Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Dodgers will take on the San Francisco Giants for the first time this season during the opener of a four-game set at AT&T Park, meaning baseball’s biggest rivalry will be renewed.
The rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants began on April 18, 1884 during an exhibition game when both franchises were located in New York. Since that game, the Dodgers-Giants rivalry has grown and followed the franchises across the nation from New York to California, where they both currently reside. Whenever the Boys in Blue and the G-Men get together, there’s always some sort of fireworks between the players and a very competitive ballgame.
The rivalry between these two historic franchises leans ever so slightly in favor of San Francisco. In head-to-head matchups, the Giants have won 1,232 games and the Dodgers 1,200. The Giants have taken home eight World Series Championships with 23 Pennants to the Dodgers’ six World Series Championships and 22 Pennants.
The Dodgers have 13 CY Young Award winners to the Giants’ three, but the Giants have one more MVP award than the Dodgers, at 14 to 13. In terms of Hall of Famers, the Dodgers have 51 of them while the Giants have 54. It is safe to say that these two organizations are among the most storied and tradition-rich franchises in all of baseball.
The winning culture that both franchises have established throughout the years has not gone unnoticed from a fan’s perspective. Both teams have die-hard fan bases that expect the best on a yearly basis.
The two teams ranked top-5 in both total fan attendance and average fan attendance last season, with the Dodgers taking the top spot and the Giants taking fourth. This has led to a boost in the overall franchise value for both clubs. According to Forbes, the Dodgers are valued at $2.75 billion, which is the second most for an MLB franchise and a 10% jump up from last year. The Giants are not far behind, valued at $2.65 billion, an 18% jump up from last year, good for fifth in all of baseball.
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These valuations by Forbes are so high because of the franchises’ large markets and success on the baseball diamond. In terms of recent success, it would be a fair to say that the advantage tilts towards the San Francisco Giants. While the Dodgers have won four straight National League West titles, none of these great regular seasons have translated into a World Series appearance.
Since 2010, the Giants have won three World Series Championships: in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Los Angeles has been more successful as of late, but nothing compares to winning championships. The Dodgers are still trying to just even reach a World Series for the first time since 1988. Until LA reaches and wins a World Series, it is safe to say that the Giants have had more recent success overall.
Moving forward, it appears that the Dodgers have a lot more to be excited about. While both teams are veteran-heavy, Los Angeles has the more exciting and younger pieces moving forward. With players like Seager, Urias, and Pederson, the Dodgers have young cost-controlled pieces that are producing even before hitting their primes.
Couple that with the organizational depth, LA has the 6th best farm system in the MLB, they look like a team built to win for a long time. Seager has the potential to be a perennial MVP candidate while Urias, who is still very young, has stuff that screams “future ace”.
The Giants, on the other hand, are not going to be a bad baseball team, but they do not have the pieces that LA has moving forward. The Giants do not have the young stars that the Dodgers have, especially with Buster Posey now 30-years-old. In addition, according to ESPN prospect expert Keith Law, the Giants have the 20th best farm system out of 30 teams. The Giants haven’t had a young star in a couple years now, but that hasn’t prevented them from being a super competitive ball club and a problem come October. I don’t imagine that will end anytime soon.
This season will just be another chapter in the storied rivalry, but I think it will be one that eventually goes the Dodgers’ way (no pun intended). The Giants won the season series last year, but I believe that Los Angeles will gain the edge this season. The Dodgers just have fewer holes in their lineup than they did last year. In addition, Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner was just placed on the DL due to injuries sustained in a motorbike accident. This does not bode well for San Francisco. But in the end, all we can do as fans is sit back and enjoy the show.
It is important to note that no matter which side of the rivalry you fall on, baseball is a game that we all get emotionally invested in, but a game nonetheless. Rivalries are a fun thing to be apart of but sometimes things go too far and people get hurt.
Don’t be the fan that gives your team’s fan base a bad reputation. Let us not forget that while we can both love to hate the other team, we both share the same love for the Great American Pastime. Go Dodgers.