A look at where the division race stands at the midway point of the 2014 season.
We have reached the All-Star Break, the nominal halfway point of the major league season, even if teams have played 95 games or so. The NL West has turned into the two-team race most expected at the start of the season, with the Dodgers and Giants 11 games clear of the other three teams. Here's how each team has fared in the first half:
First Half Recap: The Diamondbacks started the season just terribly, going 9-22 in March and April. They have significantly improved since then, going 31-34 since the start of May. They have been especially poor at home, with a record of just 17-31 at Chase Field.
The big blow for Arizona was losing lefty Patrick Corbin for the season to Tommy John surgery during Spring Training, an injury that really put their pitching staff behind the eight-ball.
Disabled List: RHP Bronson Arroyo (60-day, torn UCL), 3B Eric Chavez (60-day, knee), LHP Patrick Corbin (60-day, torn UCL), RHP David Hernandez (60-day, torn UCL), RHP Daniel Hudson (60-day, torn UCL), SS Chris Owings (15-day, shoulder), 1B Jordan Pacheco (15-day, shoulder), SS Cliff Pennington (15-day, thumb), OF A.J. Pollock (15-day, hand), LHP Matt Reynolds (60-day, torn UCL)
First Half MVP: 1B Paul Goldschmidt
The National League's All-Star starter at first base has been a bright spot for Arizona once again this season. Goldschmidt has hit .308/.400/.549 with 16 home runs and 61 runs batted in, anchoring the Diamondbacks lineup. He has also stolen eight bases and played an adequate first base defensively.
First Half Recap: The Rockies started strong, going 22-14 before a rash of injuries and poor performance derailed the season. Since the 22-14 start, the Rockies have gone 18-41 in their last 59 games. In 95 games, Colorado has used 13 starting pitchers, with just five of them making more than 10 starts.
Colorado has gone just 24-25 at home, but has been even worse on the road with a 16-30 mark away from Coors Field.
Disabled List: RHP Christian Bergman (60-day, hand), RHP Eddie Butler (15-day, shoulder), RHP Jhoulys Chacin (60-day, shoulder), RHP Tyler Chatwood (60-day, hand), OF Michael Cuddyer (60-day, shoulder), RHP Jordan Lyles (60-day, hand), RHP Nick Masset (15-day, knee)
First Half MVP: SS Troy Tulowitzki
What is unfortunate about the Rockies' season is that the injuries to the rest of the team have essentially wasted a career year from Tulowitzki. He currently leads the NL in home runs and batting average, hitting .345/.435/.613 with 21 homers and 52 RBIs. Forget that his team is in fourth place, Tulowitzki has been the first half MVP of the entire NL West for me.
Los Angeles Dodgers (54-43, 0 GB)
The Week that Was: Following a similar blueprint from 2013, the Dodgers started somewhat slow, but went 18-10 in June to assume the division lead. Los Angeles has followed the pattern they have for the last 50-plus years, very good pitching and just enough hitting. This year, the main offensive threats for the Dodgers have been Yasiel Puig and MLB stolen base leader Dee Gordon.
Disabled List: SS Erisbel Arruebarrena (15-day, hip), RHP Josh Beckett (15-day, hip), RHP Chad Billingsley (60-day, torn UCL), LHP Scott Elbert (60-day, torn UCL), IF Chone Figgins (15-day, hip), LHP Onelki Garcia (60-day, torn UCL), IF Justin Turner (15-day, hamstring), RHP Chris Withrow (60-day, torn UCL)
First Half MVP: LHP Clayton Kershaw
Forget that he's thrown just 96 1/3 innings this season, Kershaw has been crucial to the Dodgers success this season, with a 1.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. He has allowed just 19 runs this season, seven of them coming in one start. He also had a 41-innings scoreless streak this summer, which included a no-hitter against the Rockies on June 18.
First Half Recap: Despite an historically bad offense, the Padres have sneaked into third place in the division thanks to solid pitching and 17 one-run wins. San Diego is last in the league in both OPS (.607) and runs scored (279), but are second in the NL in ERA with a 3.18 mark. Off the field, they fired general manager Josh Byrnes on June 22, replacing him on an interim basis with Omar Minaya.
Disabled List: 1B Yonder Alosno (15-day, wrist), SS Everth Cabrera (15-day, hamstring), RHP Andrew Cashner (15-day, shoulder), LHP Robbie Erlin (60-day, elbow), 2B Jedd Gyorko (15-day, foot), RHP Josh Johnson (60-day, torn UCL), RHP Casey Kelly (15-day, torn UCL), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, torn UCL), LHP Troy Patton (60-day, shoulder), RHP Nick Vincent (15-day, shoulder), RHP Joe Wieland (60-day, elbow)
First Half MVP: OF Seth Smith
In his first season in San Diego, Smith has been the Padres' best hitter. In 306 plate appearances in 2014, Smith has hit .283/.387/.508 with 10 home runs playing his home games in the cavern that is Petco Park. Importantly, 90 percent of his plate appearances have been against right-handed pitching.
San Francisco Giants (52-43, 1 GB)
First Half Recap: The Giants led the division for most of the first half of the season, starting 42-21 before a collapse that started against the Nationals on June 9. San Francisco has gone just 10-22 in its last 32 games to fall behind the rival Dodgers.
The Giants have been especially good on the road, with a 24-18 record away from AT&T Park. They have produced a 28-25 record at home.
Disabled List: OF Angel Pagan (15-day, back)
First Half MVP: OF Hunter Pence
The All-Star outfielder has been excellent so far this season, hitting .297/.355/.465 with a dozen home runs and eight steals. He has also produced 20 doubles and four triples and has generally been a catalyst for the Giants' offense, which has seen several key players like Brandon Belt make trips to the DL.