The 2021 MLB regular season is three months old (and pretty much exactly halfway through) and we've all settled into the daily grind that is marathon regular season baseball. The 60-game sprint was fun in its own way last year given the circumstances. Give me the full 162-game experience every day of the week though.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated whether MLB's foreign substance crackdown is necessary. This week we're going to tackle the fiercest division race in baseball.
Which team is going to win the NL West?
R.J. Anderson: Kudos to the Giants for making this a three-team race, but I remain of the mind that it's going to be the Dodgers. They have the best run differential in the division even with all the injuries they've had to weather. Assuming they have better luck on the health front moving forward (and maybe they won't), I think they're still the team to beat.
Matt Snyder: I really wanted to pick the Giants because it's been so fun to see them play so high above expectations. I've likened them to the term used in the movie "Major League," in that they seem like a bunch of so-called "has-beens" and "never-will-bes," but after the two-game sweep earlier this week, I think the smart money is on the Dodgers. They ultimately just have too much talent to bet against in a 162-game marathon.
Mike Axisa: I badly want to pick the Giants because they're a fun team, and I love that the didn't tear it down and rebuild like so many (myself included) expected after they hired Farhan Zaidi a few years ago. Instead, they loaded up with quality veterans, made smart under-the-radar pickups, and thrust themselves back into contention. Rebuilds don't have to feature multiple 100-loss seasons.
That said, I have to go with the Dodgers. I still believe they're the deepest and most-talented team in the division, and I think they're motivated to go get any help they need at the trade deadline. The Padres are excellent too and I don't think it's crazy to think San Francisco will finish in third place. A lot has gone right for them this year and they're only 1 1/2 games up on Los Angeles. That has to make Zaidi & Co. feel uneasy.