MLB 2nd Half Predictions: NL West

National League West Predictions

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. San Diego Padres
5. Colorado Rockies

The LA Dodgers were the hottest team in baseball to begin the year. After having the best record in the majors for most of the first two months, they’ve since tapered off and find themselves clinging to the division lead. They key to them staying there? Health. The Dodgers need Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to stay on the field and off the DL at the same time.

Chris Capuano has proven to be a reliable No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw, but they’ll need him to continue that throughout the 2nd half, or find someone who can. LA will look to add an arm, both in the rotation and the pen. An extra bat would come in handy as well. They’d like to stretch that lead back to where it was in early May.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be an interesting team to watch in the 2nd half. They’re not dead by any means. So far, they’ve been one of the biggest disappointments, but I’ve got a feeling they’ll still be in the conversation come September.

The Giants postseason fate relies heavily on the arm of Tim Lincecum. Both his command and speed have slipped, and his numbers show it. If these struggles go to Lincecum’s head, it could be tough to recover. Hopefully, “Big Time Timmy Jim” enjoyed the break and comes back refreshed and rights his ship in the 2nd half. If not, the Giants are in a world of trouble. Their offense is middle-of-the-road, but they’re a dangerous match-up come October. The question is, can they get there?

Maybe, but it won’t be because they win the division. Leave that to the Dodgers.

Aaron Kirn is the Director of Video for Rant Sports. Check out all his 2012 MLB 2nd Half Predictions on the AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East, and NL Central.

Follow him on twitter @AaronKirn

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