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.
Here are SI's complete postseason predictions:
AL wild-card game: Mariners over Rangers
NL wild-card game: Mets over Giants
AL Division Series: Indians over Mariners; Red Sox over Astros
NL Division Series: Cubs over Mets; Dodgers over Nationals
AL Championship Series: Indians over Red Sox
NL Championship Series: Dodgers over Cubs
Here's what else to expect from SI.com's MLB preview coverage.
Wednesday, March 22
MLB Trade Value Player Rankings, Nos. 50-31, by Jonah Keri
Kris Bryant on Kris Bryant, by Tom Verducci
Thursday, March 23
MLB Trade Value Player Rankings, Nos. 30-21, by Jonah Keri
The Indians are ready to end their drought, by Jack Dickey
Why You Should Watch: the AL East, by Jay Jaffe
Friday, March 24
MLB Trade Value Player Rankings, Nos. 20-1, by Jonah Keri
An oral history of Mike Trout, by Ben Reiter
Why you should watch: the AL Central, by Jeremy Fuchs
Monday, March 27
Behind Enemy Lines: Scouts weigh in on every team in the majors
An inside look at the Yankees' rebuilding process, by Ben Reiter
Why you should watch: the AL West, by Jon Tayler
Next week, SI.com's MLB experts will also reveal their postseason and awards predictions and Tom Verducci will preview why this will be a season unlike any other. Play ball!