Kenny Karst, USA Today

The Success of Bay Area Athletics Rests in the Hands of the Giants and A's

It's an even numbered year, so if the Giants can maintain tradition, they might be able to walk away with another MLB title.

It would have been prophetic if the San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors both brought the Bay Area a championship. It would have been the year for Northern California domination.

It would have been.

But it’s not, and they didn’t, so that’s where the narrative of a potential Bay Area dynasty ends.

Or is it?

The San Francisco Giants have won three of the last six World Series, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they win another this year. At the heels of losing the NBA Finals, the Giants reminded the Warriors that winning the championship every other year isn’t so bad after all.

https://twitter.com/SFGiants/status/744723952178626562

Or the Oakland Athletics could defy odds (and numbers) and bring in a championship, too. In other words, the Bay Area’s chances of staying afloat in sports for this season rest in the hands — or in the gloves — of baseball.

The Giants seem to have a better chance than the A’s. In the 58 years that the Giants have called San Francisco home, never have they had a 35-game stretch with 27 wins until this season, and they’re on the steady course to tack up 101 wins.

Only in 1954 did they have a better 35-game stretch, and that year they claimed the World Series title. It’s not far cry to believe that could happen again this year.

https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/744646952172675073

All the hype is around the Chicago Cubs as of late, and they’re the team predicted to take it all. But when you pull back the curtains, look past statistics and actually examine the Cubs and the Giants, you’ll see their strengths aren’t all that different.

Everyone’s excited about Jake Arrieta, but don’t forget that the Giants, too, have their share of dominance in Madison BumgarnerJohnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs’ front three are young and spry, but the Giants don’t lack in youthful spirit and zeal either.

Both teams have killer offensive strategy and owe a lot of that to walks. The Giants are just behind the Cubs in walks rate — 10% for San Francisco, 12.3% for Chicago. And while the Cubs roster might hold a little more depth, they don’t have Buster Posey, an athlete who gives the Giants a unique edge, and who might just be a Hall of Famer one day.

You could go on and on comparing statistics and individual players side-by-side, but at the end of the day the Giants compete in a strong division where the worst teams aren’t all that bad. The Cubs benefit from a less competitive environment, so the real measure of their worth and impressive early season success is in how they fare head-to-head against the best teams in the league.

It’s an even numbered year, so it’s up to the Giants (or if we’re being fair, the A’s, too) to maintain Bay Area athletic dynasty.


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