The San Diego Padres have spent the past few years, and many millions of dollars, in an attempt to knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers. This may finally be the year they do so.
The NL West has been the Dodgers playground for a decade. They have won the division in nine of the past ten years, finishing a game out in 2021 despite winning 106 games. Last season was the same story as the Dodgers won 111 games to win the division by 22 games over the Padres. However, the Padres had the last laugh as they knocked the Dodgers out of the postseason.
San Diego Padres may finally get past Los Angeles Dodgers
This may be the season that the Padres move past the Dodgers. Fangraphs gives the Padres a 62.0% chance to win the division, the best chance of any team in the majors. They are the second most likely team to win the World Series according to their projections at 12.0%. All of that spending may finally pay off in a division title.
This is easier said than done. The Padres still need to defeat a Dodgers team that knows how to win in the regular season. Although they had what was considered a quiet offseason, they were still able to bolster their lineup with solid veterans and may be the right team for Noah Syndergaard to return to form with. The Giants and Diamondbacks also improved, although San Francisco made more headlines for the players they did not sign than those who came to town.
One can understand why the Padres are the favourites in the NL West. They already had what was essentially a fantasy league roster and added Xander Bogaerts. The pieces are in place for a dominant 2023 campaign. But they have to prove to be more than paper champions before they can be crowned the new kings of the division.
The San Diego Padres may finally be able to knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers. They just need to prove it on the diamond.
NL West projections