Pat’s Points: The National League West is loaded with elite talent. Voters recognized these superstars and came out in droves rewarding them with starting spots.
The N.L. West accounts for three of the eight position starters at next week’s All Star Game in Minnesota as ten players from the division made the roster in total. Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Yasiel Puig (OF), and Paul Goldschmidt (1B) received the most votes at their respective divisions and will start.
All three of MLB’s no-hitters this season are courtesy of the division so it makes complete sense that Giants and Dodgers pitchers populate the National League All-Star roster. Depending on how the N.L. West managers handle their rotations this week, it’s highly likely that a pitching stud from the division will get the start, most notably L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw who pitches on Thursday. Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Ross were named to the All Star roster but both players are scheduled to pitch on Sunday which puts appearing in Tuesday’s contest in serious jeopardy.
There are still meaningful games to be played this week so let’s get to it.
Like a solid leadoff hitter our Weekly Roundup for the NL West sets the table.
Los Angeles Dodgers (51-40, First Place)
All-Stars: *Yasiel Puig (OF), Clayton Kershaw (SP), Zack Greinke (SP), Dee Gordon (2B)
Notable Snubs: Matt Kemp (OF)
Matt Kemp might not rub some people the right way, but L.A.’s outfielders certainly deserves some All-Star consideration. Look at Kemp’s numbers compared to Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon (who started the season with a bang and was named an N.L. reserve).
Kemp: .320/.391/.515 over the last month to go with 37 runs, 8 HR, 33 RBI in 2014
Blackmon: .259/.310/.352 over the last month with 48 runs, 12 HR, 47 RBI in 2014.
While the numbers are similar, maybe neither player should really be an All-Star. Nonetheless, Dodgers faithful in Colorado were rewarded with great plays, dominating pitching performances and three wins in four games at Coors Field over the weekend.
The Boys in Blue travel to Detroit for a three game series beginning tomorrow night before returning to Chavez Ravine for another three contests with the San Diego Padres. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets two starts this week and should be stellar once again.
San Francisco Giants (49-39, .5 GB)
All-Stars: Madison Bumgarner (SP), Hunter Pence (OF)
Notable Snubs: Buster Posey (C/1B), Tim Hudson (SP), Sergio Romo (RP)
Buster Posey has been an All-Star before and he’ll be an All-Star again very soon. Is he having a better season though than either Yadier Molina or Jonathan Lucroy though? Nope, case closed–he’s still a catcher. On the other hand this might be Tim Hudson’s last shot at playing in the Midsummer Classic. Hudson (7-5) and Bumgarner (9-6) have each pitched 113.2 innings this season but the old guy (Hudson) has a better ERA (2.53 to 3.09) and WHIP (1.05 to 1.20) while trailing his left-handed teammate by 46 strikeouts; further proof that chicks dig flamethrowers.
The Giants travel across the Bay to begin the week for two games against the Athletics before returning to AT&T Park to face the same club on Wednesday and Thursday. San Francisco will then welcome the Diamondbacks before the All-Star Break ensues. Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner will each take the bump twice this week.
San Diego Padres (39-49, 10.5 GB)
All-Stars: Tyson Ross (SP)
Street didn’t get any love from N.L. manager Mike Matheny who bypassed San Diego’s closer while naming Pat Neshek from his own Cardinals roster instead. Street has been nearly perfect in 2014 with 23 Saves in 24 chances, a 1.13 ERA and a tidy 0.78 WHIP. Ross is scheduled to start on Sunday which means he will not be eligible to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. However, baseball fans won’t lose any sleep worrying about missing a Padres player participate in Minnesota.
The Padres play seven division games this week, all on the road. Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross will each start two games this week, first in Colorado and then in Los Angeles.
Colorado Rockies (37-52, 13 GB)
All-Stars: *Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Charlie Blackmon
Morneau could very well be named the MLB Comeback Player of the Year this season; it would be great for the hometown fans to see the former-Twins star back in Target Field after putting concussion issues to rest. Morneau has a higher average, more RBI and home runs than teammate Charlie Blackmon but plays first base and does not provided the outfield depth (or have the gnarly beard) that Blackmon does.
The Rockies play all six of their games this week at 20th & Blake as the Padres and Twins come to beautiful downtown Denver.
Arizona Diamondbacks (37-53, 13.5 GB)
All-Stars: *Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
Notable Snubs: N.A.
Goldschmidt’s numbers might be down slightly from 2013, but the face of the Diamondbacks is certainly deserving of the starting nod at first base. Goldy has smashed 16 bombs while driving in 58 runs and is currently hitting .310, he’ll be a staple of N.L. All-Star squads for the next decade.
Arizona hosts the Marlins for three games before heading to San Francisco to close out the first half. Chase Anderson has lost his last four starts after beginning his career by winning his first five. Anderson notches two starts this week and makes an intriguing streaming option.
Be Seen, Be Heard, Be a Knuckleball Fan!