Path to the playoffs for every NL West team

Can any team other than Clayton Kershaw's Dodgers or Madison Bumgarner's Giants win the NL West? Getty Images

The last time a team other than the Dodgers or Giants made the playoffs from the NL West was 2011, when the Diamondbacks won the division with 94 wins. In the five seasons since, the Diamondbacks, Rockies or Padres have never finished above .500. It has been an easy road for the Dodgers and Giants. Will things get tougher in 2017?

Los Angeles Dodgers

2016: 91-71, +87 run differential, lost NLCS to Cubs

2017 projected record from FanGraphs: 95-67

Key moves so far: Re-signed FA Ps Kenley Jansen and Rich Hill and 3B Justin Turner; traded C Carlos Ruiz to Mariners for P Vidal Nuno; traded OF Howie Kendrick to Phillies; lost FA OF Josh Reddick.

Most franchises would be ecstatic with four straight division titles with 90-plus wins each season and two NLCS appearances, but with the highest payroll in baseball comes higher expectations, and the Dodgers' inability to reach a World Series since 1988 clouds the success of these past four seasons. The offseason has consisted of retaining three key players from last year in Jansen, Hill and Turner. That means relying on those three, plus superstar ace Clayton Kershaw and now sophomore superstar Corey Seager.

The strength of the team projects to be the starting rotation, but it's not without concerns. Only Kenta Maeda qualified for the ERA title last season, and he was gassed by the playoffs. Hill's 110 innings were his most since 2007. Kershaw has now missed time in two of the past three seasons. There's plenty of depth here with veterans like Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, although youngsters Julio Urias and Jose De Leon will play vital roles, assuming De Leon isn't used to acquire a second baseman, such as the Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier.