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National League West capsules

Clayton Kershaw is the ace of the Dodgers pitching staff. He did not allow an earned run in spring training. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Clayton Kershaw is the ace of the Dodgers pitching staff. He did not allow an earned run in spring training. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)
Associated Press


Los Angeles Dodgers

2017: 104-58, first place, lost to Houston in World Series.

Outlook: The Dodgers are favorites to win a sixth straight N.L. West title with a roster that returns mostly intact. They lost the World Series to Houston in seven games, extending the franchise’s drought to 30 years without a championship. Los Angeles had a quiet offseason, other than shedding the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy in an effort to lower payroll. The move brings the team under the luxury tax for the first time since 2012, which figures to pay off next winter when a highly anticipated group of big-name free agents becomes available. Clayton Kershaw anchors the rotation, and Kenley Jansen is one of the best closers in the game. .

Arizona Diamondbacks

2017: 93-69, second place, wild card, lost to Dodgers in NLDS.

Outlook: With all five starters back and nearly every position player returning, the Diamondbacks expect to be in the thick of things in the division after their big turnaround season under Torey Lovullo, the N.L. Manager of the Year. The loss of J.D. Martinez hurts the offense but the acquisition of Steven Souza and signing of Jarrod Dyson should help. In addition, several players who missed much or most of last season with injuries are back, including Nick Ahmed and utility man Chris Owings. Zack Greinke’s initial start was pushed back a few days after he experienced tightness in his groin during a spring training outing, but it’s not expected to be serious.

Colorado Rockies

2017: 87-75, third place, lost to Arizona in wild-card game.

Outlook: The Rockies enhanced their bullpen in an effort to earn back-to-back postseason berths for the first time in franchise history. They signed Wade Davis ($52 million for three years) and Bryan Shaw ($27 million for three years) and brought back Jake McGee ($27 million for three years). The lineup benefits from hitter-friendly Coors Field and features plenty of firepower, especially with the return of Carlos Gonzalez on a one-year deal. Nolan Arenado is one of the best hitters and fielders in the game, and Charlie Blackmon led the league in several offensive categories. They ran 4-5 in N.L. MVP voting.

San Diego Padres

2017: 71-91, fourth place.

Outlook: The Padres should be more fun to watch this season with the additions of Eric Hosmer and Freddy Galvis, but they’re not expected to contend for another year or two. There are some other interesting players on the team as well, including Jose Pirela, who can play left field or second base, and Christian Villanueva, a versatile infielder who has pop in his bat. Wil Myers moves back to the outfield to make room for Hosmer at first base, and Hunter Renfroe is expected to platoon with Pirela in left. Renfroe set a Padres rookie record with 26 homers last year despite being sent down to Triple-A for a month.

San Francisco Giants

2017: 64-98, fifth place.

Outlook: The Giants are coming off their first last-place finish in a decade and their worst season overall since 1985. The talent level was upgraded significantly with trades for Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Those two former All-Stars might be on the downside of their careers – both are in their 30s – but they should still add some pop to a lineup that finished last in the majors in homers, 29th in runs and 29th in on-base percentage. They should also improve a defense that was spotty at best last season, when nothing went right. Steven Duggar could get a shot to split time with Austin Jackson or supplant him in center field, adding needed youth to an aging team.

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