With a little over a week of the MLB regular season underway, let’s take a look at one of the most competitive divisions in all of baseball, the National League West. I will list the teams by how well each team performed that week, not just based on their records. Then rank them in order of best to worst.
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks are off to a hot start in 2018 after taking 2 of 3 games from the Colorado Rockies and a huge three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dbacks had some big wins in this time frame with one being a 15 inning marathon victory against Clayton Kershaw.
The sweep of the Dodgers is a significant statement being made, the Dbacks are making a serious run for the N.L. West Pennant and are off to a flying start for 2018. Also, everyone on the Arizona rotation has had one solid start so far, and if they haven’t, that power-packed lineup of Arizona picked up the slack for them.
The Dbacks have run into some early season struggles already though. The face of the franchise, Paul Goldschmidt, is off to a very slow start for his standards with just three hits in 26 at-bats. Also 2017 All-Star third baseman Jake Lamb hits the DL early with a sprained left AC joint, which is an injury in his left shoulder.
Despite having setbacks from their two best bats, the Dbacks are looking like a serious postseason team already. The Diamondbacks are currently 6-2 and the best team in the N.L. West as of right now.
2. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies aren’t doing too bad either, they did have to face Arizona on the road for the start of the season which will always be tough. Even though the Rockies lost 2 of 3 in that series, opening day was the only bad loss.
The Rockies lost 8-2 on opening day, which is pretty brutal, but then lost the next game by only a run in a fence buster of a game with a final score of 9-8. The Rockies then went onto win the last game of the series versus the Dbacks 2-1. Obviously, not a good way to start the year but it could be much worse than winning one of three on the road.
After AZ, the Rockies grabbed 3 of 4 in San Diego winning each victory by at least 2 runs. Then one victory in Atlanta as they start a new series in the ATL. The Rockies solid start has them at number 2 in the N.L. West power rankings this week with a record of 5-4.
3. San Francisco Giants
In 4 games vs. the Dodgers, the Giants leaned heavily on their pitching staff and two solo home runs from second baseman Joe Panik. Scoring 2 runs and giving up 9 runs in four games is not a good sign but it’s not how pretty you win them.
The lack of offense from the Giants was a worry for them until the two-game series versus the Seattle Mariners. Losing the first game 4-6 but then having a massive victory versus the Seattle Ace Felix Hernandez. The Giants lackluster offense won 10-1 with four home runs.
The Giants have started a new series in San Francisco versus the Dodgers and kicked off the series with an outstanding performance from Andrew McCutchen in a 14 inning win over the Dodgers. McCutchen had the walk-off three-run blast as he went six for seven on Saturday night.
Without their ace and number three pitcher, this could have been a whole lot worse for San Fran. The Giants barely got two wins versus L.A. and had one impressive victory versus Seattle. The two massive victories versus the Mariners and Dodgers were enough to propel the Giants into the number three spot in my N.L. West power rankings with a current record of 4-3.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
A very surprising start for the current National League Champions with a current record of 2-6. The Dodgers had three losses against the Giants that they should have easily won and got swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 3 games series in the desert.
The Dodgers have noticed some early season struggles from their ace Clayton Kershaw as he is 0-2 currently and Kenley Jensen has a loss and a blown save in only two innings of work.
Kershaw’s struggles are nothing to worry about, in the first loss he had no offense behind him and the second game was a tough away match up against the Diamondbacks, but Jansen, on the other hand, could be a problem.
Jansen only gave up five homers in 68 innings last year but has already given up two home runs in two innings this season. As the league’s best closer, Jansen has some ground to make up early. These star struggles and the sweep from Arizona put the Dodgers in the 4th spot for the N.L. West power rankings at 2-6.
5. San Diego Padres
Not much of a surprise here, Padres with a lot of new and young talent haven’t had much time to jell. The Father’s started out by being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers with a couple of close games with the first three score lines of L 1-2, L 6-8, and L 3-7.
After the home series against the Brew Crew, the Padres hosted a four-game series versus the Colorado Rockies. The Padres snagged their first win of 2018 in this series, but they got only one. Padres would lose three of four with a series scoreline of L 4-7, W 8-4, L 2-5, L 1-3.
But on a good note for Padre’s fans, they did win a game against the current champions the Houston Astros in Houston 4-1 as they finish out the series in Texas.
Even with the recent win against Houston they still have the worst record in the N.L. West of 2-7. But give the Padres some time to adapt to their new personnel, and they could have some decent pop down in San Diego.
Kevin Hurley is a sophomore journalism student at Paradise Valley Community College writing MLB articles for The Sunrise Sports.