Seriously, how bad is this division? The first place Daimondbacks are only four games over .500 and have proven to that they are mediocre. Despite their amazing pitching, the Diamondbacks struggle to put together rallies with their horrid .251 team batting average and their pedestrian .326 OBP. They still scare me if they make the playoffs because of Webb and Haren, but they have shown no ability to run away with this division.
Sitting behind the Diamondbacks are the Dodgers and Rockies, both of whom have no business sniffing the playoffs. The Dodgers are 4.5 games out, but they are currently on an eight game losing streak, which includes being swept by the lowly Nationals. The Dodgers are in the same boat as the Diamondbacks as they have tremendous pitching, but the offense has remained stagnant even with Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers simply do not have much power around Manny, which has resulted in their despicable .712 team OPS. The Dodgers have an intriguing mix of youth and experience, but this season has been a failure so far because of injuries (Nomar, Juan Pierre, Furcal, and Brad Penny) and over the hill veterans (Nomar, Andruw Jones). Not too mention the 144 ABs they gave to Angel Berroa. I bet they want those back.
The Rockies are the exact opposite of the Dodgers and D-Backs: wonderful hitting, but no pitching. Besides Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Brian Fuentes; they don't have much else. If the Rockies are going to make a run, the offense will have to carry the load. Guys like Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins are going to have to lead the way and hope for two things: QUALITY PITCHING, and that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks continue to play poorly. If the Rockies some good pitching, watch out, because they will win this division.
Rockies v. Diamondbacks: 6 times
Rockies v. Dodgers: 3 times
Dodgers v. Diamondbacks: 5 times
(Photo: Sports Illustrated)