While 2016 might be the Year of the Monkey according to the Chinese zodiac calendar, it could very well be the Year of the Giant given San Francisco's propensity to win a World Series in an even year. Indeed baseball might not be open to such a superstitious case, but given the San Francisco Giants's past track record of success to win the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, along with some new free agent additions, San Francisco has once again put itself in position to return to the top of the mountain.
Even if the Giants are the universe's pick to notch another World Series ring, the Dodgers are still the three-time reigning champions of the NL West and the kings of the division.
Best National League West Betting Lines
For a breakdown of each betting line throughout the National League West on a daily basis, check in with this breakout box below for your rundown.
This tool will be constantly changing throughout the season so make sure to check it often in case of the lines slide or change.
What's so useful about this option is that it can link to any team in the division and give you a breakdown all in one place.
Also be advised that there might be more than five different lines at any given time due to cross-division matchups.
National League West Standings
With all of your betting lines above, make sure to check how each team has been performing as of late in the division with the standings tool below.
This will give you a much clearer idea of who is the leader in the division and also which teams to stay away from.
While you should probably stay away from any teams that might be floundering, this could open up the door for some surprise upset games down the line.
Similiar to the daily betting line tool above, make sure to check this breakout on a regular basis so you have a clearer idea of who is the big dog in the NL West.
Online Tips For National League West Bettors
Los Angeles and San Francisco have been duking it for years and the Dodgers have gotten the best of the Giants in the regular season for the last three years. There will, however, be some big question marks for L.A. in 2016. With the departure of ace pitcher Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers will have to rely more than ever on superstar number one pitcher Clayton Kershaw and also the young hitting duo of Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson.
The heavyweight battle between the Giants and Dodgers will be the number one storyline going into 2016, but keep an eye on the other NL West teams to make a run at a Wild Card spot. Chief among them is the Diamondbacks who made the splashiest single move in free agency by signing Greinke.
Arizona now has a clear number one pitcher and a bona fide All-Star hitter in Paul Goldschmidt. The key factor is figuring out who among the rest of their starting rotation can take the next step in 2016 and maintain the consistency shown by the Giants and Dodgers.
Beyond those three, the Rockies and Padres will be duking it out for another playoff spot but will need a variety of things to fall their way. While each of those teams have something to like -- the Rockies have one of the best young infields in baseball and San Diego has a couple of knockout pitching prospects -- they have their own major weaknesses that will be tough to compensate throughout an entire season.
With each team in a dead heat to end the month of April in 2016 (the Giants are only three games ahead of last-place Arizona), the NL West will be a marathon to decide the winner.
With the general overview above, it seems that the the NL West is very akin to the Wild West itself. While it might turn out that the division will be a two-horse race, it could be very close throughout the season. Arizona has a solid young hitting rotation, the Rockies have some All-Star caliber infielders and the Padres could rebound to steal some wins in 2016.
To give you a better idea of how each team fared against each other in 2015, here are some notable win-loss totals for each squad against each other. The Rockies were actually 11-8 agains the Giants, but struggled against the other NL West teams; 6-13 against Arizona, 7-12 vs. San Diego and 8-11 against Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was the reverse of that as they were 8-11 against the Giants but dominated the rest of the division. San Diego was successful against the Rockies and D-Backs, but got waxed by L.A. (5-14) and the Giants (8-11). Finally, the Giants, the annointed returning kings of the division, will have to overcome some hiccups against Arizona (8-11) and the Rockies (8-11).
San Francisco was .500 in divisional games last season so their journey back to the World Series definitely starts with their ability to consistently win divisional games. With a number of big-time matchups throughout the season, the NL West could be a huge bargain bet if you are able to figure out the formula for each team consistently.
After you have made your final decisions on your wagers above, check out the breakout below to see what the best option will be for you and your bet.