Odds to win the division: Giants (-700), Dodgers (+400)
% Chance by Fangraphs; Giants 75% Dodgers 25%
The oddsmakers see it 80/20, the baseball nerds see it 75/25, fair enough. Still, the division will be fascinating.
First off you have the Dodgers and their pitching woes. Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda have essentially carried the entire rotation into playoff contention. With Kershaw on the DL, it was almost time to hit the panic button. However, they added Bud Norris, and got Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu back from the disabled list right before the All-Star break.
If Kershaw can back into the mix the rotation has some potential moving into the summer. Still every name other than Kershaw comes with major unknowns.
The Giants still should be able to handle this. In a league with duos such as Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and Stephen Strasburg with Max Scherzer, no one can say the Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner duo has not been the best so far this year. There is no reason that should change either. Cueto has historically been a pitcher that can keep the ball in the park, and the Giants have the best ballpark and defense to play to his ground ball abilities. Pitching behind Madison Bumgarner, and not carrying the burden of being an ace may bring the best out of him in the postseason as well.
The Rockies can not mess around and they have to trade either one of Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon this summer. They should move Jake McGee and Boone Logan while they are it. The Padres should be looking to move Drew Pomeranz, as well as Andrew Cashner, Jon Jay, and Melvin Upton. The Diamondbacks are just the worst story. They came into the season with a ton of promise and have already sold off their closer.