In recent history, the Dodgers have dominated the NL West, winning the title each of the past six years. The Rockies think they’re set to break that streak this season, though, despite the fact that it’s a tall order. The Dodgers picked up A.J. Pollock in the offseason, along with reliever Joe Kelly. They’re concerned about Clayton Kershaw, but Julio Urias could step up and fill that void. Corey Seager will return after Tommy John surgery, and the Dodgers have plenty of offensive power. The Rockies big offseason move was signing Nolan Arenado’s huge deal, keeping him in Colorado for the next eight years. They’re looking to their young, promising prospects to get the job done for them. Kyle Freeland is poised to have another great season, with German Marquez right there with him. Trevor Story had a dominant 2018, giving the team some much needed offense, and hopes are that he can continue that trend. The Giants aren’t likely to make the playoffs, with a mediocre bullpen and not enough offense. The Padres gained their big name player in Manny Machado, but he alone won’t be enough to boost the team. They’re building the team, and in the future looks promising, but they’re not much of a threat in 2019. The Diamondbacks have some real work to do before they can be contenders in the division.
Mike Dunn was a solid pitcher for the Marlins, and that’s the kind of performance they’d hoped to see when they added him to the roster. Dunn has not lived up to those expectations, though, with lackluster seasons in Colorado. He played poorly in 2017, then an injury took out his 2018 season. Hopefully, the healthy Dunn can use the experience under his belt and find success in 2019. He’s looked pretty good through his eight innings of work in the spring. He’s gotten ten strikeouts and no earned runs. There’s a lot riding on him as a reliever, with Chris Rusin out with an injury and Jake McGee still trying to find his way. If he can stay healthy and pitch well this season, the Rockies might be interested in using that fourth-year option on his contract.
Tyler Anderson has been somewhat inconsistent throughout his career with the Rockies. He faced many injuries during his time in the minors, but he has shown that he can bring it in the majors as well. In the 2018 season, he was outstanding in his appearances before the All-Star break, setting a club record for most scoreless innings within a two-game span with four or less hits. But after the break, he fell apart. He relies heavily on command of his pitches. When he’s inconsistent there, it’s bad news for the Rockies. Bud Black has faith in Anderson regardless of that control, due to his ability to change speeds. If he can figure out a way to remain consistent and stay in control when he’s got runner on base, he could have his best season ever.