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How the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers survived into the postseason

Veteran additions up the middle and a strong pitching staff helped lead the Dodgers to a third straight NL West crown.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an 8-0 win over the rival San Francisco Giants on September 29, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West title for the third straight season. A 92-70 record in 2015 meant that the Dodgers, who had the highest payroll in baseball history, lived up to their expectation as overwhelming favorites to win the NL West. Here is how the Dodgers won their division for the third year running:

Veterans shore up the middle infield

New Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi made his first big moves in December first making a pair of trades that led to Los Angeles swapping Dee Gordon for Howie Kendrick at second base. A week later he traded a pair of prospects to the Phillies for shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Kendrick was the better of the two, hitting .295/.336/.409 with nine home runs in 114 games, accumulating 1.1 rWAR. Rollins did not perform as well at the plate, but did a good enough job of keeping the seat warm for top prospect Corey Seager.

Zack Greinke's career year

In addition to another stellar season from Clayton Kershaw at the top of their rotation with a 2.13 ERA and 301 strikeouts, the Dodgers saw right-hander Zack Greinke put up the best numbers of his career, leading the league with a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 222⅔ innings, walking 40 and striking out 200. He allowed just 41 earned runs in 32 starts in 2015.

Pitching reinforcements arrive at trade deadline

A day prior to the trade deadline, the Dodgers collaborated with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins on a three-team, 13-player trade. In the deal, the Dodgers added starters Alex Wood and Mat Latos along with relievers Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson to bolster their pitching staff down the stretch. Wood performed the best of the new additions, with a 4.35 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in a dozen starts with the Dodgers.