In spite of being commonly ripped as the worst department in baseball in 2005, one facet of the division last year on which everyone agreed was the competitiveness, as almost every team had a possibility to win the division late in the season. When once again, no one is out of it in this division in 2006, as every team sits within 3 games of the others since this writing.
Although the Rockies have leveled off simply a little recently, they still sit at the top of the department thanks to several gamers getting hot at different times. Recently, Matt Holliday has actually been tearing it up, and his season average sits at.307. Others who have actually contributed offensively consist of Brad Hawpe, Garrett Atkins Cory Sullivan, all young players like Holliday who are forming a formidable nucleus for the group. Perhaps the biggest reason for the Rockies’ success so far is their bullpen. The group is 16-1 when leading after seven innings.
If the team’s young players continue to perform, star Todd Helton regains his normal type and the pitching staff continues its late-inning dominance, the Rockies have a terrific opportunity to play deep into October.
The Diamondbacks have a mix of skilled veterans like Craig Counsell and Shawn Green integrating with young possible stars like Chad Tracy and Conor Jackson producing offensively. As a team, the Diamondbacks rank 1st in the NL in team batting average and in the top 5 in runs, hits and OBP. On the mound, the Diamondbacks are likewise producing outcomes. The staff ranks in the leading 5 in the NL in AGE, K/BB and K/9 innings.
As holds true with every team in this division, the Diamondbacks need to be in the thick of things in this department with their mix of quality hitting and stingy defense and pitching.
San Diego Padres
No group is hotter than the Padres have actually been lately, and the safeguarding division champions appear to be rounding into the type that took them to the postseason in 2005. In spite of ranking near the bottom in nearly every team-oriented offensive statistical category in the NL, the Padres are featuring several interesting young players every day including Josh Barfield and Khalil Greene. As those gamers continue to enhance, the pitching personnel has been remaining, ranking near the top of the NL in team AGE, K/BB, BAA and OPS.
If the striking improves, and old standbys like Trevor Hoffman and Woody Williams continue their early season success, the Padres will at least remain in the battle in October.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers, when breaking down stats, are a challenging team to figure. There truly aren’t any individuals having a big year at this moment, despite the fact that J.D. Drew appears to finally be measuring up to his promise. As a team, the Dodgers rank second in the NL in runs, RBIs and OBP. The pitching staff is just the opposite. As a group, the Dodgers are not near the top in any NL analytical classification, however individuals such as Brett Tomko and Takashi Saito possess Periods right around 3.0.
Forecasting the Dodgers is as difficult as their statistics are to figure. The team, given the department, is certainly in the race, and if a couple of more individual hitters get hot and remain hot, the team can make a relocation towards the title.
San Francisco Giants
Despite all the attention nowadays being paid to Barry Bonds and his pursuit of the home run record, there are other Giants enjoying solid seasons. The team is right there with everyone else in the department, and the experienced impact on the team is informing. Moises Alou was off to a torrid start until recently being put on the 15-day DL with a sprained ankle, and Steve Finley is likewise out of evictions with a flourish. Pitching has been a problem though, as the Giants are currently last in the NL in team PERIOD.
It doesn’t look like anyone in this department will run out it this season, and if the Giants can get improved pitching and a little less spotlight as the Barry Bonds go after subsides, this team could challenge, specifically with a healthy Alou.