Battle For The NL West Division



With just a week left in the season, the Giants and the Dodgers battle it out, to see who will take first place in the NL West.

Morgan C., Justin T., and Sophia T.

Who is going to win the National League West? With about a week to go in the 2021 MLB season, fans are questioning who will come out on top. Most analysts thought that the Dodgers would win out, yet the Giants have put those predictions to rest.

So far, the Giants are playing much better than anyone anticipated. Commentators had initially believed it would be the Padres or Dodgers battling for first in the West. However, the Giants have exceeded expectations, being the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Even Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was taken aback.

“For anyone to think the Giants would be leading this division would be a surprise, but give those guys credit,” Roberts said, “Farhan (Zaidi), Gabe (Kapler), the coaching staff, players. What they’ve done, they deserve the credit. They’re relevant this year and they’ve earned that.”

Some might say San Francisco’s success is unexpected, but others believe differently. Dodgers All-Star 1st baseman, Max Muncy said, “They’ve always had good players. For whatever reason they couldn’t put it together the last couple years, but they’ve had good players.”

All-Star catcher, Buster Posey, has stepped up as the star of the Giants. He has a batting average hovering around .300, with about 20 home runs, and almost 50 runs batted in. In addition, All-Star starting pitcher Kevin Gausman has posted an earned run average of 2.87. He’s started 31 games, with a 14-6 record. Another player who has stepped up for the Giants is starting pitcher Logan Webb. Webb has a 3.04 ERA, 10-3 record, and has started 24 games. In prior years, Webb had an ERA around 5. San Francisco has had some players step up big time for them this year which helped them take the lead.

If the Giants come out of the NL West, it would be a great comeback considering they have not won a division title since 2012. 

On the contrary, it’s not new for the Dodgers to win the NL West. If the Dodgers win the title, it’d be no surprise, as they’ve won the NL West for the last seven straight years. 

Despite their success, the Dodgers have dealt with many hardships this year. They lost superstar outfielder Mookie Betts for a while with a back and hip injury. Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger were injured for a month. And up-and-coming starting pitcher Dustin May is out for the rest of the season with Tommy John surgery. All-Star utility man Chris Taylor also missed about three weeks. However, with as much depth and talent that LA has, they are expected to remain an elite team. 

“Considering what all we’ve been through, I’d say it’s pretty good,”  Muncy said. “We haven’t played anywhere near the caliber that we are capable of playing.”

At the MLB trade deadline, Dodgers general manager, Andrew Friedman, came out splurging, as he traded for All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer, and Danny Duffy, recently ruled out for the remainder of the season. In order to make these great deals, they did have to give up two young stars. 23-year-old Josaih Gray had shown some promising starts throughout his time in the minors and with the Nationals and Dodgers this season. The Dodgers also had to give up Keibert Ruiz who was recently ranked 19th in MLB Pipeline’s latest prospect rankings.  

Since his trade to Los Angeles, Scherzer has posted a 1.43 ERA and has a 7-0 record. He has also thrown an immaculate inning and reached 3,000 strikeouts in his career, the 19th pitcher in MLB history to reach that milestone. In addition to Scherzer’s success with his new team, Trea Turner has a .307 batting average, 7 homeruns, 17 RBI’s, and what he’s most known for, 10 stolen bases. 

The Dodgers and the Giants are both great teams. And fans in both cities agree that the race for the NL West finish line is something everyone is looking forward to.