Contrasting Divisions: NL West Vs. AL West

The NL west seems like the most competetitive league so far this season. A sharp contrast to last season when the San Diego Padres won the west with an 82-80 record. This season only 4.5 games seperate first place from last place. Every team in the division has a winning record. Every team, with the exception of the Padres, has a winning home record. Every team, with the exception of the Colorado Rockies, has a winning road record also. On the other side of the spectrum we have the AL west, where only one team has a winning record, the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have a 3 game lead over the Oakland A’s, yet do not even have a winning record at home. You would think that if you can’t win at home you aren’t gonna have a shot at the division, but that isn’t the case with this stinker division. In fact every team in the AL west has a losing record at home and every team has a losing record on the road except for those division leading Rangers. Only one team has a positive run differential in the AL west, while in the NL west only one team has a losing run differential.

The L.A. Dodgers seem to be the most balanced team in the NL. They lead the league in run production and have allowed the second least runs all season long. They have the scond lowest ERA behind only the St. Louis Cardinals. With a .276 team batting average the Dodgers have managed to outscore everyone in the NL. The Dodgers are making a strong push for the division title. In fact according to an ESPN poll conduted earlier 42% of America think the Dodgers will win the west. Despite having the DL riddled with starting players, the Dodgers have managed to stay up towards the top of the division. We can only wait to see what the Dodgers can do with a healthy lineup. Are they gonna lose the chemistry they have now or are they gonna build on top of they when they finally get Jason Repko, Ceasar Izturis, Bill Mueller, Jayson Werth, Eric Gagne,and Dioner Navarro back?

The L.A. Angels are ranked 26th with a .249 batting average, and 27th in runs scored with 205. Not only are they not putting up numbers offensively, but they have the 6th highest ERA. The Angels are in the midst of a 4 game win streak but have still dropped 6 of their last 10, and are 7 games under .500 on the season. With the second worst record in the American League you can tell this is not the same team that won the world series in 2002, or the team that went to the League Championship Series last season.

With all that in mind it looks as if the AL west may be the laughingstock of the majors this year, just as the NL west was last year. Unless these teams pick it up we may have a division winner with a losing record. On the other hand the NL west may finish with every team above .500. It will all come down to divisional games and who can close out at the end of the season. So will the AL west continue to be a bottom dweller division, and will the NL west stay reign supreme over the rest of the MLB. I guess we’ll have to wait until october to find out. There is plenty more baseball to come.

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