NL West Race Heats Up as September Starts
One of the most unpredictable division races with teams constantly in and out of first place this season has been the National League West. The defending division champions in the Dodgers have not had the best of seasons with multiple injuries and players on the DL, but are still contenders for the Postseason as they are 2 games back of the division and 2.5 games behind the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot. The Diamondbacks have been the ones who have spent the most days this season in first place thanks to the help of the dynamic home run hitting duo of All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. But as of recently, their lead in the NL West has not been comfortable as there has now been a new contender (Colorado Rockies) that has come to challenge them and take their spot to reign supreme in he division. And even though they do have a one game lead ahead of Colorado, this is something the Diamondbacks should not take lightly, especially in a very tight NL pennant race.
The Rockies have come back from the NL West graveyard as they are a game back of Arizona for the division crown. This is mostly because of not just their star talent in All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Charlie Blackmon, but also their resurgence in mid-August after starting the month 2-7 by taking three of four games from the Dodgers, a split with the Astros, a series sweep of the Braves in Atlanta, and two of three from the Padres. But after losing three of their last four including their first series loss since August 6-8, the Rockies must get their groove back into gear as they finish their west coast road trip with the Angels and Padres. Why am I saying this you may ask? Well let's just say that 21 of the Rockies' last 28 games in September are all against divisional opponents.
This means that if the Rockies want to fight for the NL West title along with the Diamondbacks, they will have to put in all the hard work in September for their Postseason chances to come into fruition. Speaking of the latter, the Rockies have two more series in September against the Diamondbacks (1 at home and one on the road). Thankfully, this will be the final series for the Rockies on the road this season after they take on the Giants and Dodgers for a nine game road trip. This may be an advantage for Colorado as well since they have not had the Diamondbacks' number in head-to-head games; only posting a 5-7 record.
Nevertheless, these two clubs have been battling it out all season long to find out who truly is the best in the NL West. Hell, I even predicting these Rockies winning the division ever since the second half of the season began! But in all seriousness, this division race will not be decided until the end of September, and that could be the difference between being division champions and moving onto the NLDS, having to play in a one-game Wild Card playoff, or having the Postseason dreams of many young players shattered into pieces after coming this far yet, the task still seems reachable. This is what the Rockies and Diamondbacks have been fighting over for the past 125+ games, and if you think the Diamondbacks have already secured their spot for the NLDS and the division crown, just remember...
In baseball, no one is safe. And if that is not any indicator of how this division race will play out in September, you will just have to watch and see how these two NL West heavyweights duke it out for the division crown in the tightest race in all of baseball.
Two teams enter. But only one team will be victorious in the quest for the NL West division title.
Countdown to the Postseason: 35 days