The San Francisco Giants were not expected to contend for a playoff berth in 2021.
Most preseason projections had the Giants as a sub-.500 team.
Before the year, it looked like the roster had some pretty substantial holes, but through two months, that has not been the case.
Not only are the Giants contending, but at 37-22, they currently lead the toughest division in baseball.
The National League West is loaded with title contenders.
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the season as the favorites to repeat as World Series champions, and the San Diego Padres have played so well that they now have the second-shortest odds to win it all.
Despite having to compete with the Dodgers and Padres, the Giants are the team atop the division.
How have the Giants done it?
2. Their Lineup Is Extremely Well-Rounded
The Giants have six everyday players with an OPS+ over 100 (keep in mind, 100 is league average).
Buster Posey has led the offense this season with one of the best years of his career.
The veteran catcher is batting .333 with a .994 OPS.
If those numbers hold, the .333 average would be Posey’s best since his MVP season in 2012, and the .994 OPS would be the best of his career.
BUSTER POSEY FOR THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/LRpHGWtCXt
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 29, 2021
Posey—a six-time All-Star—is well on his way to his seventh selection.
The Giants have plenty of quality secondary options, too.
The Giants rank seventh in the Majors with a .742 team OPS.
1. Their Rotation Has No Weaknesses
The Giants rotation has been incredibly reliable thus far.
Kevin Gausman has deservedly gotten the majority of the attention to this point.
The 30-year-old is working on a Cy Young-caliber season.
He leads the league in ERA at 1.27 and ERA+ at 300.
For context, a 300 ERA+ is 200 percent better than league average.
Gausman—who is 7-0—also has a ridiculous 0.76 WHIP and a 2.20 FIP.
— MLB (@MLB) June 6, 2021
Gausman aside, the rest of the rotation has also been outstanding.
Every other starting pitcher on the staff has an ERA in the 3.00s.
DeSclafani’s worst start of the year came May 23 against the Dodgers.
In that outing, he got shelled for 10 runs over 2.2 innings.
If you remove that start from his campaign, he has a 2.25 ERA.
He has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his 12 starts this season, including three starts in which he allowed no runs.
Wood pitched to a 5.96 ERA over 16 outings from 2019-2020.
There was very little reason to believe that the 30-year-old still had a season like this one in him.
But sure enough, Wood has been phenomenal, and he even had a 2.44 ERA up until his most recent start.
As for Webb, Cueto, and Sanchez, if you add up each of the trio’s numbers for their most recent seasons prior to this one, those three combined for an ERA of 5.65.
This year, they have a combined ERA of 3.64.
Everything has gone right for this rotation, which has a staff ERA of 3.06, ranking third in all of baseball.