As Spring Training gets under way for the San Francisco Giants, it means that the Giants are about a month and a half away from getting the 2017 season started in Arizona. With that said, after a heartbreaking playoff defeat to the Chicago Cubs last year, the San Francisco Giants are poised to make another run at the World Series title, and to do so, they should make the road a bit easier for them by winning the National League West.
The San Francisco Giants have shown that they don’t need to win the National League West to win the World Series. However, with their roster talent and the acquisitions they’ve made in this offseason, there is no doubt in the Giants minds that they can win the National League West, propelling them into the NLDS without having to play in the sudden-death Wild Card game.
The Giants’ playoff run could of been a lot smoother if they didn’t have to make the trip out to New York to face the Mets, if they didn’t have to pitch Madison Bumgarner in the Wild Card and instead, save him to pitch Game 1 of the NLDS, which means Johnny Cueto pitches Game 2, not Jeff Samardzjia. This is an extra few days of rest, sleeping in your own bed, and fully preparing for your opponent.
Of course, this didn’t happen and instead of playing a game of “What ifs,” the San Francisco Giants are fully prepared for this upcoming season and putting the past behind them. After a year where the Giants blew 30 games, Bobby Evans, Brian Sabean, and Larry Baer made it a number one goal to get a closer and they got one of the best in Mark Melancon. Now, the ability to close out games is way easier and the chance to give everyone in the bullpen their own inning and job becomes clear.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will certainly be a tough team to beat out, but if it weren’t for so many blown saves last year, the San Francisco Giants would have been the clear winner of the NL West. Clayton Kershaw will continue to be a dominant force, but the amount of innings should be a factor coming into this season. Adrian Gonzalez has been sensational in his career, especially with the Dodgers, but he even knows that it is now Corey Seager’s team.
The Colorado Rockies should be an interesting team this year, as they bulked up their bullpen with Greg Holland and Mike Dunn, as well as getting an All-Star shortstop, turned outfielder, Ian Desmond. The offense will be there, but the starting rotation is just not good enough to put them over the hill and into the playoffs. A trade deadline move, however, may do it for the Rockies.
As for the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres, expect them to finish fourth and fifth as the Padres need plenty of help at almost every position. The Diamondbacks have one of the best players in the league in Paul Goldschmidt, but not much else to make a playoff run, especially in the tough NL West.
The Colorado Rockies are on the come up, but expect the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers to fight for the division, and the Giants to get the edge with a better starting rotation and a revamped bench that includes fan favorites Michael Morse and Conor Gillaspie, as well as recent pick-up Aaron Hill.
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