AP NEWS

#1. NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers

March 22, 2017

Projected record: 96-66Projected run differential: +134The Dodgers are the lone team projected with a better record and run differential than the Cubs. Fangraphs projects Los Angeles as the best-pitching team in the league, which is not difficult to do when starting the rotation with Clayton Kershaw. Behind Kershaw are Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Julio Urias. If Los Angeles gets roughly 130 average starts from some combination of that group, a typically great Kershaw season will be more than enough to put the team in good shape. Fangraphs doesn’t project any one pitcher from that group to throw more than 154 innings.The biggest concern on the offensive side is how quickly Corey Seager can recover from a back injury that’s hindered him all spring. The rookie of the year hit 26 home runs and slashed .308/.365/.512 last season with 71 extra-base hits. The addition of Logan Forsythe from the Rays should represent an upgrade from Chase Utley and mitigate an expected decline from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Kenley Jansen-Grant Dayton one-two punch in the back of the bullpen should be plenty effective enough to hold late leads as the Dodgers look for the first World Series title since 1988.