2021 NL West Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
The Los Angeles Dodgers were finally able to shake off several recent heartbreaks, specifically losing in the World Series in 2017 and 2018 to the cheating-their-asses Astros and Red Sox, respectively, and claim L.A.’s first world championship in over 30 years.
The Dodgers were able to take that next crucial step and become champions. Now they want to take another step and become a dynasty.
San Diego is the rest of the Major League’s first line of defense. After their jaw-dropping extension for Fernando Tatis (14 years, $340 million) and several other monster offseason moves, the Padres are making no secret of their challenge to the Dodgers’ superiority. And San Diego enters the season feeling as if their team is good enough to take down the champions.
The rest of the West is pure fodder. Arizona might be good. They might not be. San Francisco is trying to remain competent and somewhat competitive while also diving headlong into a rebuilding phase. And Colorado is going to be one of the worst teams in baseball.
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Here is Doc's Sports 2021 National League West preview:
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
2021 Wins Over/Under: 103.5
Odds To Win 2021 NL West: -240
Odds To Win 2021 NL Pennant: +180
2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Odds To Win World Series: +350
Outlook: There is no weakness for this team. Maybe complacency. The Dodgers didn’t need pitching. But they went out and signed Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. Joc Pederson, a guy that led the team with a .382 batting average in the playoffs, walked away because the Dodgers didn’t know if they had enough at-bats for him this season. This team is just so freakishly loaded that there’s nothing not to like and seemingly nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, there is also absolutely zero value betting on this team. The Dodgers are -220 on Opening Day, on the road. They are routinely going to be posted as a -250 favorite or more when they play at home. And even if they win 110 games this year, they likely won’t turn a profit for someone betting them at $100 per game. Sit back and enjoy L.A.’s greatness. Don’t expect to make much money on it.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
2021 Wins Over/Under: 78.5
Odds To Win 2021 NL West: +200
Odds To Win 2021 NL Pennant: +400
2021 San Diego Padres Odds To Win World Series: +900
Outlook: If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: beware of the team that “wins the offseason”. This year, that team was San Diego, which added several big name free agents (Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, etc.) and enters this season with as much hype as any club in the Majors.
Last year, the Padres entered the season with all kinds of hype and excitement. And San Diego actually met expectations, winning 37 games and making it into the playoffs. However, it is a lot easier to maintain that level of energy and excitement and a lot easier to build momentum during a short season like that. Now they have expectations. And now they have to do it over a full 162 games.
Fernando Tatis is already having shoulder issues. Dinelson Lamet is still working his way back from an elbow injury. There are also several statistical indicators – including their obscene .953 OPS with runners in scoring position and a .310 batting average with RISP – that suggest a regression. And with all of the money they have shoveled out over the last 18 months, San Diego has zero flexibility to go out and supplement the roster if any injuries strike over an extended campaign.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
2021 Wins Over/Under: 75.5
Odds To Win 2021 NL West: +5400
Odds To Win 2021 NL Pennant: +7400
2021 San Francisco Odds To Win World Series: +24500
Outlook: Much like Baltimore, Seattle and Miami, San Francisco was a bad team that was able to play above expectations last year. They just missed the playoffs – without Buster Posey, who opted out – but now I think that the Giants are going to come back to earth and get exposed for a bevy of weaknesses they have throughout the organization.
It starts with pitching. Their starting pitching staff is pretty bleak. And that’s even if Johnny Cueto miraculously finds his old form after struggling since his return from Tommy John. These guys are going to get shelled. There is no way that their offense is going to produce at the same clip that it did last season when the Giants finished No. 8 in scoring and No. 5 in batting average.
Teams played regional schedules last season. Now the Giants are going to have to face off against teams from the loaded N.L. East and an improved N.L. Central. San Francisco is also going to be selling at the trade deadline, trying to clear out dead wood to make room for their prospects. Add in the fact that they are clearly the fourth-best team in this division, and I can’t see them threatening 80 wins.
2021 Wins Over/Under: 75.5
Odds To Win 2021 NL West: +5400
Odds To Win 2021 NL Pennant: +5900
2021 Arizona Diamondbacks Odds To Win World Series: +15000
Outlook: The Diamondbacks were actually one of the beneficiaries of the truncated 2020 season. They weren’t going to be any good anyway. So now Arizona was able to shave another year of its rebuilding cycles and get itself one season closer to competing with the top dogs in the N.L. West.
Madison Bumgarner is an absolute anchor around this team’s neck, and the future Hall of Famer was well below replacement level in 2020. He won’t be any better this season. Outside of Bumgarner, the Diamondbacks have some lively young arms. Protecting them (especially Zac Gallen) will be one of major focuses of this season.
Arizona had the fourth-oldest lineup in baseball last season. Unfortunately, they let Starling Marte get away and it looks like the front office is simply expecting a bounce back from several players – Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, etc. – based solely on this being a normal season. That’s a big gamble for a team that hasn’t fielded a Top 10 scoring offense in three seasons.
2021 Wins Over/Under: 63.5
Odds To Win 2021 NL West: +6900
Odds To Win 2021 NL Pennant: +8400
2021 Colorado Rockies Odds To Win World Series: +19500
Outlook: Even when the Rockies do confound expectations and they actually are a good team, they don’t stay a good team for very long. After winning 87 and 91 games in 2017 and 2018, respectively, the Rockies have started their inevitable back slide. They have finished in fourth place each of the past two seasons, and that was before they dumped their best player, Nolan Arenado, for very little in return.
Colorado’s pitching will, bizarrely, be a strength this season. Coors Field, cancels that out, though, and the Rockies have had a team ERA over 6.00 at home each of the past two seasons.
I wouldn’t expect a lot of offense from this group. Even with the benefit of playing a mile above sea level. Other than Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story, both of whom will be dangled at the trade deadline, and Ryan McMahon, there is absolutely nothing to get excited about in this lineup.
2021 National League West Picks and Predictions: Predicted Order of Finish
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Diego Padres
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. San Francisco Giants
5. Colorado Rockies
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB cappers in the country and has turned a profit in three of four baseball seasons (and six of his last eight). Robert exploded for an incredible +$13,100 profit run in 2019 from mid-April to late July and he plans on doing it again this year. Robert has posted four of six winning years on the diamond and is looking for another big season. Click here for more information on his MLB picks.
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