Three team race down the stretch, who has the advantage? Here is my assessment...
Actually, none of theses teams are running away with this category. All these teams have got a slew of strong hitters.
LA has a very potent lineup. Adding Victorino and Ramirez is huge. Kemp, Ethier, and Ellis have been good hitters. Loney and Gordon have been disappointing, but if they get back on track they could be dangerous throughout the entire lineup. AJ Ellis has just be an outstanding surprise.
ARI is a close second. Upton has been disappointing, but you know it's coming. The got some pop as Montero, Goldschmidt, and Kubel are big bats to that lineup.
SF is not too shabby either. They've been strugglilng at times to score runs, but a lineup with 3 all-star hitters in Melky, Buster, and Panda with other guys like Pence, Pagan, and Scutaro makes for some solid offense.
If you look at everyones top hitter (Kemp, Melky, Upton), Kemp comes out on top and it isn't even close. 2nd best hitter (Posey, Either, Montero), goes to the .325 all-star catcher - Posey. 3rd best (Panda, Hanley, Goldschmidt) also goes to the Giants as the Kung Fu all-star comes out on top. After that it gets tough. Both teams have so many quality hitters. The Giants go with Pence, Pagan, and Scutaro rounding out their next 3 best. Dodgers have Ellis x 2 and Victorino, and The D-Backs have Kubel, Hill, and Young. I'd say it is pretty close.
SF has some shutdown starters. Cain, Bumgarner, and Vogelsong have been great. Lincecum, despite his struggles can be a thorn and I don't think anyone doubts that.
ARI is solid, but has the potential to be better. Ian Kennedy is strong ace, but up until recently he's been struggling. Wade Miley has been a pleasant surprise.
LA is decent, but they become more suspect the further you go down the rotation. We all know Kershaw is awesome, but if Lilly doesn't return to his form at the beginning of the season, the Dodgers could be in trouble.
Anyone's guess. This used to be a category the Giants held a firm grasp on, but now it's tough to say who's on top. Putz and Hernandez have been strong. Kelly Jansen has also been real consistent. The Giants obviously have had some struggles in this department recently, but the team of Casilla/Romo/Lopez/Affeldt are still a pretty deep group.