What’s happened to the National League preseason division favorites?

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Heading into spring training, the scribes and experts asserted that the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers were the favorites to win their respective division. Vegas jumped in on the same action, making the Dodgers the favorite to win the NL. The Cards and Nationals were rather heavy favorites to take home their divisions.

But something, or some things, hasn’t gone according to plan.

Ever see one of those tweets that make you go “Wow. Really?”

Had one of those moments today because of this from Jon Heyman…

Wow. Really? Heyman must mean something because combined is in all caps! Thank goodness there’s no comic sans.

Enough of picking on Heyman. Think about this for a few. The Dodgers were the clear-cut favorites to not only win the NL West, but the National League. The Cards were as big a fave to win the Central, the same could be said for the Nationals. And all three have stumbled this season.

None of these teams are out of their division races by any stretch of the imagination. There’s over 100 games to be played.

But anytime I see something like this, I get to thinking about what could be part of the reason these teams have not had the season that was expected.

Here’s the trio, along with some potential explanation for their, um, demise. Keep in mind that these aren’t all inclusive. I’m sure there are others, but the ones I found struck a chord. One that’s common among all three is that there has been at least one division rival that has been performing better than experts may have thought.

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Tags: NL West