State of the N.L.West at the All Star Break
NL West Roundup: Barring an unlikely post All Star Break run from the Padres, Rockies, or Diamondbacks the race for the divisional crown between the Dodgers and Giants is just heating up.
Like a solid leadoff hitter our Weekly Roundup for the NL West sets the table.
Los Angeles Dodgers (54-43, First Place)
It comes as no surprise that the Dodgers are competing for a divisional title as Don Mattingly’s club ranks in the top ten in every offensive category and among the top eight in every pitching category at this point in the season.
Clayton Kershaw did not get the starting nod from Cardinals manager and N.L. skipper Mike Matheny and he the big lefty might take out his frustrations when L.A. opens up the second half with a series in St. Louis on Friday. Kershaw will take the ball on Sunday July 20th.
Yasiel Puig will participate in the Home Run Derby tonight and bat second in the All Star Game.
San Francisco Giants (52-43, 1 GB)
After a sizzling start to the 2014 season, the Giants have struggled going 16-23 since June 1. Bruce Bochy’s crew ranks in the bottom third of every offensive category except slugging percentage (.385, 1th) in MLB but San Francisco’s stellar pitching has kept them in the N.L. West race.
Madison Bumgarner hit a grand slam on Sunday but still was not named to the National League Home Run Derby squad despite his request. Perhaps each league should include a home run hitting pitcher in the future.
The Giants begin the second half in South Beach against the Marlins. Bumgarner, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum will make the first three starts for San Francisco.
San Diego Padres (41-54, 12 GB)
Give Bud Black credit; his club offers very little in terms of offensive pop (ranking 30th in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage) but remains very competitive in the National League. The Padres’ pitching staff rank in the top five in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against.
If the Padres merged with the Colorado Rockies would the PadRocks (or Rockdres) become an instant World Series favorite?
The Padres begin the second half at home against the New York Mets as Ian Kennedy, Tyler Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne receive starts respectively.
Colorado Rockies (40-55, 13 GB)
Walt Weiss has to be scratching his bald head a lot lately; his club ranks in the top four in every offensive category yet 29th or 30th in every pitching category.
The Rockies began the 2014 season strongly but a 12-28 record since June 1st has seen the team plummet down the N.L. West standings.
Troy Tulowitzki will start at shortstop and bat in the No. 3 hole in the All Star Game. The Rockies captain will be joined by teammate Justin Morneau in the Home Run Derby.
The Rockies get back to work on Friday with a three game set in Pittsburgh. Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson, and Tyler Matzek set up the Colorado rotation as play resumes.
Arizona Diamondbacks (40-56, 13.5 GB)
Kirk Gibson’s crew ranks 12th in MLB in team batting average (.254) and slugging percentage (.389) but their downfall in the first half can easily be pinned on their pitching. Arizona’s ranked pitching category is WHIP (1.34) at an underwhelming 23rd place.
Paul Goldschmidt will start at first base for the N.L. in the All Star Game and bat cleanup.
When play resumes the Dbacks will be in the comfort of Chase Field as the Cubs come to town. Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, and Josh Collmenter will receive the first three starts of the second half for Arizona.
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