The San Diego Padres came into the 2023 MLB season as favorites to win the National League West, and James Outman of the Los Angeles Dodgers said the team used that as bulletin board material, with Freddie Freeman specifically bringing it up.

“Yeah, it’s definitely heard,” James Outman said of the Padres hype prior to the 2023 season on the Flippin' Bats podcast with Ben Verlander. “I think Freddie (Freeman) put it well, he was like, ‘yeah, we lost a bunch of guys, but you look at our lineup, we still have All-Star after All-Star.’”

It turns out that Freddie Freeman was right. The Dodgers are currently 31-19 and sit in first place in the National League West, 1.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The San Diego Padres have been one of the biggest disappointments this season, currently holding a 22-26 record, sitting eight games back of the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks seem like a serious contender, so the Padres will have to compete with them as well.

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James Outman is having a very solid rookie campaign, hitting .245 with a .333 on-base percentage and nine home runs, according to Fangraphs. He played four games last season, but this is his first full season in MLB.

Unsurprisingly, Freeman has been great this season, hitting .327 with a .399 on-base percentage and nine home runs, according to Fangraphs.

It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers can win the National League West once again, this time dealing with a new challenger in the Diamondbacks. The Padres have the talent to get back in the race, but it has been disappointing to this point.