The San Francisco Giants have had the best record in baseball for quite a while, to the surprise of virtually everyone.
As of Wednesday afternoon, San Francisco is 98-53, and will comfortably surpass 100 wins if they keep their current pace.
However, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the heavy favorites to win the National League West division at the start of the season, are still lurking.
They have played admirably for months, and are currently 97-54, with the second-best record in baseball behind the Giants.
I don't know how many other folks have been following along, but this Giants-Dodgers division race very well might be the best in the 130-year history of the rivalry.
— Parker Evans (@parker_d_evans) September 22, 2021
The Two Best Teams In MLB
Both NL West teams are head and shoulders above the rest of the league: we only have to look at the standings to confirm it.
After the Giants and Dodgers, the majors’ next-best record belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays, at 93-59.
It looks like the race to win the NL West division is going down to the wire.
The prize for the winner is a direct trip to the NL Division Series, a best-of-five set with some margin for error.
The punishment for the team that loses the NL West race will be going to the postseason under the win-or-go-home Wild Card game: there is no margin for error, as the loser is eliminated from World Series contention.
Race for the playoffs is so intense. Dodgers & Giants close to tying for the division title. A tie would mean a one game tie breaker is played then the loser would have to win a wildcard game to advance further
— 🇨🇦 Samantha Joins Team Vative 🇺🇸 (@SamsClub_Sam) September 18, 2021
That’s why it’s so important for these two teams to win the division.
If they don’t, they risk losing everything they built for an entire year in just one game.
The Giants and Dodgers will likely want to take the division because the loser will probably have to face the St. Louis Cardinals (that’s the scenario if the season ended today), and that team has won 10 games in a row and is the hottest in baseball.
That’s a tough position to be in: imagine having the second-best record in baseball and going home because you lost one game.
There is certainly enough incentive to just win the division and avoid that uncomfortable scenario.
One Of The Best Division Races In Recent Memory
The Giants – Dodgers race for the West is definitely one of the best and most entertaining in recent memory.
Each team has 11 games left to play, and anything can happen.
It reminds us of the American League East race in 2016: by September 7, three teams were at the top, separated by one game.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox were tied at the AL East lead with a 77-61 record, and the Baltimore Orioles were just a game back, at 76-62.
If we go back a little bit more, we have the famous 1978 race for the pennant between the New York Yankees and the Red Sox.
Boston led the American League by 14 games, but the Yankees caught them and set a one-game playoff that was defined by Bucky Dent’s famous home run.
Those are just a few examples of division races going down to the final month, week, or even series.
We still don’t know for sure if the Giants and Dodgers will still be tied or separated by only one game in the final series of the season, but for the look of things, that may very well be the case.
The Giants and Dodgers are, additionally, some of the best and most traditional franchises in the game, with passionate fan bases.
Their fans have been treated all season long with stellar play.
Who will come out on top when all is said and done?