The strong starts of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies raise the possibility of these promising NL West teams, dare I say, reaching the postseason.
Thus far, the standings in the NL West are just about flipped from what everyone expected. Instead of the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers continuing their rivalry atop the division, for the time being both are struggling to rise above .500.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks are off to spectacular starts, the Rockies just 1.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks for first place in the division. This unexpected start to the season could signal changing tides in the NL West.
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The Giants-Dodgers Division
Since 2000, only four teams other than the Dodgers and Giants finished first in the NL West. The Dodgers are currently owners a four-year division title run, making two trips to the NLDS and NLCS. Although the Giants only brag four division titles during that time, they managed to win three World Series championships from 2010-2014.
The success of the Giants and Dodgers kept the Rockies and Diamondbacks from hardly any postseason action in recent seasons. In their short existence, the Rockies have never won the NL West. However, they have reached the postseason three times – including one World Series appearance in 2007 – via the Wild Card.
Likewise, the Diamondbacks are only slightly more successful than the Rockies. Prior to their active five-year postseason drought, the Diamondbacks won five division titles, one of which led them to become the 2001 World Series champions.
While there are many games left to be played in the season, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are humbling the NL West superpowers of recent years.
The Rockies shot to a 12-6 record as of Sunday, despite a relatively quiet offense. Although they are ranked fifth with 25 team homers, they are batting .241 (14th) with only 148 combined hits (17th).
Regardless, Colorado is 9-5 against their division rivals and 8-3 against the Dodgers and Giants. Similarly, the Diamondbacks – who lead the majors in runs, hits and RBI – stand 12-8. The Diamondbacks own an 9-7 record against their division rivals.
Sure, one should be cautious when making significant predictions during the first month of the season, but the Diamondbacks and Rockies are already dominating consistent division contenders. Plus, for Giants fans, it’s comforting to know that their arch-rival is not doing much better than they are.