The Dodgers are having a good season as they attempt to defend their World Series Championship. Repeating is one of the hardest things to do in sports. The Dodgers have had some setbacks however. Injuries, hitting slumps and poor minor league depth has set the Dodgers back in 2021. The Dodgers are still sitting in a good position, with the second-best record in the National League at 43-27. Unfortunately, that position still puts them 1.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants entering play on Sunday June 20. We’re far enough into the season that we need to start taking the Giants seriously.
We thought the Padres would be the Dodger’s biggest problem, but they have hit the skids in recent weeks. Injuries have hampered them as well, dropping them five games behind the Giants in third place in the National League West. The Dodgers have a big series with the Padres on Monday, but getting back to the Giants here for a minute.
They have the makings of a good team, and can potentially be a thorn in the Dodger’s side. The Dodgers have the best run differential in the National League at +106. Guess how has the second best with a +81? You guessed it, the Giants do. The Giants are outscoring their opponents just as much as the Dodgers are theirs.
Taking an even deeper look, the Giants have had a very productive offence. The Dodgers are second in baseball with a .339 on-base percentage. Guess who is sixth? Yup, the stupid Giants are. If you are talking power, the Giants have hit more home runs than the Dodgers have (106 to 89), and they rank second in MLB in that category. The Giants rank sixth in slugging, the Dodgers tenth. The Dodgers have drawn the most amount of walks in the majors with 303. Look who is right behind them in third with 277, the Giants.
And with runners in scoring position, the Giants have been a little better, ranking second in batting average, and OPS with the Dodgers ranking fifth. Let’s take a look at the pitching. The Giants are good on the mound too. Dodgers rank third in MLB with a 3.15 team ERA, but the Giants rank fifth with a 3.34 ERA. Dodgers rank first in team WHIP, the Giants third. The Dodgers starting pitchers rank second in ERA, but the Giants rank sixth. They’re bullpens are evenly matched. Defensively, the Giants are very solid too. The point is, it looks like the Giants are good this year, and it’s too late in the season to continue to dismiss them as a glitch. Or pretend it’s too early in the season to take them serious. It’s not too early anymore.
The Dodgers got to them in San Francisco early in the season with a sweep, but when the two clubs played at Dodger Stadium, the Giants took three out of four. The Giants are run by former Dodgers Farhan Zaidi and field manager Gabe Kapler. Both of those guys know how to put together competitive clubs. The two teams meet again at the end of the month for a two-game set at Dodger Stadium. If the Dodgers want to win their ninth consecutive NL West crown, they’re going to have to beat the Giants to do it.