The Dodgers won eight consecutive National League Western Division crowns from 2013-2020.
That streak was broken last year when the San Francisco Giants won 107 games, and the division along with it. The Dodgers came up one game short from a ninth straight NL West title. However, they’d get their revenge in October beating the Giants in five games in the division series.
While the streak was broken, it was by a team that no one expected to contend in the division. The San Diego Padres were expected to be the biggest threat to the Dodgers in the division, but their second-half collapse turned out to be one of the most epic in recent NL West history.
So who is the biggest threat to the Dodgers in 2022? Are the Dodgers so stacked that there is no threat?
As we all saw last year, anything is possible, and injuries are a part of the game. So let’s go through the opponents.
The Arizona Diamondbacks respectfully pose no threat, as they were among the worst teams in the league last year losing 110 games. They lost 24 consecutive road games, and the front office didn’t do much this off-season. They’re not expected to contend at all this year.
The Colorado Rockies went 74-87 last year, which is actually a little surprising considering they split or lost 16 straight road series. They also began the season on the road with a 6-33 record. The Rockies did have some key departures such as Trevor Story and Jon Gray.
The team however added former NL MVP Kris Bryant this off-season. Bryant signed a seven-year, $182 million deal with Colorado. While Coors Field certainly helps in the statistics department, the Rockies aren’t a credible threat to the Dodgers. Not yet, anyway.
Now, the San Diego Padres are interesting. After the team posted a 66-49 record last year, they only went 13-34 the rest of the season. This offseason the team parted ways with manager Jayce Tingler and replaced him with Bob Melvin. Superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to miss about three months after having surgery on his broken left wrist.
San Diego traded for Luke Voit, and should get several players back from injury such as Mike Clevinger this season. The DH spots will be a nice addition for many NL teams as they can add an extra bat. The Padres come in an interesting spot, and I will not be shocked if they are contenders for a postseason spot.
But I think the Dodgers are still the better team. The Padres always seem to kick it up a notch when they play the Dodgers, so there will be 19 interesting matchups in 2022.
Lastly, we look at the San Francisco Giants, the defending NL West champs. Their 2021 campaign was amazing, winning 107 games and shocking all of baseball. This offseason Buster Posey retired, and they had some key departures such as Kevin Gausman and Bryant.
San Francisco’s biggest acquisition this offseason was left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, formerly of the White Sox, who pitched a no-hitter last season. The Giants also added old friend Joc Pederson. As you all may remember, the Giants current president of baseball operations is Farhan Zaidi, the former Dodgers general manager.
The Giants will probably not post 107 wins again this year, but they do have a nice roster that has the ability to compete. The rivalry between Los Angeles and San Francisco was a little quiet over the last handful of years, but last season, it was really amplified as the two sides had the best two records in the league, and met in the postseason for a historic series. The Giants will certainly compete, but knocking off the Dodgers as division favorites is unlikely in my eyes.
The Dodgers will be the favorites to win the West, but of course winning any Major League division is a hard task. However, the biggest threats personally I’d say are the Giants followed by the Padres. The Rockies and Diamondbacks don’t pose any credible threats at all.
Cactus League play continues Friday, as the Dodgers take on the Padres at 6:05 p.m. Pacific. Julio Urias, who led the league in wins last year, will get the start. It is his first start this Spring.
The Dodgers will face right hander Nick Martinez.
16 thoughts on “Which Team Poses Biggest Threat to Dodgers in NL West?”
Padres should have much improved pitching. Giants had many of their players have banner years. The Dodgers lost most of its pitching staff and Betts, Bellinger and Seager had injury and production issues all year. With all of that the Dodgers came within 1 game of winning the West! If the Dodgers can have normal attrition they should dominate the league and division. Melvin was a good hire. He should help the Padres with the internal cohesion issues. I think the Padres are the better team and should win second place and a playoff spot. The NL West top three are going to be hard to beat. Good solid teams. Impressed either the Giants pitching additions.
I have to believe that age is going to catch up with Belt and Crawford. I think Wade will be a much better player this season if he continues to improve. We all know what Joc is capable of, and I hope he has a great year but goes ofer against the Dodgers. Padres scare me more, at least they will if Tatis returns and is a force again. But coming off of surgery to his hand? I do not think he is going to just turn it on when he returns. Remember how long it took Turner to get back in a groove after his hand injury. Colorado has some good bats, a couple of decent pitchers and the onus of playing in a ballpark that just invites high scoring games. As for the D-Backs, if they never contend again, I will be very pleased. I dislike their organization almost as much as I despise the Giants and Pads.
Count me as another vote for the Padres over the Giants as the major threat in the division for 2022.
I expect a lot of regression from SF. On the other hand the Padres had a lot of injuries last year, especially to their pitchers. I don’t see anyone beating us out, but I would expect SD to finish second, even with the loss of Tatis.
I think the Braves could be a real challenge on our way to the WS. The drop from Freddie to Olson isn’t a huge one, but the addition of Acuna and Ozuna who were both MIA for a great deal of last year should make a huge difference. And adding Kenley to an already strong bullpen will really help.
I’m with Scoop. Frisco will revert to where they were. However padres could actually break the 500 barriere after what seems like 20 years. Naw.
Believe in the Zaidi of the old team’s soul
Believe in the Zaidi of-a rock and roll
Believe in the Zaidi that can set you free
Ohh, talking ’bout the Zaidi
zaidi in Swahili means “overblown”.
Overblown in latin means quievit
Since Farhan is Pakistani by heritage, it’s probably more important to know what zaidi means in Urdu.
It’s Arabic and it means increase. But that’s not nearly as funny as what it means in Swahili.
I guess Giants’ ownership assumed it meant increase wins. Seems to have worked out well for them.
Keith Law had an article in The Athletic today in which he talked about Dodger 1st rounder, Maddux Bruns. He absolutely raved about him and he’s rarely that excited about a young player. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s a 19 year old southpaw from Alabama.
He’s always had great stuff, but could never control it and that’s why he was still there when the Dodgers’ turn came in the first round last year. Law saw him in a camp game against the White Sox and apparently, at least for now, he’s mastered his control. He was throwing a 94-96 mph fastball, a plus-plus curveball that was almost 20 mph slower, a plus changeup and a decent slider. At 19!
Law saw him absolutely dominate the Sox first two draft choices from the 2021 draft and then had this to say:
“It’s really not fair to evaluate these guys – Montgomery is 20, Kath 19 – against a pitcher with stuff that would be in the upper echelon in the big leagues.”
Now that Kershaw is edging into the twilight of his career, maybe we just drafted CK v.2.
Special note to Gordon: I’m extremely excited that he still has 5 years to go until you’ll be ready to kick him to the curb. 🙂
I think he should back the 94-96 down to around 91 and find the edges with it. I don’t care about immediate results.He can throw 94-96 down the road a few years.
Law made it a point to say that he was finding both sides of the plate with the fastball. Or are you saying that you’d prefer a kid that young not throw that hard yet?
We’ll find someone else Jeff. Don’t worry.