The San Francisco Giants became, on Monday night, the first MLB team to clinch a spot in the 2021 postseason after defeating the San Diego Padres.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 14, 2021
Many experts had them as a 75-win team, 80 at most.
But with hard work, a fantastic player development staff, excellent scouting, and several resurgent veterans, the Giants have taken over the league and can’t be stopped.
34 year old brandon crawford. 34 year old posey. 34 year old Darin Ruf!!! Wilmer Flores. 33 year old brandon Belt. 35 year old Evan longoria. It makes no sense
— Mike 🇺🇸 (@OkBohmer) September 14, 2021
Even in September, they cannot lose.
MLB’s Best Team
As of Tuesday afternoon, San Francisco still has the best record in MLB, at 94-50.
They have a rock-solid plus-182 run differential.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, anointed by most experts and analysts as the heavy favorites to take the National League West division, are currently second because they just haven’t been able to keep up with the surprising Giants.
The Dodgers traded for Max Scherzer, who is somehow pitching even better in Los Angeles than in Washington.
They also traded for dynamic infielder Trea Turner, a low-key MVP candidate.
And yet they haven’t been able to catch the Giants for the NL West division lead despite all those things.
In fact, Los Angeles was recently just one game behind the Giants and poised to take over the division lead, but right now, they are 2.5 games back.
Los Angeles has been playing excellent ball as of late, winning seven of their last 10 contests.
Well, the Giants have won nine of their last 10.
A Surprisingly Deep Club
With the 2021 Giants, it seems like a different guy appears every two weeks and carries the team during that timeframe.
Obviously it doesn’t work like that, but it seems like it.
Yaz has two homers in his last seven games, and is hitting .318/.444/.636 over that timeframe.
Belt, on the other hand, has “belted” four homers in his last seven contests.
Over that timeframe, he is slashing a spectacular .379/.455/.897, with nine RBI.
It would be disrespectful to call a guy who has 24 home runs and a .937 OPS for the season a “two-week thing”, but you get the point: We are trying to illustrate how good the Giants have been this season at improving their already existing roster, and how deep they are.
The addition of Kris Bryant at the trade deadline has made them even stronger, and the good play of some steady contributors such as Wilmer Flores (.775 OPS, 18 home runs), LaMonte Wade Jr. (.856 OPS), Evan Longoria, and, of course, Posey and Crawford, has made the lineup a very solid one.
The most impressive thing about the 2021 Giants is their balance.
They have the seventh-ranked offense in runs scored per game, with 4.9, and the second-best ERA in MLB, with 3.26.
They are equally good at producing and preventing runs.
Perhaps the Dodgers are better suited for a playoff series, and that’s still debatable, but San Francisco will be very hard to knock out in the postseason.