Most epic NLDS matchup ever? Answering the big questions about Giants-Dodgers
Which team is better: San Francisco or Los Angeles? Everyone has an opinion. Now we're about to find out.
Which team is better: the San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Dodgers? If you've followed our MLB Power Rankings, you've seen them flip back and forth, just about all season long, between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in all of baseball.
The argument for the Dodgers? They're the defending World Series champions and are positively loaded with star power!
The Giants? They held off L.A. and won the division!
Whichever side you're on, though, we're about to find out the answer -- at least as far as 2021 is concerned -- as the two National League West powerhouses meet up in the NL Division Series after the Dodgers beat the Cardinals in a walk-off on Wednesday night. As we get set for a series that will leave the victor as the favorite to win the pennant, ESPN baseball experts Alden Gonzalez and Tim Keown break down what this matchup means and what each team needs to do to win -- and give their picks for who will come out on top.
A 107-win team vs. a 106-win team -- is this the most epic NLDS matchup ever?
Gonzalez: Put it this way: I can't imagine how there could possibly be a better one. Start with the fact that this is one of the most historic rivalries in baseball history, featuring two teams that had previously never faced off in the postseason, then think about how it all ended -- with the Dodgers surging down the stretch, fighting fervently to chase down their ninth consecutive division title, and the Giants refusing to cede. The Dodgers went 43-13 after the start of August, yet they made up only two games on the Giants. Wild.
Keown: This question is too limiting. Purely from a record standpoint, this would be the most epic World Series matchup ever in the 162-game era. Two teams have never exceeded 105 wins in the same season -- ever -- which is a testament to the talents of these two teams and the futility of many others. Add in the divisional rivalry and the tight matchups this season (10-9 Giants) and the only problem with this series is that we don't get to see it play out over seven games.