Over the weekend, the San Francisco Giants swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game, home series. The Giants outscored the Dodgers twelve to four throughout the three games against their biggest rival. The Giants bullpen has struggled this season, but in this series, the Giants bullpen only gave up two runs, one earned run. To limit the Dodgers to only one earned run in 13 innings of a three-game set, is a huge step forward for the Giants bullpen. Hopefully, the success carries on throughout the season. The Giants also got good starts from Jakob Junis, Sam Long, and Carlos Rodón. The three combined for allowing two runs across 14 innings.
The Giants entered the weekend six and a half games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. As of June 13th, the Giants sit three and a half games back of the Dodgers with just under four months remaining. Does this mean the Giants can catch the Dodgers by the end of the season?
The Odds Are Against San Francisco
The National League West division is one of the best in baseball. The division is very top-heavy with the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants sitting within three and a half games. The Padres are only a half-game behind the Dodgers. The Giants would need to jump both teams to reach the top of the standings, which is always difficult.
Gaining three and a half games in four months is very attainable. Jumping two teams in that span is also still attainable. The Dodgers are what they are. They are a tough team to catch always, but the team to fear is the Padres. The Padres’ offense ranks very low across the board. They rank 21st in Weighted Runs Created+ which is not what you would expect from a team only a half-game back of the Dodgers. The key for the Padres has been pitching and defense. They rank fifth in pitching earned run average and their defense ranks first in Outs Above Average. The key for the Padres to be fully in their stride is Fernado Tatis Jr. Tatis has been hurt the whole season after undergoing wrist surgery and should join the Padres at some point in July. The Padres being a half-game behind the Dodgers without having their superstar shortstop, is scary for the rest of the division.
For the Giants, they have 10 games left with the Dodgers and 13 games left with the Padres. This gives plenty of time to catch ground. The Giants need to stay very close to par with their division opponents if they want any shot at winning the National League West. Along with not losing any ground, they must use the remaining 23 games against the Dodgers and Padres to close the gap in their division. Giants fans should be ecstatic after this weekend. Sweeping the Dodgers is no easy feat but the Giants needed a statement series like this to begin a run for the National League West title. This division looks to be close until the very end.
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