A Glance at NL West Division Race for Second Half of 2021

(Harry How/Getty Images)

We are currently at the 2021 All-Star break, a time when fans get to enjoy all the festivities and a select few players are recognized for their efforts over the first half of the season.

If the second half of this season is anything like the first, we are in for some very tight divisional races, especially in the National League West. It will be a three-team race between the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres, as the Rockies and Diamondbacks are among the league’s worst clubs.

Currently, those three California teams are the only teams in the National League to have won over 50 games besides the Brewers. The Giants sit atop the division at 57-32, while the Dodgers are two games behind at 56-35 and the Padres six games behind at 53-40. Those records would be good enough to lead any other division.

Taking a look at the Dodgers, everyone knows they’ve hardly been at full strength at any point this season. Injuries to Cody Bellinger, Dustin May, Max Muncy and Corey Seager are only some the team has endured. Definitely one area that needs to be beefed up is the starting rotation, as injuries and other matters have decimated the original starting five. It is highly anticipated that the Dodgers target a couple of starting pitchers at the trade deadline at the end of this month.

The Dodgers and Giants meet nine times throughout the second half, with seven of those meetings coming yet in July. Surely the Dodgers will want to take advantage of those meetings.

The rejuvenated Giants have been the biggest surprise in the MLB this year. They were not expected to be contending, let alone have the best record in the majors. Many of their players are having career years. One prime example is pitcher Kevin Gausman, who’s 9-3 with a 1.73 ERA and figures to be a finalist for the NL Cy Young.

The questions early on was when would the Giants fall off or how long can they keep their momentum, but it seems like they are here to stay.

The Padres were expected to be a big contender before the season, as it was expected the Dodgers and Padres would battle each other for the NL West crown.

The Padres have had their fair share of success this year against the Dodgers, winning the last seven matchups and had their streaks. San Diego figures to be the social media’s favorite team this year, as you can catch a highlight nearly every day through Twitter or Facebook posts.

So to wrap up, it will be exciting to see the race come October, with the perfect case scenario having the Dodgers returning to full strength health-wise and claiming the division. But it won’t be easy. This Giants team is here for a reason, and the Padres certainly seem to have the Dodgers number at this point. Two things for the Dodgers to work on will definitely be those one-run games and driving home runners in scoring position.

There’s definitely a chance the Dodgers bring home their ninth straight division crown, but this one may be their hardest one yet.

3 thoughts on “A Glance at NL West Division Race for Second Half of 2021

  1. I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I’m still a non-believer when it comes to the Giants. I’ll go so far as to say they will finish at least 7 games behind the division winner (could be either Dodgers or Pads).

    Farhan is in a difficult spot here because I’m sure he was planning to sell off guys like Wood and DeSclafani for prospects at this point. Now he’ll probably have to go out and spend prospects to make sure his team has the ammo to try to hold off LA and SD.

    The Giants don’t have nearly the need for starters that the Dodgers and Pads do but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go after a controllable outfielder, someone like Gallo, Hanniger or Mancini.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andrew pick up another right handed bat for the bench. No idea who that might be but with CT3 starting somewhere just about every day that leaves us with Barnes and Albert off the bench for most games if we need a righty bat. Albert has proven very effective but not so with Barnes.

    After claiming righty reliever Jimmy Sherfy from the Giants today and dfa Wahl, Andrew will have to do some maneuvering of the roster by Friday since Sherfy is out of options. Reed, Nunez, Vesia and Cleavinger are the likely candidates. Even though most people would probably choose Reed, I’m going to guess it will be one of the southpaws who gets a trip back to OKC. Sherfy has has shown some glimmers of talent in the past, mixed with mediocrity, but I suppose Andrew has seen something he likes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Giants are having huge years from several of their players. Can they keep it up all year? The Dodgers are two back with Seager still out, Bellinger hitting below the Mendoza line and a lot of at-bats went to prove Lux is currently unable to hit left-handed pitching. Pujos has been a much-needed right-handed offensive spark.
    I continue to hope that Kershaw and Nelson can come back. I am hoping either Pepiot, Gray or one of the pick-ups like Vesia can burn innings as a 5th starter. As the Dodgers are still not sure if they are on the hook for Nauer’s contract money and trades will be limited I believe.
    Plashke of the LA Times had an article today, Thursday advocating cutting Bauer. This will put more pressure on the Dodgers. https://enewspaper.latimes.com/desktop/latimes/default.aspx?&edid=2e7572a6-19be-47ac-a6e5-8c6fc507c4c9

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