All the data is in from my NL West head to head simulations. Each team was pitted against each other, with each pitcher facing each pitcher in a 2500 game simulation. The simulation was not measuring Pitcher A vs Pitcher B, it was measuring Pitcher A + Offese A + Bullpen A vs Pitcher B + Offense B + Bullpen B. My findings are not meant as gospel, they are only meant to provide another data source for predicting how the NL West will finish.
San Diego Padres: The Padres dominated the simulations with a rotation that went four deep (Peavy, Young, Maddux and Hensley). Only Brandon Webb and Randy Johnson were able to breakthrough against the foursome. The Padres success came from their pitching, both the starting rotation and the bullpen. The offense was adequate enough for the NL West. The Padres are the favorite to win the NL West.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The youth has thawed out. The Diamondbacks are ready to throw their young guns to the fire. The offense is littered with talent and inexperience. Past his prime, outfielder Luis Gonzalez is pitching his tent at Chavez Ravine. The youth is talented and should be able to hold it's own in the NL West. The acquisition of Randy Johnson and Doug Davis solidify a rotation that was being carried by Cy Young winner Brandon Webb. The Diamondbacks biggest concern has to be their depth, and with Johnson's injury history alot of the team's success will hinge on his health. Webb and Peavy will get most of the aclilades, but a healthy Johnson could prove to be just as good. The Diamondbacks are predicted for a 2nd place tie.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Youth is also on the Dodgers menu, but the regular chef is at home trimming his mustache. Therefore the Dodgers have served up a five course meal of Juan Pierre, an over-ripe Luis Gonzalez, a tender slab of Randy Wolf, two scoops of Nomar with a cherry on top. The Dodgers will benefit from their depth, but will also suffer from the more talented youth that will be blocked for atleast another year (Loney, Kemp and LaRoche). Guo should be in the starting rotation and Billingsley should eventually find his way into the rotation too. The Dodger offense will struggle to score runs but luckily for them the rotation is solid for the most part and the bullpen should have atleast three very good arms. The Dodgers depth should help put the Dodgers on equal footing as the Diamondbacks in the final standings.
San Francisco Giants: Starting pitching should be a wash from last year with the departure of Schmidt and the addition of Zito and Sanchez to the starting rotation. The bullpen was awful last year, and in good news, should regress back towards the mean this year (that is of course if they trade Benitez). The Giants do have some good young arms in their system, wake me up when Tim Lincecum gets called up. A good impression is not what you get from the Giants lineup. When Bonds is healthy the offense is average but when he's not... the Giants better hope for rain. Any finish above fourth place will be a surprise. Last place is more likely than 2nd place.
Colorado Rockies: Fresh new faces at both the top and bottom of the order. This years Rockies are not your grandmothers Rockies. Taveras and Kaz Matsui attempt to match the top of the Dodgers order slap single for slap single. The Rockies offense won't strike fear into many teams and the pitching staff will strike fear into those sitting in the left field bleachers. The Rockies jettisonned one of their best starting pitchers in Jeff Francis to the Houston Astros, in a deal that will have short term woes but long term gains (Hirsh). The Rockies shouldn't be much of a factor in the NL West in 2007. They should have solid ownership of the NL West cellar for most of the season. Well, maybe they are your grandmothers Rockies afterall.