Through just about the midway point of the season, the NL West standings look a bit different than how most people thought they would look. In the 2020 season, the Giants played .500 baseball and nearly made the NL Wildcard game.
This was widely viewed as an overachieving season that they would not be able to replicate in a full 162-game season. However, halfway through the 2021 season, they are even better. The Giants have the best record in baseball at 50-28. The Dodgers are 2nd in the division with a record of 48-31, followed by the Padres who currently sit at 47-33. The Dodgers and Padres have experienced their fair share of injuries and bad fortune, while the Giants have been hitting on all cylinders.
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While it is easy to say that the Dodgers and Padres should pull ahead of the Giants based on talent, it is time to start respecting the team that the Giants have because they are legit. Led by a resurgent Buster Posey, who will be the starting catcher in the All-Star Game, their offense has been quite the surprise when you look at the guys who are playing every day.
On top of a surprising offense, they have had an even more surprising pitching staff, led by Kevin Gausman who has unlocked the potential that he has always had since his days in Baltimore. The Giants will not fade out, and it will take an impressive run by the Dodgers for them to reclaim first place. The month of July will play a huge factor in the division standings as the Giants and Dodgers face off 7 times in the month.
Image via Dennis Poroy/Associated Press
As for the Padres, they have an MVP candidate in Fernando Tatis Jr., but they have also had some underachievers that were expected to be key contributors, such as Blake Snell, Tommy Pham, and even Manny Machado. If those players can start to play better in the 2nd half of the season, the Padres could shoot up in the standings. At the same time, if the Dodgers can start to get healthy, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be the best team in the division.