Los Angeles Dodgers: Can They Win the NL West in 2012?

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Los Angeles Dodgers: Can They Win the NL West in 2012?
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With spring training just around the corner, you can almost smell the fresh-cut grass and hear the crack of a bat colliding with a baseball.  The calendar is racing towards another season and with each spring comes a sense of cleansing.  A season is upon us where all things are considered anew; the pallet is cleansed.

It is time for some baseball—Los Angeles Dodgers baseball.

While the Dodgers finished third in the National League West last season posting a record of 82-79, things have changed this winter.  Players and fans alike still remember their first-place finish in 2009.  This team is good—real good.

The question is, how will they fare against an increasingly talented NL West in 2012?

Surely the 2011 NL West-winning Arizona Diamondbacks can be considered top tier, while the San Francisco Giants will likely be back strong as well.  Thinking back to the 2010 season, the San Diego Padres gave all others a shock finishing second, and you still can never truly count out the Colorado Rockies.

If nothing else, this season is going to be vastly entertaining.  The Dodgers will have new ownership.  With that, manager Don Mattingly could very well be replaced if the Dodgers start slowly, among other potential changes that could happen.  

For now, let's take a look at the Dodgers and their competition heading into the 2012 season and see how things stack up.

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