NL West: Goldschmidt, Pitching Lead Arizona

The Major League Baseball marathon has finished up the first quarter of games and the National League West is shaping up to be a three-way race. After being purchased by a group led by Magic Johnson and pouring money into payroll, the Los Angeles Dodgers expected to challenge San Francisco's virtual ownership of the division, but instead it is the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies who are threatening the Giants.

After evening the series with St. Louis at one a piece, the Diamondbacks are two and one half games up on the Rockies and defending World Series Champion Giants.

Arizona is putting its Louisville Sluggers to work, being led by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt leads the team in batting average (.335), hits (71) and home runs (13).

The Diamondbacks have 52 team home runs and have +24 run differential. This season is still a long way from the All-Star break, but in the last three years the only team to steal the West from the Giants has been the Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks defense has been the real key to success early on in the season.

Arizona boasts the fewest runs against in the West at 246.

The Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco are staying competitive early in the season with opposite approaches.

The Giants are sticking to their winning ways with pitching and defense and is the only team in Major League Baseball that has a winning record (31-28) with a negative run differential (-17).

Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey are leading the offensive charge while Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner and Sergio Romo are hurling the rock for the Giants.

Colorado is quietly sitting in third place in the West but packs the offensive punch to contend for the division.

The Rockies have scored 280 runs this season and has outscored opponents by 29 runs this season.

It has been tough on the road for Colorado where they find themselves three games below .500 (13-16).

Dodging last place are the San Diego Padres, who are only a shade better at 26-32, seven games back. Currently on a three game skid, the Padres will have to get the wood burning as they face a -31 run differential and start performing away from home where they are 10-18.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 25-32 and seven-and-a-half games back despite the astronomical payroll.

Los Angeles is riding a two-game win streak but are still in dire straits. Yasiel Puig's arrival, though, has given the team some life this week. The Dodgers are just barely above .500 at home (16-15) and the worst in the west on the road (9-17). With high-profile star Matt Kemp on the 15-Day disabled list, things are not looking good for the “Yankees” of the West.


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