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Dodgers

Dodgers positioned to win another NL West title

Max Muncy
Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy tosses the ball during a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants on March 4.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A look at every team in the National League West and their 2019 predicted order of finish.

1. LOS ANGELES DODGERS

2018 | 92-71, 1st in West

Last year in playoffs | 2018

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You know the history: The team has gone three full decades without winning a title. They’ve never been closer than they were in 2017 and 2018, when they fell in back-to-back World Series. They won’t face much pressure from their division, even with Clayton Kershaw nursing a sore shoulder. Will this be the year?

2. COLORADO ROCKIES

2018 | 91-72, 2nd in West

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Last year in playoffs | 2018

The Rockies came close to ending the Dodgers’ six-year reign atop the National League West last season, only to fall in Game 163 at Dodger Stadium. Colorado has made the wild-card game in each of the previous two seasons, riding pitching rather than offense to get there. Can Kyle Freeland and German Marquez repeat their performances on the mound in 2019? That will be the key question as they once more toil in the high altitude at Coors Field.

3. SAN DIEGO PADRES

2018 | 66-96, 5th in West

Last year in playoffs | 2006

San Diego made a $300-million investment in the prospect of contending when they signed Manny Machado this spring. Machado, first baseman Eric Hosmer and second baseman Ian Kinsler will be the veterans in a lineup of prospects. The team might not challenge the Dodgers in 2019, but their future looks brighter. All it cost was $300 million.

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4. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

2018 | 73-89, 4th in West

Last year in playoffs | 2016

The arrival of former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi instigated a winter of upheaval for a franchise still showing off three championships from earlier this decade. The Giants have fallen on hard times in recent years, but Zaidi wasted little time transforming the 40-man roster, using the tactics that aided the Dodgers during his tenure. More tumult is on the way: San Francisco could trade franchise pillar Madison Bumgarner by the July 31 deadline.

5. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

2018 | 103-59, 1st in West

Last year in playoffs | 2017

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The front office of Mike Hazen effectively let the team’s core disperse over the winter. He traded Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. He let Patrick Corbin sign with the Nationals. A.J. Pollock defected to the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks aren’t aiming for a lengthy rebuild, but they aren’t likely to contend in 2019.

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


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