As we open the door to analyzing the competitive NL West we must first look at what teams do not have.
I have never heard of a team being wildly successful with as few weapons as The San Diego Padres posses. Unfortunately, for the city named after “A Whale’s Vagina,” I will be power ranking their ball-club at 5th in the west. I’m hard pressed to believe that the Friars will exceed 70 wins this season, which would be a 7-game victory improvement from last year’s amateur hour.
Jake Peavy is God in San Diego. Without him, the organization might as well take a yearlong vacation. He will be 27 years old on Opening Day and is arguably a top three MLB pitcher. He should be primed for another 200+ strikeout season and double digit wins. But who does he have to support him in the rotation? Exactly. Chris Young fills in as the #2 guy. He’s ok if he can stay healthy, which isn’t his strongest suit. Finishing off the depth chart is a flop of: Cha Seung Beak, a Korean from Seattle with a 5.1 ERA, Kevin Correia who is barely more than a middle relief guy, and potential rookies Wade LeBlanc or Ivan Nova. Yucky…
Even assuming that Jake Peavy blows away a MLB record and marks 30 wins this season (joke), there isn’t any offense to give run support to the lackluster bats on the team. Adrian Gonzalez has emerged as a legitimate 1st class first basemen and will be the center of their offensive. The developing and supportive Chase Headley and Kevin Kouzmanoff will bolster the team by sharing third base, with Headley in left as well. The rest of the offense is extremely blasé, however, with: David Eckstein (2B), Craig Stansburry (SS), Nicholas Hindley (C) and Bryan Giles, Scott Hairston and Jody Geirut (who might be something) in the outfield.
Heath Bell is now the closer with Hoffman gone, and this simply supports my theory that San Diego will not surpass 70 this year.
What San Diego has going for them is the absence of a monster competitor in their division. I can’t see them falling victim to the Dodgers or the Rockies an embarrassing amount of times, but know they will not be able to climb to 3rd in the division either.
Check back soon as the StatDragon will power rank the rest of the NL West.
The Champions League is the biggest stage for the best soccer clubs around the world to showcase their skills and compete for the ultimate prize. Clubs like Manchester United, Inter Milan, Juventus, Chelsea, Roma, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal are simply all-star teams competing against one another. If you don’t watch or are used to watching MLS (haha), this is soccer at it’s finest.
What to expect:Today at 2:30 Eastern time, Manchester United vs Inter Milan. The best of England vs. the best of Italy. Defending UEFA Champions league Champs, Man U are looking to repeat this year. Lead by the golden boy Cristiano Ronaldo, the footballer of the year in 2008. “It is going to be a titanic fight,” Ronaldo said. “Inter are top of Serie A which tells you immediately they are a good team who are going to give us a tough game.” Ronaldo can fake a flop and cry with the best in the world but he’s fast with great ball skill. Inter Milan are the reigning champs of Italy for 3 years running. They’ve struggled on the Champions League stage with early exits from the tournament. With coach Mourinho guiding them, they look to get over the hump and take advantage of a injured United defense.
Dick Rickles (Man U supporter) had this to offer “United are playing the best football in the world right now in the best league in the world. However, they are facing a difficult challenge tonight in Italy where they are not too successful; only 3 wins in 15 matches on Italian soil, but Inter have not been able to get a win out of their last 4 games where an English team has visited them at the San Siro. United are also without one of their best and arguably one of the world’s best defenders in Nemanja Vidic due to a preposterous red card he received in the Super Cup final, which will make it difficult to deal with Inter’s striking pair of Ibrahimovic and Adriano. The Red Devils will be looking to get that crucial away goal tonight and I don’t think they would be upset with a tie or even a loss with that away goal heading back for the return leg in Old Trafford when they should have a full squad.”
Screw Duke vs. UNC and Ohio St. vs Michigan…let’s talk about multiple countries represented in intense matchups of pride and glory. And the camera man always seems to find a fine Italian woman in the stands.
Also on tap today: Roma vs. Arsenal, Lyon vs. Barcelona , FC Porto vs. Atletico Madrid
Let’s kick it up a notch!