2024 Division Outlook: NL West

One league and four total divisions down, leaving us with two more divisions to go. The 2024 season has begun and we'll continue to preview each of the six divisions that make up Major League Baseball. It's time to preview and highlight the five squads that make up the National League West, another seemingly ultra-competitive division in 2024.
2024 Seoul Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
2024 Seoul Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Gene Wang/GettyImages
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San Diego Padres

Ha-Seong Kim, Fernando Tatis Jr.
San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Key Additions
- RHP Dylan Cease
- RHP Michael King
- LHP Yuki Matsui
- LHP Wandy Peralta
- RHP Randy Vasquez
- RHP Jhony Brito
- C Kyle Higashioka

Key Loses
- OF Juan Soto
- LHP Josh Hader
- LHP Blake Snell
- RHP Nick Martinez
- RHP Michael Wacha
- OF Trent Grisham
- RHP Seth Lugo
- RHP Drew Thorpe

The San Diego Padres look to comeback from being one of the biggest disappointments in the 2023 seasons, missing the playoffs after assembling an impressive roster. AJ Preller went through a re-tooling this offseason, watching key players like Juan Soto, Blake Snell, and Josh Hader all depart, but bringing in some key guys like Dylan Cease. Will that re-tool be enough to get the Padres back into the postseason?

Their lineup obviously contains stars like Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts at the top. All three are elite run producers and a three headed monster of their own, just not nearly to the extent of the Dodgers monstrous lineup. Jake Cronenworth is aiming for a bounce back season, while Ha-Seong Kim tries to replicate his 2023 offensive breakout season. Luis Campusano and Jackson Merrill are two players to keep an eye on, as they both look to standout this season and prove themselves as pieces of the future of the Padres core. The Padres struggled massively with runnners in scoring position last year, and that metric this year will once again drastically impact their postseason odds.

The aforementioned Dylan Cease joins a rotation that already has Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish, creating a somewhat boom or bust rotation in my opinion. All three have ace caliber performances, but all three also have their fair share of struggles with command and getting hit hard. Part of the return in the Juan Soto deal was Michael King, who broke out in his time as a starter in the Yankees rotation last year. There is some questions on whether or not King can handle a full time starting role, but only time will tell on that. Matt Waldron wraps up the Padres rotation and is a guy I don't have much to say about. Like I said, this rotation has a lot of boom or bust potential in my eyes, with new manager Mike Shildt really hoping for the boom potential to make up for the loss of Blake Snell in free agency.

Team MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr.

Team Cy Young: Dylan Cease

Team X-Factor: Michael King

The Nationals will visit the Padres for a three game set from June 24-26, and host San Diego for three games from July 23-25.