Forecast: National League preview

National League West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Jim Bowden: The Dodgers have the highest payroll in the National League, and they'll have the largest attendance in baseball. Team minority owner Magic Johnson has made it clear the goal for this team is a world championship, period. The Dodgers have the most talented lineup in baseball, led by Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. The rotation is anchored by two former Cy Young winners, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The bullpen is deep and strong, led by three closers: Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson and Chris Perez. The Dodgers and the Cardinals were the two best teams in the National League last year. They are again this year, at least on paper.

Jerry Crasnick: If you picked April 1 as the over/under on Yasiel Puig causing problems in Dodgerland, you were overly cautious. The Dodgers have the talent to win 100 games and make a deep run into October. But if Puig's antics aren't causing unnecessary drama, it's bound to be something else this summer. Can Matt Kemp find a way to stay on the field? If Kemp, Puig, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier are all healthy at once, can manager Don Mattingly juggle their playing time enough to keep them all happy and productive? And will the "new and improved" Hanley Ramirez hold up for 140-plus games at shortstop while the specter of a big free-agent payday awaits? Clayton Kershaw leads a stacked rotation, and the bullpen ranks among the deepest in the game. But expectations are high, and we can look forward to a few spats and distractions between now and the postseason. All those millions helped buy the Dodgers a killer roster. That doesn't mean the road to October will be a smooth one.

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