The good ole' "fair and balanced" bunch at Fox are picking the Padres to take the west. I may not agree with many of their political slants over there but I'll take another preseason nod for the Pads from anyone that's willing to give it up...even the Mississippi Press.
A solid and deep rotation fronted by future Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, a strong bullpen, a solid lineup top to bottom, and a capable bench corps — it all adds up to a division title for the Padres.
This is not a great team by any means, but it's one with the wherewithal to take the flag. The Dave Roberts acquisition gives the team an efficient base-stealer with reasonable on-base skills and, more importantly, a high-quality glove in center to track down flies in the spacious Petco outfield. Phil Nevin and Brian Giles provide power, and Khalil Greene, Mark Loretta and
Ramon Hernandezwill give the club solid production from premium positions
Ryan Klesko needs to stem his decline, and Sean Burroughs needs to take that long-anticipated step forward. They'll also miss
David Wells, but Woody Williams isn't a bad proxy. All in all, they have less upside than the Dodgers, but they also have fewer questions.