National League West
MLB National League West 2022
The NL West was one of the most exhilarating divisions to watch in 2021, and this year should be no different.
In 2021, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers had the two best records in all of baseball. For the Giants, they won the division after finishing with a 107-55 record. The Dodgers finished one game behind them at 106-56.
While there is certainly expected to be some turnover with rosters this offseason, this will remain one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.
Currently, the Dodgers have the best odds in MLB of winning next season’s World Series. Still, the Padres and Giants are both expected to compete.
It may be a bit longer for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, who just don’t quite reach the same level of play as the other three, but they will also hope to see improvements on the field this season.
With players like Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis Jr., Brandon Crawford, Manny Machado, Max Muncy, Walker Buehler, and others in the division, there are sure to be fireworks on the field.
MLB National League West History
In 1969, the National League added two teams in the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres through expansion. To accommodate the growing number of teams, the leagues decided to split into two divisions, and with that, the National League West was born.
In total, the National League had 12 teams, so the split was even at six and six for the two new divisions. For the NL West, the first six teams included the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and Houston Astros.
Today, the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants remain in the division, but the two additional teams were formed as expansion teams. The Colorado Rockies joined the division in 1993, while the Arizona Diamondbacks joined in 1998.
For the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, they were moved to the NL Central in 1994 (the Astros have since moved to the AL West in 2013). For the Braves, they also moved in 1994 but found a new home in the NL East.
MLB National League West Championships
Since the NL West started in 1969, it has seen a considerable amount of success in terms of pennants and World Series championships. In fact, in that time, the NL West has made it to the World Series 23 times, while they have won it all ten times.
The most recent team to win the World Series was the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. They have made it to the World Series in three of the last five years, and their 2020 Championship was their third since the division started.
The San Francisco Giants have also had three World Series titles in that time. They had an amazing stretch from 2010 to 2014, where they appeared and won the World Series every even year during that span.
The only other team to have won it three times as part of the division is the Cincinnati Reds. They won their World Series titles as part of the NL West in 1975, 1976, and 1990.
The Diamondbacks (2001) also have one World Series title under their belt.
In terms of NL West championships, the Dodgers reign supreme. They have won the division 19 times, including every year from 2013 to 2020.
The Giants (8), Reds (7), Padres (5), Braves (5), Diamondbacks (5), and Astros (2) have also been divisional winners. The only team that has never won the division is the Colorado Rockies, although they made it to the 2007 World Series as a Wild Card team.
MLB National League West Top Players
There have certainly been a plethora of the games’ greatest players who have played in the NL West in their careers, some of which are now immortalized in the Hall of Fame.
Players like Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, Willy McCovey, Curt Schilling, Toddy Helton, Larry Walker, Clayton Kershaw, Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Piazza, Orel Hershiser, Matt Holliday, Dante Bicchette, Andres Galarraga, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Dale Murphy, Vinny Castillo, Will Clark, Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, Dave Winfield, Ken Caminiti, Steve Garvey, Trevor Hoffman, Kirk Gibson, Kevin Mitchell, and several others called the West home.
Since the adaptation of the National League West in 1969, there have been 24 players from the division that have won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award.
The Giants have the most MVPs in that span, with eight. Of the eight, Barry Bonds won it four times for the Giants. The most recent from the division was Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019.
In terms of the National League Cy Young, the division featured 21 winners since its inception in 1969. Amazingly, from 1999 to 2002, Randy Johnson won it with the Diamondbacks for four consecutive years. Clayton Kershaw won it three out of four years from 2011 to 2014.
Today, the stars still shine bright in the NL West. Here are just a few of the stars from the division this past season:
National League West Star Players:
- Diamondbacks: Eduardo Escobar – .246/.300/.478, 22 HR, 65 RBI, 50 R
- Dodgers: Max Muncy – .249/.368/.527, 36 HR, 94 RBI, 95 R
- Giants: Brandon Crawford – .298/.373/.522, 24 HR, 90 RBI, 79 R, 11 SB
- Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. – .282/.364/.611, 42 HR, 97 RBI, 99 R, 25 SB
- Rockies: C.J. Cron – .281/.375/.530, 28 HR, 92 RBI, 70 R
MLB National League West Top Managers
With all the success that the NL West has seen over the years, it only makes sense that these great teams were led by great managers. Some of the best to ever call the NL West home include Tommy Lasorda, Hal Lanier, Bobby Cox, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor, Bruce Bochy, Bob Melvin, Jim Tracy, and Kirk Gibson.
In 1983, MLB started awarding the Manager of the Year award, and the NL West is no stranger to taking home those honors. Since the award was first introduced, a manager from the NL West has won it 16 times.
The most recent winner of the award was Gabe Kapler of the San Francisco Giants, who won it in 2021.
Today, the division still hosts some of the best managers in the game, including Torey Lovullo (Diamondbacks), Bud Black (Rockies), Dave Roberts (Dodgers), and Gabe Kapler (Giants). In 2022, Bob Melvin will take over the helm of the San Diego Padres as they hope to make a run at the division.