Now that we’ve seen how the American League divisions could end up, it’s time to turn to the National League, starting out West. The Diamondbacks were the surprise team last season and look to contend again. The Giants had a World Series hangover, used the DL more then they would’ve liked and finished a distant second. The Dodgers have megastars in Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but other then that their future doesn’t look bright. Both the Rockies and Padres have more questions then answers and don’t look like they’ll be contending for the division title. Then again this is the NL West, where from season-to-season the final standings can look very different.

1) San Francisco Giants
The Giants’ offense was already pretty bad, but when Buster Posey went down, it got even worse. LF Melky Cabrera and CF Angel Pagan were acquired to help fix that and will take up residence in the top 2 spots of the lineup. Even with some injuries, 3B Pablo Sandoval was able to put up impressive numbers and Posey is back and ready to go. Beyond them there are some questions such can 2B Freddy Sanchez stay healthy and can 1B Aubrey Huff regain his 2010 form? However, there is no question about their pitching. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner form an incredibly potent trio. Last year’s surprise, Ryan Vogelsong is back, in addition to some guy named Zito. The Bearded One Brian Wilson is a top closer and has an underrated setup man in Sergio Romo ahead of him in the 8th and other solid options. The pitching will be excellent, but if the offense can pick up then the Giants will definitely contend.

2) Arizona Diamondbacks
The D-Backs will not surprise anyone this season. They do have big offensive upside, starting with RF Justin Upton, one the premier 5 tool players in the league at a young age. 3B Ryand Roberts and CF Chris Young won’t have high averages but have 20/20 potential. Miguel Montero is one of the more underrated catchers in the league with with 20 homer pop. 1B Paul Goldschmidt is an emerging power bat. They signed veteran Jason Kubel, but that pushes promising youngster Gerardo Parra to the bench. Their rotation was successful due to big seasons from Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. Kennedy in particular will be hard pressed to replicate his 21 wins. They traded for Trevor Cahill and have Joe Saunders and Josh Collmenter at the backend. Watch out for prospect Trevor Bauer, who could break camp with the team. Closer JJ Putz had a career resurgence and has a solid bullpen to support him.

3) Colorado Rockies
Playing in Coors will always help the Rockies’ offense, but the went out and added C Ramon Hernandez, 2B Marco Scutaro and RF Michael Cuddyer to superstars SS Troy Tulowitzki and LF Carlos Gonzalez, who will both have their usual big seasons. However, 1B Todd Helton and 3B Casey Blake’s best days are behind them. Still the offense will be fine. The area of concern is the pitching. Jhoulys Chacin and Jeremy Guthrie are decent starters, but the rest are highly questionable. Alex White and Drew Pomeranz came over in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez, but are unproven. Even the ageless Jamie Moyer is in the mix. The team hopes the competition for the three spots will turn out for the good. In the bullpen Rafael Betancourt takes over for the traded Huston Street. He’s never been a full time closer and Rex Brothers is another candidate if Betancourt falters. The pen as a whole may be able to step in if the rotation falters, but over the course of a season it could take a toll.

4) Los Angeles Dodgers
Anytime you have both MVP and Cy Young contenders, your team has to be good. However, the Dodgers do not have enough of a supporting cast, plus a messy ownership situation. CF Matt Kemp is a superstar and just barely missed 40/40 last season. SS Dee Gordon is an emerging youngster with 50 SB potential. RF Andre Ethier had a down season but has prior history of offensive production. Other then those three, there is no one that is a threat with the bat. 1B James Loney seems destined for mediocrity and no else will be taken seriously. Clayton Kershaw will dominate but the rest of the rotation is lackluster, to say the least. Chad Billingsley continues to struggle while Ted Lilly and Aaron Haranf continue to get older and less effective. At least in the bullpen, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen and Scott Elbert are young and emerging options. Guerra is the closer, but Jansen could take over if he struggles.

5) San Diego Padres
Despite finishing second just 2 years ago, it doesn’t look like the Padres will climb out of the cellar this season. Playing in Petco will stunt anyone’s offensive numbers so there’s not much chance for big power numbers even though 1B Yonder Alonso has big potential in that department. The only other legit power options is LF Carlos Quentin, but he’ll start the season on the DL. CF Cameron Maybin is a young star with big time speed. As a whole the team will struggle to score runs and they might also struggle to prevent them. Their rotation doesn’t really have anyone that stands out and is composed of No 3 and 4 starters instead of true 1s or 2s. Tim Stauffer and Clayton Richard are unimpressive and Edinson Volquez must regain the form he showed when he was in Cincinnati. On the other hand Cory Leubke averaged more then a strikeout per inning last season and could breakout this year. The bullpen is equally underwhelming, other then the reliable Huston Street.