The Giants have become arguably the top franchise in the game, winning two of the past three World Series. It’s hard to pick against them, too, with a stout rotation and solid lineup.
But the Dodgers are spending big bucks to get to the top of the division, and the Diamondbacks seem talented enough to contend.
San Francisco Giants
2012 season: 94-68 (first, NL West; won World Series)
New faces: RHP Chad Gaudin, OF Andres Torres, INF Wilson Valdez
2013 outlook: Fresh off their second World Series in three years, the Giants have established themselves as a model franchise. They have one of the best rotations in the league and re-signed left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt, outfielder Angel Pagan and infielder Marco Scutaro.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2012 season: 86-76 (second, NL West)
New faces: RHP Zack Greinke, LHP J.P. Howell, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu
2013 outlook: The Dodgers’ new ownership group isn’t afraid to spend. They signed Zack Greinke, the top free-agent starter on the market, and fortified their bullpen by re-signing Brandon League and adding lefty reliever J.P. Howell. They also have perennial Cy Young (Clayton Kershaw) and MVP (Matt Kemp) candidates on their team.
2012 season: 81-81 (third, NL West)
New faces: RHP Heath Bell, SS Cliff Pennington, LHP Tony Sipp, INF/OF Martin Prado, RHP Brandon McCarthy, OF Cody Ross, SS Didi Gregorius
2013 outlook: They traded Justin Upton to Atlanta, which brought back All-Star infielder/outfielder Martin Prado, who signed an extension. The D-backs also received the Braves’ top pitching prospect, Randall Delgado, and three minor leaguers. Arizona was part of a three-team trade, too, that landed it shortstop Didi Gregorius and lefty Tony Sipp. The D-backs should stay in the hunt this season.
San Diego Padres
2012 season: 76-86 (fourth NL West)
New faces: OF Travis Buck, C Rene Rivera, RHP Tyson Ross
2013 outlook: The Padres return a good trio of veterans in starter Jason Marquis, outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street. But it’s hard to see them making a serious run in the NL West with the Giants and Dodgers favored.
2012 season: 64-98 (fifth, NL West)
New faces: RHP Wilton Lopez, RHP Chris Volstad, INF Ryan Wheeler
2013 outlook: They have a new manager, Walt Weiss, and hitting coach, Dante Bichette. They also have two of the biggest stars in the game in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. But the Rockies don’t appear to be in position to push for a playoff spot.
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram