Dodgers 1 GB
Padres 3 GB
Giants 4 GB
Potential Playoff teams
LA Dodgers: The addition of Schmidt could be impressive. This is an organization that comes into every year with high hopes and doesn’t meet this expectation. They are coming off a playoff appearance, and perhaps the Dodgers can make that next round. On paper, they could have the best starting 5 in the NL West maybe even the entire NL, so placing them second seems questionable right now but I am taking a risk. Offensively in the infield the Dodgers look solid with
SD Padres: Sure, they added Maddux, but is that what this team needs? The nice thing about Maddux, this takes some “ace” pressure off of Peavy. Peavy has risen to the challenge; however, last season was his career worst to date. Maddux is aging and is not his younger, control freak self. The pen of the Padres, I think, is their strongest quality. Offensively, not much has changed. Players to watch are Greene at SS and Hensley, their young starting pitcher.
SF Giants: They lost Schmidt and this will be felt throughout this organization, but they did add Zito. I am not sure how Zito’s transition to the other side of the bay will be. I think he will be glad to leave the A’s and join the offensively Bonds driven team of the Giants. I don’t see too much youth in the team that takes the field everyday. I am sure this will change. The player to watch this year is Tim Linececum, he is a young starting pitcher for the Giants. If he makes in the rotation, this could bowed well. He will start in AAA.