’t see any reason that the Rockies can’t compete for the division title.

Odds to win the 2019 National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers-450
Colorado Rockies+400
San Diego Padres+1100
Arizona Diamondbacks+3500
San Francisco Giants+4000

Odds as of March 27 at Bovada