LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Here are five reasons that the Dodgers will return to the World Series in 2018.

The 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers came dangerously close to a World Series title this season. Although they weren’t 2011-Texas-Rangers-close, they were pretty darn close. Nine innings to be exact. Still, they ultimately fell to the Houston Astros in one of the most thrilling World Series ever. While it’s certainly not easy to return to the World Series in back-to-back seasons, Los Angeles is set up well to do so. The National League Pennant winners dominated league competition, only losing one postseason game up until the World Series. They’re heavy favorites to do the same next season as well.

Even though the Dodgers weren’t the best team in baseball, they were No. 2 by the slimmest of margins. Fans (and Dodgers coaches) learned a lot about their team throughout the duration of the 2017 postseason. They learned a lot about the attitude, resiliency and skill of the players. They also learned what needs to be improved. Starting pitching is a big area of concern, but not as much as other teams. For the most part, the Dodgers staff was phenomenal throughout the postseason. But, they’ll have to replace Yu Darvish, who appeared awful in his two World Series outings.

And then experience factors in. There’s a reason that the Dodgers are Las Vegas’ No. 1 pick to be the 2018 World Series champions; they now have experience on baseball’s biggest stage. They’re having fun doing it as well. Everything about this Dodgers team screams fun. From Joc Pederson’s explosive personality to Yasiel Puig’s strange — but amazing — antics, Los Angeles loves the game for all of the right reasons. When an experienced, talented, young and experienced group of guys gets together on a diamond, there’s no stopping them.

Need more convincing? Here are 5 reasons the Dodgers will be back in the World Series in 2018.

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