Giants' Odds of a Repeat
February 1, 2011 at 8:29 AM • 0 comments
Looking back on the 2010 MLB season, it becomes clear that west coast teams are anything but media darlings. While the usual biased press preordained the Tampa Bay Rays, while simultaneously kissing the rear ends of teams like the Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees, the San Francisco Giants did more than simply fly under the radar – their little bleep was intentionally removed.
It has to sting an east coast writer's hind end that the Giants basically mowed over an American League team, heavy the messiah come again Cliff Lee. And it smarts even worse that the Giants proved unequivocally to be Lee's kryptonite, bombing him in two World Series games.
Well, you would think it'd have to sting. But it apparently doesn't.
Now that the early lines are out for the 2011 World Series frontrunners, the San Francisco Giants, fresh off a World Series route with their roster still intact, come in well behind media favorite big markets like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and hold a slight edge—barely—over the Atlanta Braves.
To date, no respect is being paid to San Fran. Their odds of repeating as World Series champs are in line with odds you'd find to win at a casino online – 12:1. Huh?
Okay, that would make sense if players like Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain and Buster Posey and Miguel Tejada were Busch League players. But they're not. And while everybody's favorite pitcher Cliff Lee is playing for Philadelphia, giving the Phillies the top spot in the early running (+180), the early anointing is just something that always comes back to bite.
Even the best sports books out there have San Fran playing catch-up next season. On one hand, you could say that it's a little insulting. On the other hand, however, this might just place the chip on the shoulder of the Giants that allows them to stay hungry for a repeat when April rolls around.
The NL West was tight last year. The Padres won 90 games, only missing out on the postseason by 1 and an NL West division crown by 3. So it's certainly not a foregone conclusion that the Giants are going to run away with it. But the Phillies are also tight in the NL East. The Braves only finished 6 back, and the Marlins are much improved. Not to mention the Mets aren't going to stay silent for long, and there's another great pitcher in that division coming back from Tommy John surgery – Stephen Strasburg.
The Phillies may be a little too battle tested in the regular season to hold up to what the Giants will deliver in the postseason. But that point seems to fall flat with media.
Repeating as World Series champs is certainly hard to do, and no one is punching the Giants' ticket this early. However, it's also a little foolish to assume the usual suspects are going to suddenly reclaim glory.
Time will tell, obviously, but it's hard to see the Giants giving up their crown willingly.
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