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National League West – MLB Division Guide

You can track down historical descriptions of the teams in the National League West and gain a whole bunch of insight.

It’s easy to get your hands on records and statistics, and there are sites out there that share pertinent betting data.

A page that covers all of that information in one centralized place? You have found it here.

Whether you are an MLB enthusiast whose team resides in this division or you’re an online bettor looking for edges, this NL West guide is a great resource.

MLB NL West Betting in 2021

From roster assessments to season-long predictions, our MLB blog features great content all year long.

Anything you could want to know about betting on the NL West is covered, and it’s the same for every other division.

When the best sites to bet on baseball online get creative and open up new betting markets during the season, our MLB writers take action and offer their two cents. Tips and advice for daily fantasy baseball can also be found on our blog.

Here are some of the latest posts.

If your goal is to attack the daily slates and bet on run lines and totals, we have a separate section dedicated to MLB betting picks.

We typically offer our best bets of the day and frequently preview games individually.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Key Info

Arizona Diamondbacks Logo

The Arizona Diamondbacks were part (along with the Tampa Bay Rays) of MLB’s most recent expansion in 1998.

While most MLB teams have switched divisions at some point and called multiple ballparks home, the D-Backs situation remains unspoiled. They’ve been a member of the NL West Division since day one and have played all of their home games on the same field.

Chase Field, formerly known as Bank One Ballpark (The BOB), was the first stadium in the country constructed with a retractable roof over natural grass. The playing surface was eventually converted into synthetic turf in 2019, but one thing hasn’t changed.

There’s a swimming pool in the outdoor suite located just behind the wall in center field overlooking the action. Not a bad place to “soak up” nine innings of baseball.

Arizona struggled in their inaugural season. With a 65-97 record, they finished 33 wins away from first place. Inking Randy Johnson to a deal ahead of the ’99 campaign changed everything.

The imposing southpaw dominated in his first year in the desert and guided the Diamondbacks to 100 wins and an NL West title. Johnson would win four consecutive Cy Youngs in his first four years in AZ, which coincided with Arizona’s lone World Series triumph.

Talk about an instant classic, Luis Gonzalez hit a walk-off bloop single against Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth inning of game 7.

Recent Records and Stats for the Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-Backs gained some momentum securing three straight winning seasons between 2017-2019.

Unfortunately, those positive vibes will need to be replenished after finishing last in the NL West standings in 2020.

Season Wins Losses NL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 25 35 5th No .241 58 4.84
2019 85 77 2nd No .252 220 4.25
2018 82 80 3rd No .235 176 3.72
2017 93 69 2nd Lost in NLDS .254 220 3.66

It’s one thing to hit .241 and rank 29th out of 30 teams in home runs if you’re playing at PNC Park or Comerica Park.

However, these numbers are especially disappointing when you account for the fact that Chase Field is known as a hitter-friendly park.

In terms of Arizona’s pitching, Zack Greinke is long gone, and Madison Bumgarner is over the hill. Not to mention the D-Backs team ERA has trended in the wrong direction in each of the last three years.

Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies Key Info

Colorado Rockies Logo
  • Established: 1993
  • Ballpark: Coors Field
  • AAA Affiliate: Albuquerque Isotopes
  • World Series Titles: 0
  • Value: 275 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Colorado Rockies Website

Six MLB franchises are still searching for their first World Series. Just two teams are yet to win a division title. Unfortunately, the Colorado Rockies are the lone organization on both of these lists.

The Rox have tasted October baseball and have an NL Pennant on their resume (2007), but this is a team that has suffered when it comes to winning meaningful games.  Colorado hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009, back when Todd Helton was manning first base.

Helton put up some mammoth numbers during his illustrious career in Denver, including a 2000 campaign for the ages.

Todd Helton at the Plate in 2000
Hits Doubles HR RBI Runs BB K BA OBP SLG
216 59 42 147 138 103 61 .372 .463 1.162

Todd backed up his scintillating performance in 2000 by slashing .336/.432/.685 with 49 HR and 146 RBI in 2001. If you go back a few years before Helton arrived on the scene, you get hit with even more gaudy power numbers from the men in Coors Field.

In the history of Major League Professional Baseball, there have been three instances of a trio of teammates each hitting at least 40 HR in the same season.

  • 1973 Atlanta Braves
  • 1996 Colorado Rockies
  • 1997 Colorado Rockies

Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, and Andres Galarraga were all mashers. And don’t forget that Dante Bichette hit 31 homers for Colorado in 1996; Ellis Burks swatted 32 jacks in 1997.

Recent Records and Stats for the Colorado Rockies

After taking the Dodgers to a 163rd regular-season game in 2018 to decide the NL West title, it appeared that the Rockies were a team on the upswing.

And then reality set in and it was back to sub .500 baseball.

Season Wins Losses NL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 26 34 4th No .257 63 5.59
2019 71 91 4th No .265 224 5.56
2018 91 72 2nd Lost in NLDS .256 210 4.33
2017 87 75 3rd Lost in WC .273 192 4.51

Eighth or better in batting average in each of the last four years – that’s the good news; the bad news – Colorado finished 29th in team ERA in both 2019 and 2020.

Playing in Coors Field will always bloat the Rockies team ERA, but posting marks north of 5.50 in consecutive years just isn’t sufficient.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers Key Info

LA Dodgers Logo
  • Established: 1883
  • Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
  • AAA Affiliate: Oklahoma City Dodgers
  • World Series Titles: 7 (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988, 2020)
  • Value: 4 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Los Angeles Dodgers Website

Based in Brooklyn until the start of the 1958 season, the Dodgers franchise is among the most celebrated and popular sports teams in all of North America.

Installed in the National League in 1890 as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, it wasn’t until 1932 that the Dodgers moniker stuck for good.

The Yankees are the only MLB team with a higher valuation, and perhaps only the Bronx Bombers have more notable figures.

Jackie Robinson won the 1947 National League Rookie of the Year; he added an MVP award two years later. However, Jackie’s legacy in this sport runs a lot deeper than just being an outstanding second baseman.

Robinson broke the color barrier and will forever be engrained in MLB lore. Nobody will ever wear #42 again because of what he meant to the game of baseball. The exception is every year on April 15th – dubbed “Jackie Robinson Day.” Every player on every team dons a #42 jersey that day.

Sandy Koufax will go down as one of the best left-handed pitchers of all time while Clayton Kershaw is starting to close in. Roy Campanella is one of the greatest catchers who ever lived.

What Robinson, Koufax, Kershaw, “Campy,” as well as 3x World Champ and 9x All-Star Don Drysdale all had in common is that none of them ever played an MLB game in any other uniform.

The most memorable Dodgers highlight is Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.  

Recent Records and Stats for the Los Angeles Dodgers

It’s been utter domination.

The LA Dodgers head into 2021 aiming for their ninth straight NL West crown. To help put their historic 2020 season in perspective, their .717 winning % was the sixth-highest of all time and paces out to more than 116 wins in a full season.

Season Wins Losses NL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 43 17 1st Won WS  .256 118 3.02
2019 106 56 1st Lost in NLDS .257 279 3.37
2018 92 71 1st Lost in WS .250 235 3.38
2017 104 58 1st Lost in WS .249 221 3.38

Dave Roberts’ club has stacked up 2nd, 2nd, 1st, and 1st among the rest of the league in team ERA since 2017. And they just added Trevor Bauer to the 2021 rotation. All he did was post a blistering 1.73 ERA en route to winning the 2020 NL CY Young (as a member of the Reds).

What’s scary is this team’s offense is just as superlative.

San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres Key Info

San Diego Padres Logo

People in San Diego care deeply about the Padres. When the Chargers bolted for Los Angeles in 2017, the Padres no longer had to share their city with  a team from one of the four major professional sports leagues in America.

The Friars came along in 1969 – the same year the NL West Division was formed. San Diego lost 110 games in their first season and didn’t eclipse 70 victories until year seven. They got their first winning season in 1978; their first division title happened in 1984.

That same year, the Pads defeated the Cubs in the NLCS and advanced to the first World Series in team history (lost 4-1 to the Tigers).

San Diego’s only other WS appearance was in 1998 on the heels of Greg Vaughn launching 50 dingers and Kevin Brown winning 18 games. Trevor Hoffman set a National League record that year with 53 saves (NL record is now 55 by John Smoltz and Eric Gagne).

 Four different Padres pitchers have won a National League Cy Young (Randy Jones, Gaylord Perry, Mark Davis, Jake Peavy), although just one man in San Diego has ever won an NL MVP (Ken Caminiti, 1996).

Shockingly, Tony Gwynn was never honored as a league MVP in his 20 seasons in America’s Finest City. In the conversation of the most fundamentally sound hitters of all time, the lifetime .338 hitter batted at least .309 in each of his final 19 seasons in the big leagues.

Recent Records and Stats for the San Diego Padres

Petco Park is an elegant stadium positioned in the heart of downtown San Diego. For a while, the selection of beer and delectable eats were the main reason fans were coming to the stadium.

Then, 2020 happened and a switch was flicked. The Friars exploded and became a legit challenger to the Dodgers throne.

Season Wins Losses NL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 37 23 2nd Lost in NLDS .257 95 3.86
2019 70 92 5th No .238 219 4.60
2018 66 96 5th No .235 162 4.40
2017 71 91 4th No .234 189 4.67

San Diego opened 2021 on the shortlist of genuine World Series contenders.

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado were both in the running to win the MVP, and Dinelson Lamet nearly took home the NL Cy Young. After adding Yu Darvish and Blake Snell to the mix, along with Joe Musgrove, the sky’s the limit in 2021.

San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants Key Info

San Francisco Giants Logo
  • Established: 1883
  • Ballpark: Oracle Park
  • AAA Affiliate: Sacramento River Cats
  • World Series Titles: 8 (1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, 1954, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  • Value: 1 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official San Francisco Giants Website

Joining the Yankees and Dodgers as the only three MLB franchises with at least 20 World Series appearances, the San Francisco Giants did a lot of damage well before they ever arrived in the state of California.

The New York Giants – not to be confused with the NFL team – were the last team standing on five occasions before they headed west to San Francisco in 1958. Willie McCovey came in the following season and won the ROY award; he’d later add an MVP award to his resume.

The G-Men captured three World Series in a five-year stretch from 2010-2014, which came after Tim Lincecum won back-to-back NL Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009.

Of the several players San Fran has sent to Cooperstown, two stand out above the rest.

Willie Mays is one of the 5-10 best players in the sport’s history; Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Some may argue with claiming Bonds at the top, and here’s our response.

Men lie, women lie, children lie. The numbers don’t.

The all-time HR leader won seven league MVPs; no other big leaguer has won more than three. Bonds has more than twice as many intentional walks as anyone else in history and was the second man to join the coveted 40-40 club. Plus, he won eight Gold Gloves.

From 2001-2004, Bonds slashed a mind-boggling .349/.559/.809.

Recent Records and Stats for the San Francisco Giants

After being among the worst offenses in the big leagues between 2017-2019, the Giants bats came alive in 2020.

SF finished the season ranked fifth in batting average and eighth in runs scored. That is quite the leap after finishing in the bottom three in the league in runs during the previous three seasons.

Season Wins Losses NL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 29 31 3rd No .263 81 4.64
2019 77 85 3rd No .239 167 4.38
2018 73 89 4th No .239 133 3.95
2017 64 98 5th No .249 128 4.50

San Francisco hasn’t hit a lot of homers in the last four years, but at least they’re trending in the right direction.

  • 30th in HR in 2017
  • 29th in HR in 2018
  • 26th in HR in 2019
  • 12th in HR in 2020

Mike Yastrzemski is emerging, and Tommy La Stella was a nice addition, but it’ll be tough to do anything other than tread water until the pitching is vastly improved.

The Giants are depending on Johnny Cueto to deliver; but the reality is, Cueto owns a 5.33 ERA and a lousy 7.8 SO9 rate since the start of 2019.

NL West History

The NL West Division came about in 1969 when the Padres and Expos pushed the total of National League teams up to 12. Six teams were placed in the NL East, while the other six landed in the NL West.

Here’s a look at the six founding members of the NL West.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Houston Astros

The Colorado Rockies arrived in the NL West as an expansion team in 1993. The realignment in 1994 sent the Braves to the NL East, with the Reds and Astros joining the newly formed NL Central.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were the last team to merge into the NL West when they were established in 1998.

We alluded to the Rockies being one of two MLB teams yet to win a division title (the Miami Marlins are the other). Equally as unimpressive is the fact that the Dodgers have won more NL West titles than the other four (current) members combined.

NL West Titles Won
Team NL West Titles
Los Angeles Dodgers 19
San Francisco Giants 8
San Diego Padres 5
Arizona Diamondbacks 5
Colorado Rockies 0

NL West Division Stats and Records

We’ve introduced each team and have exhibited a bevy of recent statistics. Now let’s get back to focusing on numbers specifically related to betting on the NL West.

If you’re betting on a baseball game, chances are your interest is in one of the following markets.

  • Money Line
  • Run Line
  • Run Total

The graphics below display clear and distinct against the spread data for all three, going back to the 2018 MLB season.

NL West Stats for 2020
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Records Over %
Diamondbacks 25-35 41.7 30-30 50.0 26-33-1 44.1
Rockies 26-34 43.3 29-31 48.3 26-30-4 46.4
Dodgers 56-22 71.8 47-31 60.3 37-34-7 52.1
Padres 39-27 59.1 37-29 56.1 32-32-2 50.0
Giants 29-31 48.3 31-28 52.5 29-22-8 56.9
NL West Stats for 2019
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Records Over %
Diamondbacks 85-77 52.5 90-72 55.6 76-76-10 50.0
Rockies 71-91 43.8 73-89 45.1 79-77-6 50.6
Dodgers 108-59 64.7 82-85 49.1 79-80-8 49.7
Padres 70-92 43.2 76-86 46.9 74-76-12 49.3
Giants 77-85 47.5 80-82 49.4 78-75-9 51.0
NL West Stats for 2018
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Records Over %
Diamondbacks 82-80 50.6 82-80 50.6 74-82-6 47.4
Rockies 92-75 55.1 88-79 52.7 68-90-9 43.0
Dodgers 100-79 55.9 79-100 44.1 81-89-9 47.6
Padres 66-96 40.7 81-81 50.0 79-78-5 50.3
Giants 73-89 45.1 79-83 48.8 69-86-7 44.5

Consistently betting on the Dodgers in 2020 netted bettors a chunky profit. LA’s 60.3% cover rate on the run line tied the White Sox for the best mark in baseball.

On the flip side, being the best team in the league and winning a bunch of games doesn’t always translate to success in the betting arena.

Los Angeles went 108-59 in 2019 but covered the run line less than half the time. The Dodgers won 100 games in 2018 and finished 29th out of 30 teams in cover %. 

Another conclusion that can be drawn by studying the NL West betting numbers was the bookies weren’t respecting the Padres nearly enough in 2020.

Even more glaring is the correlation between the Giants sudden surge in offense and San Francisco games going over.

The Dodgers reign over their competition in the NL West has been nothing short of “utter domination.” Look at what utter domination looks like on paper.

Recent NL West Division Winners
Year Winner Regular-Season Record
2020 Los Angeles Dodgers 43-17
2019 Los Angeles Dodgers 106-56
2018 Los Angeles Dodgers 92-71
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers 104-58
2016 Los Angeles Dodgers 91-71
2015 Los Angeles Dodgers 92-70
2014 Los Angeles Dodgers 94-68
2013 Los Angeles Dodgers 92-70
2012 San Francisco Giants 94-68
2011 Arizona Diamondbacks 94-68
2010 San Francisco Giants 92-70

Exploring the Other MLB Divisions

Certain individuals want to cram in as much information as possible before placing any bets. Others want to read an expert’s opinion and piggyback on his/her predictions. Some folks just want to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about their favorite team.

Everyone has a different agenda, which is why this NL West Division guide is so exhaustive.

The rest of our MLB Division guides are just a click away.

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