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April 24, 2017

Last spring, Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi laid out his plan for the team’s present and future in crystal-clear terms. To win now, and later, the Dodgers would need to lean on a blend of youth, data, and depth.

The youth movement is well underway. After employing the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year winner in Corey Seager, the Dodgers now appear on the verge of calling up lefty phenom Julio Urias from the minors, promoting him to the big league rotation, and hopefully keeping him there. Lefty swingman Alex Wood is currently slated to start for L.A. on Wednesday against the Giants, but manager Dave Roberts’ hint that Urias could be up soon, combined with a Wednesday start keeping Urias on schedule and in sync with his year-to-date minor league slate, could prompt Wood to slide to the bullpen and clear the way for the kid.

After that, keep an eye on Cody Bellinger. The 21-year-old first baseman has obliterated Pacific Coast League pitching so far this season, batting .339/.414/.645 at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Incumbent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has zero home runs so far in 2017 and is showing his age as he approaches his 35th birthday. If the Dodgers opt to defer to Gonzalez’s esteemed track record anyway, light-hitting left fielder Andrew Toles could be the one who gives way to Bellinger—especially with L.A.’s next potential star seeing a couple games of Triple-A reps in the outfield, with more likely on the way.

9. New York Yankees (11–7, plus-30, LT: 22)

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