Marcos Mendoza | July 10th, 2019
Los Angeles Dodgers 60-32: 1st place +13.5 GB
The pure dominance of their Starting Rotation. Here are the Dodgers starting staff rankings in MLB, ERA (3.19 ) 2nd, FIP (3.42) 2nd, xFIP (3.36) 1st, AVG (.227) 4th, WHIP (1.11) 1st, and K-BB% (19.5%) 3rd. The Dodgers may very well have the best starting staff in all of MLB in 2019. Along with the Elite starting staff, the offense is near the top of MLB as well. The offense has a line of .263/.342/.466, .808 OPS, .203 ISO, 146 HRs, and 466 RBIs. They have true front runners in the NL MVP race with Cody Bellinger and in the NL CY Young race with Hyun-Jin Ryu.
In the offseason, the Dodgers signed former Red Sox’s flamethrower Joe Kelly to a 3yr $25 MM deal to be a setup man. Kelly has struggled greatly in the first half this season. Kelly has a 5.28 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 3.50 xFIP. He’s been one of the worst Dodgers relievers in the first half.
Team (MVP): Cody Bellinger
Bellinger’s progression this season has been truly incredible for the Dodgers. There’s no other choice here to pick he’s been elite all around the field this season offensively and defensively. Leads the Dodgers in WAR with 5.7 to Hyun-Jin Ryus 3.1 WAR.
Team Grade: A+
Arizona Diamondbacks: 46-45 2nd Place -13.5 GB
The offense has held steady this season, despite losing star 1B Paul Goldschmidt and Outfielder A.J. Pollock this offseason. 2B Ketel Marte has turned himself into an All-Star this season, Eduardo Escobar has had an excellent season with a 15.2 oWAR, Christian Walker and Carson Kelly have both broken out offensively with 8.1 oWAR and 3.1 oWAR from them. They’ve had a lot of unexpected progressions this season, in which the offense was a question mark coming into the season. The starting rotation has also held their own while dealing with a ton of injuries and Zack Greinke has been who he’s always been this season an ACE.
While getting great progression from the Offense, nearly everyone in the Diamondbacks bullpen has regressed this season. The Diamondbacks really have only one consistently good reliever in rookie Yoan Lopez posting a 1.59 ERA. Large question marks surround the bullpen, the relievers have been a major disappointment in 2019.
Team MVP: Ketel Marte
The Dbacks needed a player to rise to a star after losing Paul Goldschmidt and he’s been just that. Marte has been the best player on the Dbacks and the best 2B in the National League at the break. He’s 4th in MLB with a 3.8 WAR behind Trout, Bellinger, and Yelich he’s in some good company.
Buyers or Sellers:
If they can add some weapons in the bullpen, they can make a run in the 2nd half. Buyers for relief help.
Team Grade: B
San Diego Padres: 45-45 3rd Place – 14.0 GB
The Rookies, Fernando Tatis Jr.and Chris Paddack have been absolutely incredible this season and are turning into stars. Kirby Yates has been the best closer in all of MLB this season, he’s been unstoppable with his league-leading 30 saves this year. The power the Padres have had this year has been fun to watch. The Padres are the only team at the break this year with 3 20+ Hr players in Reyes, Renfroe, and Machado.
Ian Kinsler and Wil Myers have been completely horrific at the plate this year contributing a combined -15.8 oWAR. Starting next season Wil Myers will be making $20 mil a season until 2023. Get out of that contract.
Buyers or Sellers:
If they fall out of the WC race as the deadline approaches, they absolutely need to cash in on Kirby Yates. It’s incredibly difficult for a reliever to replicate the season he’s had.
Fernando Taits Jr. Well, that was easy, the rookie phenom has been out of his mind this season. Tatis Jr leads the Padres in WAR with 3.0 and has 14 HRs in only 55 games played.
Team Grade: B-
Colorado Rockies: 44-45 4th Place -14.5 GB
The four All-Stars. Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, and David Dahl were all selected for the 2019 All-Star game in Cleveland. They have all been incredible this season with a combined 9.5 WAR. Ian Desmond not being absolutely terrible. After finishing the last two seasons with a negative fWAR, Desmond’s bat is trending upwards this season with a career-high .220 ISO.
The Starting Rotation. Rockies starters have been horrific this season as they are coming into the break with a league-worst 5.57 ERA.
Buyers or Sellers:
Buy. With the four All-Stars carrying the weight of the offense for the Rockies, they need to look for pitching to help them make a run.
Nolan Arenado. It’s close between Arenado and Story here but I’m giving it to Arenado. Arenado gets it by edging out Story in wRC+.
Team Grade: C+
San Francisco Giants: 41-48 5th Place -17.5 GB
Will Smith. That’s all I really to say about the Giants positives this season with him being their respective All-Star.
I can go on and on with the Negatives here on this team so let’s just make this short with them being under .500.
Buyers or Sellers:
SELL, SELL, SELL, SELL oh wait do I need to say it again yes I do
Will Smith. Smith has easily been the best player on the Giants and will only be on the team for a couple more weeks.
Team Grade: D
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images