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The NL Best?

Tim Lincecum

The Los Angeles Dodgers are running away with the NL West, as they’re currently 8.5 games up on second place San Francisco, and still nine up on the Rockies, who have won 18 of their last 19 games. The Dodgers are 7.5 games in front of the next best NL team (the St. Louis Pujols Cardinals), and 3.5 ahead of the next best team in baseball (the Red Sox).

Yet so often when the Dodgers’ record is brought up, fans and media speculate that it is deceiving because the Dodgers are dominating the weakest division in baseball. The Dodgers have a 26-10 record against the NL West. They are 21-14 against everyone else, which isn’t quite as good, but still solid.

However when you break down the numbers, the NL West isn’t the worst division in baseball. In fact, an argument could be made that it’s the BEST division in baseball. Did I lose you?

Let’s look at the numbers.

Currently, only two national league teams have winning records against the NL west: the Phillies at 9-7, and the Astros at 12-4.

The NL West is 35-29 against the NL East.

The NL West is is 35-33 against the NL central.

The NL West is 29-25 against the American League.

Though it’s still June, the Giants are leading the NL Wild Card chase, with the Rockies close behind, in second place. Not to mention that the two worst teams in the division would be better had they not lost their aces due to injury (the Padres with Jake Peavy and the D-Backs with Brandon Webb).

While the NL West teams may not look great on paper, they are performing on the field. And their best team will be getting the best hitter in the division back in another week. This division is for real.

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