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SCOUTING REPORTS

Author:

IN PREDICTING success for even the best baseball teams, there's usually a caveat: If they stay healthy. They'll win the division, if they stay healthy. They'll go deep in the playoffs, if they stay healthy.

But that caveat may not apply to the Dodgers. In 2016 they set an all-time MLB record for players sent to the disabled list, with 28—even losing the best pitcher in the known universe, Clayton Kershaw, for more than two months—yet still won 91 games and made it to the NLCS. This season they're even deeper, expecting a full season from Rich Hill and more innings from maturing ace-in-waiting Julio Urías, with plenty of capable fill-ins for the back of the rotation. Manager Dave Roberts has brought a calm, upbeat energy and helped soothe a once-testy clubhouse, and runaway 2016 Rookie of the Year winner Corey Seager is the highlight of a stacked lineup. Then, of course, there's the $236 million payroll, which certainly doesn't hurt. While the Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, they've won the NL West en route to the playoffs four years in a row. Keep going to the barber, and eventually you'll get a haircut. (The same could be said of SI's World Series picks—surely one of these years we're bound to be right.)

A number of teams could win it all this year if things break right for them. But L.A. is the one best positioned to win even when things go wrong.

HOW THEY'LL FINISH

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

AL EAST

W--L

GB

1. RED SOX

95--67

2. BLUE JAYS

87--75

8

3. YANKEES

83--79

12

4. RAYS

81--81

14

5. ORIOLES

79--83

16

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

AL CENTRAL

W--L

GB

1. INDIANS

96--66

2. TIGERS

83--79

13

3. ROYALS

73--89

23

4. TWINS

69--93

27

5. WHITE SOX

65--97

31

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

AL WEST

W--L

GB

1. ASTROS

91--71

2. RANGERS

89--73

2

3. MARINERS

88--74

3

4. ANGELS

72--90

19

5. A'S

67--95

24

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

NL EAST

W--L

GB

1. NATIONALS

91--71

2. METS

90--72

1

3. BRAVES

78--84

13

4. MARLINS

77--85

14

5. PHILLIES

74--88

17

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

NL CENTRAL

W--L

GB

1. CUBS

95--67

2. CARDINALS

85--77

10

3. PIRATES

83--79

12

4. BREWERS

70--92

25

5. REDS

64--98

31

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

NL WEST

W--L

GB

1. DODGERS

93--69

2. GIANTS

87--75

6

3. ROCKIES

83--79

10

4. DIAMONDBACKS

82--80

11

5. PADRES

60--102

33

POSTSEASON PREDICTIONS

AL WILD CARD

MARINERS over RANGERS

AL DIVISION SERIES

INDIANS over MARINERS

RED SOX over ASTROS

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

INDIANS over RED SOX

NL WILD CARD

METS over GIANTS

NL DIVISION SERIES

CUBS over METS

DODGERS over NATIONALS

NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

DODGERS over CUBS

WORLD SERIES

DODGERS over INDIANS

MODEST PROPOSALS

by Joe Sheehan