We’re one week into the 60-game  MLB  season, and we’ve already been treated to  storylines  aplenty.   Just in the past few days, we’ve gotten a benches-clearing incident followed …

We’re one week into the 60-game MLB season, and we’ve already been treated to storylines aplenty. Just in the past few days, we’ve gotten a benches-clearing incident followed …

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
The short season was bound to give us some surprise contenders, and two candidates have emerged in the National League West.
The Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres entered Thursday with records of 4-1 and 4-2, respectively. Before you dismiss that, remember that six games are the equivalent of 10 percent of the season.
Three of the Padres’ four wins have come against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were widely considered contenders coming into the season. The Rockies took two of three from the Texas Rangers, a possible playoff team, and the two of two from the Oakland Athletics, one of the better teams in the American League.
San Diego and Colorado also ranked second and third in the NL with respective run differentials of plus-13 and plus-12 entering Thursday.
The Rockies have gotten balanced offensive production with shortstop Trevor Story leading the way. But the main story has been their pitching staff, which owned an MLB-best 1.84 ERA through five games. That’s probably unsustainable for a team that plays its home games at Mile High altitude (and, indeed, the Rox have yet to play a home game), but Jon Gray and German Marquez have looked capable of keeping Colorado in contention.
The Padres, meanwhile, have enjoyed a strong start from shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. at the head of the offense, while their pitching staff, led by ace Chris Paddack and early bullpen standout Drew Pomeranz, was fourth in the NL with a 3.06 ERA through a half-dozen contests.
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the favorites in the NL West. But with 16 teams making the dance, don’t be surprised if both Colorado and San Diego get an invite.

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