The Los Angeles Dodgers have reigned supreme over the National League West from 2013-15, winning three consecutive division titles — a first in franchise history.
Los Angeles also won a minimum of 90 games over the past three seasons for the first time since 1976-78.
However, the Dodgers have been unable to get over the hump in the postseason and could only watch as the rival San Francisco Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
In similar fashion to last year, the offseason brought sweeping changes for the Dodgers. Don Mattingly was replaced as manager by Dave Roberts, Zack Greinke is no longer with the club, and Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins are unlikely to be re-signed.
After a failed attempt to sign Hisashi Iwakuma, the Dodgers solved their starting-pitching need by adding Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda on team-friendly deals.
Despite the roster turnover, which includes losing one of the best pitchers in the game, FanGraphs remains bullish on the Dodgers — projecting the club will win a fourth straight NL West crown.
Not only does the publication see a division title for Los Angeles in 2016, they project the club will finish with a 90-72 record, good for third-best in the Majors. The Chicago Cubs are projected to finish 95-67, with the Boston Red Sox a few games behind at 92-70.
The Giants are listed as finishing second in the NL West with an 86-78 record (improving on their 2015 mark by two games), while the Arizona Diamondbacks at slated as coming in third at 79-83, which would match their record last season.
FanGraphs also has the Los Angeles improving their run differential from 72 last season to 81 in 2016.
ESPN offered a similar prediction in late-December when the Dodgers had yet to officially sign Maeda. They too listed the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks, in that order, as the top three teams in the NL West next season.
Dating back to 2013 when the Dodgers won the first of their three straight division titles, they’ve finished 92-70, 94-68 and 92-70.