Preseason Longshot San Francisco Giants First Team to Clinch MLB Playoff Berth

San Francisco Giants And Background

  • The San Francisco Giants are the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the MLB.
  • San Francisco opened the season as -1600 favorites to miss the playoffs.
  • The Giants also opened with a 100-1 odds to win the World Series but are now at +500 at their shortest championship odds at Bet365.

The San Francisco Giants were not supposed to be here.

San Francisco opened with a 100-1 odds to win the World Series, 60-1 to win the National League, and 50-1 to win their division. They were pegged with a win total of 73.5 before the start of the season and were -1600 betting favorites NOT to make the playoffs at the Caesars Sportsbooks last March.

Six months later, the Giants are the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a playoff berth, and they did so in style, burying their division rivals San Diego Padres 9-1 in Game 1 of a current four-game set on Monday at Oracle Park.

Just Getting Started

After finishing the pandemic-shortened season with a 29-31 record, the San Francisco Giants have turned things around in 2021. They have the best record in baseball at 94-50 with 18 games left to play in the regular season. And although the defending champions Dodgers are hot on their trail at just 2.5 games back after Monday’s games, the Giants have guaranteed themselves at least a wild card spot after opening at +900 to make the postseason.

San Francisco won the world Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014 but the team has not made it to the playoffs since 2016 when they lost to the Cubs in the NLDS. This also marks only the 8th time they have made the postseason since moving out of Candlestick Park. More significantly, it’s the earliest calendar date ever that the team has punched a ticket to the playoffs and the first time in franchise history when they were the first team to book a spot in the Major League postseason.

Not bad, considering that the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had similar 100-1 opening odds to win the World Series and -1600 favorites to miss the playoffs last March, are 47-96 on the season and are 47 games behind the Giants in the team standings. The Baltimore Orioles also had a similar 100-1 opening odds to win the championship and also opened as a 60-1 to win the American League. Baltimore is currently 46-97 and 47.5 games back of the Giants.

Dodgers Favored to Repeat

The World Series odds boards are another story though as the Dodgers continue to be the odds on favorite to win again this year. Los Angeles opened with the shortest odds to win the World Series at +350 and as of the latest BetOnline odds, they are still the +325 odds-on-favorite with the Houston Astros (+500) and Milwaukee Brewers (+600) coming next. San Francisco, despite having the league’s current best record, is fourth at +650.

San Francisco also has the fourth shortest odds at +900 via BetMGM with the Dodgers (+250), Astros (+450), White Sox ( +700 ), and Rays (+700) having more favorable prices. At Bet 365, the Giants are at their shortest World Series odds at +500 and tied with the Astros for second. The Dodgers are still favored there at +330 as they are in all of the top MLB sports books.

The Dodgers were already a powerhouse team last season when they won the World Series and they added Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the mix, giving Los Angeles an even improved team in all aspects of the game. But at this point of the season, it’s time to put the Giants among the list of contenders. They have come this far with the league’s best record and it’s no fluke. The Dodgers may have the most talented team in baseball. But the Giants can compete with anyone. They even won their head-to-head series against the Dodgers, 10-9.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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