NLWESTPREVIEWFEATURE

Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB Preview – Day 1 – NL West

Welcome to the Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB preview. Over the next few days you will get a team by team look at its key players, new faces, their potential MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year candidates, their possible starting lineup and rotation as well as a quick summary.

SOX & Dawgs 2014 MLB Preview - NL WestWe will also select a MVP candidate and Cy Young candidate for each team no matter what their predicted team outcome is.

And once again this year is some home stadium information along with dates the teams will play against the Boston Red Sox. The red shaded games are at Fenway; the blue shaded games are road games.

I hope you enjoy this look at the upcoming season.

It was a lot of work but a lot of fun compiling this preview and starting today we will take a look at the National League West. The rest of the schedule follows with a different division being profiled each day and the final day will bring you the winners, award selections and a list of managers who have a lot to prove in 2015 if they want to be on the bench in 2016.

Tomorrow you will get the American League West preview followed by the NL Central, AL Central, NL East and AL East.

National League West

Last year the Dodgers took the division by 6 games over the Giants, but it was their bitter rival who took the grand prize at seasons end when they won their 3rd World Series in the last 5 seasons. The division will look much the same this year with Padres making a serious run at contending and then the bottom will be the Diamondbacks and the Rockies.

  1. Los Angeles DodgersLos Angeles – Manager Don Mattingly (5th year)

Dodgers won the division but lost the Cardinals in the NLDS 3 games to 1. LA made some significant changes with a new GM (Farhan Zaidi) and new President (Andrew Friedman) and they made on field changes too. Out are Hanley Ramirez (signed with Boston), Brian Wilson (released), Josh Beckett (retired), OF Matt Kemp, 2B Dee Gordon and SP Dan Haren (traded). In are SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Howie Kendrick, C Yasmani Grandal, OF Chris Heisey and SP Brandon McCarthy. I don’t think they’re as good as last year but they win the division by a nose.

RP Kenley Jansen (foot) will miss the start of the season.

Projected Record: 91-71

Home Field: Dodger Stadium; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 1962; Capacity: 56,000

2014 Attendance: 3,782,337 (1st in NL)

Key Players: 1B Adrian Gonzalez; SP Clayton Kershaw; SP Zack Greinke; RF Yasiel Puig; CF Joc Pederson

MVP Candidate: RF Yasiel Puig

Cy Young Candidate: SP Clayton Kershaw

ROY Candidate: CF Joc Pederson

Key Additions: SS Jimmy Rollins; 2B Howie Kendrick; C Yasmani Grandal; OF Chris Heisey; SP Brandon McCarthy; SP Brett Anderson; RP Joel Peralta, RP Chris Hatcher; RP Juan Nicasio; SP Brandon Beachy; RP Dustin McGowan

Possible lineup:

  1. Rollins SS
  2. Crawford LF
  3. Puig RF
  4. Gonzalez 1B
  5. Grandal C
  6. Kendrick 2B
  7. Pederson CF
  8. Uribe 3B

Possible rotation:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Greinke
  3. Ryu
  4. McCarthy
  5. Anderson

Games against Red Sox in 2015: None

  1. San Francisco GiantsSan Francisco – Manager Bruce Bochy (9th year/21st overall)

Giants made the playoff field as a wild card and then had a great postseason beating the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game, the Nationals in the NLDS, the Cardinals in the NLCS and then the upstart Royals in the World Series. They brought back most of their lineup but the key loss was 3B Pablo Sandoval as a free agent to Boston, they signed Casey McGehee to replace him but he isn’t the same quality player as Sandoval. Their other big pickup was Nori Aoki as free agent from KC to play LF.

Projected Record: 90-72

Home Field: AT&T Park; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2000; Capacity: 41,915

2014 Attendance: 3,368,687 (3rd in NL)

Key Players: C Buster Posey; RF Hunter Pence; SS Brandon Crawford; SP Madison Bumgarner; RP Santiago Casilla

MVP Candidate: C Buster Posey

Cy Young Candidate: SP Madison Bumgarner

ROY Candidate: C Andrew Susac

Key Additions: 3B Casey McGehee; C Andrew Susac; LF Nori Aoki

RF Hunter Pence (arm) is expected to be out until mid May.

Possible lineup:

  1. Pagan CF
  2. Aoki RF
  3. Belt 1B
  4. Posey C
  5. McGehee 3B
  6. Panik 2B
  7. Blanco LF
  8. Crawford SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Bumgarner
  2. Cain
  3. Hudson
  4. Lincecum
  5. Peavy

Games against Red Sox in 2015: None

  1. San Diego PadresSan Diego – Manager Bud Black (9th year)

Brand new GM A.J. Preller tore up the roster and was able to keep his top prospects in the process as the Padres look to move up in the NL West. I think they made significant changes and while they’ll finish third again they will get over .500 and possibly challenge for a wild card spot.

SP Josh Johnson (TJS) and SP Corey Luebke (TJS) are expected to miss two-three months.

Projected Record: 85-77

Home Field: Petco Park; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2004 Capacity: 42,524

2014 Attendance: 2,195,373 (12th in NL)

Key Players: CF Wil Myers; RF Matt Kemp; LF Justin Upton; SP James Shields; RP Joaquin Benoit

MVP Candidate: LF Justin Upton

Cy Young Candidate: SP Andrew Cashner

ROY Candidate: SP Matt Wisler

Key Additions: SP James Shields; 3B Will Middlebrooks; CF Wil Myers; LF Justin Upton; RF Matt Kemp; C Derek Norris; C Tim Federowicz; 2B/SS Clint Barmes; SP Brandon Morrow; RP Shawn Kelley; RP Brandon Maurer

Possible lineup:

  1. Gyorko 2B
  2. Myers CF
  3. Kemp RF
  4. Upton LF
  5. Alonso 1B
  6. Norris C
  7. Middlebrooks 3B
  8. Amarista SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Shields
  2. Cashner
  3. Johnson
  4. Ross
  5. Kennedy

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Shields
  2. Cashner
  3. Ross
  4. Kennedy
  5. Morrow

Games against Red Sox in 2015: None

  1. Arizona DiamondbacksArizona – Manager Chip Hale (1st year)

New manager (Chip Hale), new front office (Chief Baseball Officer Tony LaRussa, GM Dave Stewart) and new promise for an improved team on the field (64 wins in ’14). Gone are SP Wade Miley, C Miguel Montero and SS Didi Gregorios (traded) and in are free agent 3B Yasmany Tomas, SP Jeremy Hellickson, SP Rubby De La Rosa and SP Allen Webster as Arizona looks for some major improvement on the field

RP Brad Zeigler (microfracture knee) is expected to start the season on the DL. SP Bronson Arroyo (TJS), SP Patrick Corbin (TJS) and RP David Hernandez (TJS) will miss most if not all of the season.

Projected Record: 67-95

Home Field: Chase Field Playing Surface: natural grass/retractable roof; Opened: 1998; Capacity: 48,633

2014 Attendance: 2,073,730 (14th in NL)

Key Players: 1B Paul Goldschmidt; LF Mark Trumbo; CF A.J. Pollock; 3B Yasmany Tomas; SP Jeremy Hellickson

MVP Candidate: 1B Paul Goldschmidt

Cy Young Candidate: SP Jeremy Hellickson

ROY Candidate: 3B Yasmany Tomas

Key Additions: Mgr. Chip Hale; 3B Yasmany Tomas, SP Jeremy Hellickson, SP Allen Webster; SP Rubby De La Rosa; C Oscar Hernandez

Possible lineup:

  1. Pollock CF
  2. Peralta LF
  3. Goldschmidt 1B
  4. Trumbo RF
  5. Tomas 3B
  6. Hill 2B
  7. Owings SS
  8. Gosewisch C

Possible rotation:

  1. Hellickson
  2. Collmenter
  3. De La Rosa
  4. Cahill
  5. Webster

Games against Red Sox in 2015: None

  1. Colorado RockiesColorado – Manager Walt Weiss (3rd year)

Last season the Rockies finished 66-96 and in 4th place and with this being the third season under Walt Weiss you know he will be feeling some heat to bring the win total up 10-12 games this year. They lost OF Michael Cuddyer, SP Brett Anderson and RP Matt Belisle to free agency and traded away 2B Josh Rutledge and really didn’t bring much in return in additions to help on the field. With OF Carlos Gonzalez and SS Troy Tulowitzki possibly missing some time at the start of the season combined with a poor offseason I have Colorado 5th in the West and not much better than last season.

RF Carlos Gonzalez (knee) and SS Troy Tulowitzki (hip) may start the season on the DL. SP Tyler Chatwood (TJS) will most likely miss the season.

Projected Record: 64-98

Home Field: Coors Field; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 1995; Capacity: 50,480

2014 Attendance: 2,680,329 (5th in NL)

Key Players: RF Carlos Gonzalez; SS Troy Tulowitzki; 1B Justin Morneau; SP Jorge De La Rosa; CF Charlie Blackmon

MVP Candidate: CF Charlie Blackmon

Cy Young Candidate: SP Jorge De La Rosa

ROY Candidate: SP Eddie Butler

Key Additions: IF Daniel Descalso; RP Jairo Diaz; SP Eddie Butler; C Nick Hundley; SP Kyle Kendrick; RP John Axford

Possible lineup:

  1. Blackmon CF
  2. Gonzalez RF
  3. Tulowitzki SS
  4. Morneau 1B
  5. Arenado 3B
  6. Dickerson LF
  7. Rosario C
  8. LeMahieu 2B

Adjusted lineup:

  1. Blackmon CF
  2. Stubbs RF
  3. Arenado 3B
  4. Morneau 1B
  5. Dickerson LF
  6. Rosario C
  7. LeMahieu 2B
  8. Descalso SS

Possible rotation:

  1. De La Rosa
  2. Chacin
  3. Lyles
  4. Kendrick
  5. Matzek

Games against Red Sox in 2015: None

Tomorrow: The American League West

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