Three teams separated by 1.5 games. Three teams that have their strengths and certainly have their weaknesses. Three teams that have 12 or 13 games remaining and two of them play the final weekend of the season.

That is the National League West.

The San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Colorado Rockies will be battling it out over the final two weeks for the NL West crown. Let’s look at the tale of the tape over the next two weeks and try to find out who has the advantage in the NL West.


Tulo is doing everything he can to make it another Rocktober

San Francisco Giants

Place: 1st

Playoff Odds: 60.1 percent

Last 10 Games: 6-4

Games Remaining: 12

Final 12 Game Breakdown: Away –  Chicago Cubs (3), Colorado Rockies (3). Home – Arizona Diamondbacks (3), San Diego Padres (3).

Record Versus Remaining Opponents: 25-24

Who’s Hot In September: Buster Posey – .298/.385/.579 with four HR’s. Jonathan Sanchez – 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 11.8 K/9 in 19 IP.

Quick Take: The Giants have a half game lead in the NL West, but the Padres and Rockies both have a game in hand on them. Out of the three teams, the Giants control their own destiny the most.

They play six games against the Padres and Rockies and if they can go 4-2 in those games, they should win this division. The biggest series for me is their three-game set against the Rockies this weekend in Colorado. The way the Rockies are playing right now, that has sweep written all over it. If they can salvage a game or two in that series, they should be okay.

I thought the Giants would win the division a couple of weeks ago, so I am not going to back down from that statement.

San Diego Padres

Place: 2nd. 1/2 game behind the Giants.

Playoff Odds: 34.4 percent

Last 10 Games: 4-6

Games Remaining: 13

Final 13 Game Breakdown: Away – Los Angeles Dodgers (3), San Francisco Giants (3). Home – Cincinnati Reds (3), Chicago Cubs (4).

Record Versus Remaining Opponents: 24-13

Who’s Hot In September: Adrian Gonzalez – .367/.466/.550 with two HR’s. Heath Bell – Five saves with a 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9 in seven IP.

Quick Take: I am really having a hard time trying to figure out what I like about the Padres right now. They are 26th in baseball in offense in September and 22nd in pitching. The Padres are in a perfect storm of a hot mess and I am not sure if they can get out of it.

I guess if there is a silver lining for the Padres is that they have owned the teams they are playing down the stretch. The downside to that is that the Padres owned those teams when they had the best record in the National League.

If Mat Latos (7.36 ERA) and Clayton Richard (6.00) don’t get their heads out of their butts down the stretch, the Padres will finish third in this division.

Colorado Rockies

Place: 3rd. 1 1/2 games behind the Giants.

Playoff Odds: 16.4 percent

Last 10 Games: 7-3

Games Remaining: 13

Final 13 Game Breakdown: Away – Arizona Diamondbacks (3), St. Louis Cardinals (3). Home – Los Angeles Dodgers (4), San Francisco Giants (3).

Record Versus Remaing Opponents: 27-21

Who’s Hot In September: Troy Tulowitzki – .351/.407/1.000 with 14 HR’s. Jhoulys Chacin – 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP, and 5.4 K/9 in 23.1 IP.

Quick Take: Once again, here come the Rockies. Despite having the lowest playoff odds of the three teams, you almost get the feeling they might have the best odds to make the playoffs.

Tulowitzki is playing out of his mind right now and Carlos Gonzalez continues to rake. They have two legitimate MVP candidates.

The one doubt I have about the Rockies — well, I have two. One, can their pitching as a whole stand up? They have done well in patching things together down the stretch, but like with all patches, they eventually rip.

Second, that final series of the season would really bother me if I were a Rockies fan. The Rockies will head to St. Louis for the final series of the season and that has trap series written all over it.

The Cardinals have a lot of pride and won’t lay down for anyone. They would love nothing more than to spoil the Rockies’ season.

Final Thoughts: I said about a week ago that I thought the Giants would win the division and I will stick with that. But — and I will throw a but in there — I really like the way the Rockies are playing right now.

As for the Padres, I just don’t see it. It looks like they have run out of gas and their isn’t a Shell Answer Man in sight.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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