2020 MLB season preview: NL West

The National League West may not be the most competitive division in the MLB, but nonetheless, there are a few teams that may surprise in the shortened 2020 season. With the loaded lineup of the Los Angeles Dodgers looming over the rest of the field, the revamped Arizona Diamondbacks still looking to improve, and the young and hungry San Diego Padres ready to shock everyone, anything could happen in this uncertain season. 

Let’s take a look at where the NL West teams will fall in the 2020 MLB season.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (2019 Record: 106-56)

The Dodgers are the frontrunners when it comes to talking about the 2020 World Series. The incredible rise of 2019 MVP Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler becoming one of the pitchers in baseball, and the front office’s willingness to go big by trading for and recently signing former American League MVP Mookie Betts. The pitching is scary, and the lineup is even scarier. This team will win in the regular season, but it will all come down to the postseason to see if this team can finally win it all. 

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks (2019 Record: 85-77) 

With three-straight winning seasons and making big trades to shed cap space for some high potential prospects, the Diamondbacks are in a good position to continue their progress towards postseason contention.

With the acquisitions of new ace Madison Bumgarner and some outfield help in the forms of Kole Calhoun and Starling Marte, this team has weapons but it is up to them to find a way to use them efficiently.

The bullpen is still a question mark though. Archie Bradley officially moves into the closer role and Hector Rondon is a battle-tested veteran, but the other members of the squad still raise concerns about their production coming into the 2020 season. However, if a few more roster moves are made to bolster the bullpen, they could make a splash in the standings. 

  1. San Diego Padres (2019 Record: 70-92)

The Padres are one of the youngest and most improved teams coming off a last place finish in the 2019 season. Fernando Tatis Jr. is looking to build off his promising rookie season, and a pitching staff that includes Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and Joey Lucchesi, who are all looking for improvement from their performances last season.

The bullpen will be anchored once again by Kirby Yates, who has become one of the best closers in the game, but they will need production from their supporting cast of Emilio Pagan and Drew Pomeranz. This team looks good but will be tested in 2020. 

  1. Colorado Rockies (2019 Record: 71-91)

A team needs pitching in order to compete, and frankly, the Rockies have none of it. German Marquez won 12 games last year, but added a 4.76 ERA. Jon Gray has had issues at the big league level, and Kyle Freeland, who was once considered the Rockies’ future ace, spent most of last year in Triple-A.

Nolan Arenado has been demanding the Rockies front office to help give him a team that can compete, but once again, his cries for help have fallen on deaf ears. Arenado will shine like the star he is, but the team will struggle, and do not be surprised if this is the last season you see Arendao rocking the purple. 

  1. San Francisco Giants (2019 Record: 77-85)

Credit is due to the Giants’ front office for trying to stitch together a team that could win some games, but, unfortunately, it won’t be enough.

The Giants are still working with an old roster and a group of veterans. Brandon Belt is 32, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford are both 33, and both Evan Longoria and the team’s ace, Johnny Cueto, are 34.

This team will have to start the dismantling if they want to give themselves a chance to start competing soon. Building around Mike Yastrzemski would be a good start, but this team will be bottom feeders in the NL West for some time, and the story will be the same in 2020.

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