Before we get into the real positions, let's talk about the NL West. Let us discuss the three-headed monster beneath the division.
Throwing out 2020 because of being 60 games and using an enlarged playoff field, we've seen the exact same branch create three playoff teams four times (2013 NL Central, 2015 NL Central, 2016 AL East and 2017 NL West).
Not only that, but those three groups have the three best albums in the whole National League.
Can the NL West this season pull off a similar feat?
The Giants have been fairly consistent throughout the year. Since May 5, they have gone 19-9 and that comprised a forgettable weekend at home where the Dodgers swept them. They've been ridiculously difficult to beat, otherwise. The Giants have gotten excellent work from the rotation, especially possible All-Star Game newcomer Kevin Gausman. They have great bullpen pieces and the offense has flexed its power muscles all year. I've questioned their staying power at times, however -- as The Rock might say -- it does not matter what I think. The Giants have performed this level long that they have bought themselves some space to get a recession. They have 103 games left. If they went 51-52 the rest of the way, that is an 88-win season. I think the answer is really no.
The Padres just suffered through a few of their worst weeks of this season, record-wise, but they had been facing two first-place teams. We have seen what type of talent they have throughout the season. They're pitching as well as anyone. The offense has to be more consistent, however, the personnel is there. They are on pace for 96 wins which sounds about right. We also all know general manager A.J. Preller will be aggressive in July concerning the trade market.
The Dodgers are on pace for 93 wins and that is after losing 15 of 20 at one point. The schedule is really soft here for the next few weeks, so they will probably find hot. We all know all about the talent this team has and we have seen what it can do if things are moving right.
SportsLine right now gets the Dodgers winning 100 games, the Padres 96 and Giants 93. In that projection program, those are the top few documents in the NL and only two AL teams (Rays and White Sox) are projected to get longer. The 3 top run differentials in the NL are the Dodgers (+83), Giants and Padres (equally +70). Next are the Cubs in +30 and the Mets at +11. Every other team is at the negative. For real. That's how large the power split is at the NL this year between the West and everyone else.