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1 DODGERS

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OVERALL RANK 2

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP LOS ANGELES

The Cubs have the belt, but here we're looking at the No. 1 contender. It was key that Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen re-signed. They keep the main part of a great core.... Turner's the heart and soul of the club, hits in the clutch, quality at bats, good defender at third.... Logan Forsythe, who they got from the Rays, is another throwback type. They've got a ton of smart guys in the front office, but they're not just numbers guys. They understand the impact of character.... Corey Seager actually might regress as a sophomore. If he doesn't, it would be amazing. I think he's a Hall of Fame player. He can do everything.... Yasiel Puig is still a frustrating player to watch. So inconsistent. Then he hits a ball to the right center gap and glides in for a stand-up triple.... Andrew Toles plays really well in spurts, but I think they'd like to upgrade in left. The answer, sooner or later, could be Cody Bellinger, who is one of the best hitting prospects in the game. He can hit .300 with 25- or 30-homer potential.... Joc Pederson has too many swings and misses. He can drive the ball out to any part of the park but is not consistent enough to be that middle-of-the-lineup guy.... Julio Urías has all the attributes to be a No. 1 starter. He's just 20, but he's already got that natural feel for a changeup that's as good as his breaking ball.... Of course, he's not going to be the No. 1 in L.A. for a long time, if ever, with Clayton Kershaw around. It's scary they played so well when he was hurt last year. That's the kind of depth $250 million can get you. They're the Yankees of the Steinbrenner era.

MANAGER DAVE ROBERTS

2ND SEASON WITH LOS ANGELES

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

2B LOGAN FORSYTHE [NEW ACQUISITION] [BARGAIN]

R-R .264 .333 .444 3.4

SS COREY SEAGER [BARGAIN] [RISING]

L-R .308 .365 .512 6.1

3B JUSTIN TURNER [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .275 .339 .493 4.9

1B ADRIÁN GONZÁLEZ [DECLINING]

L-L .285 .349 .435 2.1

C YASMANI GRANDAL [DEFENSIVE STAR]

S-R .228 .339 .477 2.8

CF JOC PEDERSON

L-L .246 .352 .495 3.4

RF YASIEL PUIG [DEFENSIVE STAR] [DECLINING]

R-R .263 .323 .416 1.4

LF ANDREW TOLES [BARGAIN] [RISING]

L-R .314 .365 .505 1.4

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

IF CHASE UTLEY

L-R .252 .319 .396 2.0

OF FRANKLIN GUTIÉRREZ [NEW ACQUISITION]

R-R .246 .329 .452 0.3

OF ANDRE ETHIER [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

L-L .208 .269 .375 -0.2

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

LH CLAYTON KERSHAW [TEAM MVP]

12--4 1.69 10.4 5.6

LH RICH HILL [INJURY RISK]

12--5 2.12 10.5 4.0

RH KENTA MAEDA [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

16--11 3.48 9.2 2.4

LH JULIO URÍAS [BARGAIN] [RISING]

5--2 3.39 9.8 1.0

RH BRANDON MCCARTHY [INJURY RISK]

2--3 4.95 9.9 -0.2

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH KENLEY JANSEN

47 1.83 13.6 2.5

RH PEDRO BÁEZ

0 3.04 10.1 0.9

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

If there was a lesson the Dodgers could learn from last season, it's that turning important jobs over to homegrown talent is a winning strategy. Corey Seager nearly won the NL MVP Award as a rookie, while Julio Urías had a 3.39 ERA in 77 innings after making his debut at 19 in May. The 2017 team can do the same; Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo are two of the top hitting prospects in the game, and both could be ready for major league jobs this summer. Bumping Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier for budding stars could elevate the offense—and possibly make L.A. the best team in baseball.

BOTTOM LINE

The Cubs have the rings, but in 2017 the Dodgers are the deepest team in the league.