Predictions are useless but are also fun to do. This week I will roll out my own dumb predictions for the 2013 season.
The Giants are the defending World Series champions and have won two championships in the last three years. They are obviously doing something right. It didn’t matter last season that Tim Lincecum produced the worst season of his career or that Brian Wilson missed almost the entire year, they adjusted and kept winning. The Giants didn’t make any significant changes to their roster in the offseason, they simply re-signed players they already had. The Giants never seem like the favorites on paper but they compete ever year, I expect them to do the same in 2013.
The Dodgers apparently have unlimited piles of money but they are spending it on players coming off of down years or those who are loaded with question marks. Carl Crawford missed almost the entire 2012 season and has not been anything close to a productive player since 2010. Zack Greinke produced an all-time great season in 2009 (10.4 bWAR), but he has never approached that elite level again and he is already dealing with discomfort in his elbow. Hanley Ramirez is starting the season on the disabled list and Josh Beckett is coming off a season where he posted an ERA of 4.65 and a FIP of 4.15. Despite all of that, these players aren’t that far removed from being really good, and the Dodgers should benefit from playing in a weak division. I expect Adrian Gonzalez to return to his MVP caliber form and for the Dodgers to stay in the race the entire year.
The Diamondbacks apparently decided that grit is more important than talent or upside as they traded away Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Trevor Bauer during the offseason. I think those moves will prove costly in the long term but their roster heading into 2013 is in pretty good shape. Their pitching staff lacks a true ace but they have several quality starters who should all contribute. I don’t think Arizona has enough to make the playoffs but if they catch a few breaks they could stay in the wild card race all year.
The Padres don’t seem to be aggressively rebuilding or significantly improving. They are stuck in the middle which can be a bad place. Their hitters should benefit from the shorter fences however their lineup lacks true star talent. Their pitching staff 1-5 is full of players with a long history of mediocrity and top prospect Casey Kelly will miss the entire season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. On a positive note, Baseball Prospectus ranks their farm system as the third best in baseball, their future should be brighter than the present.
The Rockies won only 64 games in 2012, a total they are unlikely to improve much on. Their pitching staff remains the worst in baseball (5.22 ERA last year) and their lineup is full of players with lengthy injury histories. I expect the Rockies to trade many of their players before the deadline, possibly even Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies should net plenty of good prospects through trades and the draft but 2013 will certainly not be their year.
The all NL West team with my projected WAR (Baseball-Reference).
I expect Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp to return to their MVP forms, and for Troy Tulowitzki to stay most healthy (and productive) this year.
I think Josh Beckett will be better in 2013 than he was in 2012 but I don’t see him cracking the top five. Wade Miley had an excellent rookie season but I expect some regression from him this year.
Those are my dumb predictions for the NL West. I’ll revisit them at the end of the season to see how many I butchered.
Follow me on Twitter @Rosscarey
Originally posted 4/1/13
Thumbnail NL West logo courtesy of www.fromthestretch.com