Monday, March 3, 2008

Padres reside in baseball's best division

In two 2008 baseball preview magazines at Barnes & Noble, the Padres are picked to win the NL West in one; yet the other selects them to finish in fourth place.

This is very representative of the way the division lines up for this season.

John Kruk of ESPN rightfully said Sunday that the NL West is the toughest overall division in baseball. Steve Phillips added that four of the five teams should finish over .500, which is exactly what happened last season.

(And to think the Padres won the division in 2005 with the same 82-80 record that placed the Los Angeles Dodgers fourth in 2007!)

Arizona probably peaked a year early when it won the division in 2007, and now All-Star Dan Haren joins Brandon Webb at the top of the pitching rotation.

Colorado made it to the World Series last year with an incredible run … but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Rockies go from first to fourth place this season.

The Dodgers have a healthy Rafael Furcal at shortstop and Joe Torre to run the show … which makes them better on paper (but they always seem to underachieve.)

The Padres continue to have a great top-of-the rotation with pitchers Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Greg Maddux. Get left field straightened out and they should contend again.

Virtually all experts are picking San Francisco to finish last. But without troublemaker Barry Bonds around, the Giants have turned younger, happier … and could even escape the cellar if all goes right for them.

As the ESPN experts say, look for this to be the best division in baseball.


sam said...

I think the Padres could be in trouble; too many good teams in their division.

kareem said...

For a division to be so tightly bunched at spring training time that the so called experts pick them from first to fourth certainly says alot about the NL West. It should be an exciting year and the race should go down to the wire. How about some baseball!