Giants. Dodgers. Opening Day. What Could Be Better Than This?
Opening Day. Giants. Dodgers. In any given season, this matchup is a big deal. This season, it is even more intriguing. The Giants are the defending World Series champions, having now won the title in 2 of the past 3 seasons. The Dodgers are their archrivals, with the rivalry now spanning parts of three centuries in three cities on two coasts, have spent an enormous amount of money in order to compete. Which team will succeed in 2013?
Since 2000, the Giants and Dodgers have finished 1-2 in the N.L. West 4 times, with the Giants finishing ahead of the Dodgers on 3 of the 4 occurrences. In those seasons, the Giants won the division by 11, 15.5, and 8 games; with the 8 game margin coming last season. In 2004, the Dodgers did win the division by 2 games over the Giants.
The point is, it has been a while since both of these teams have been competitive and good at the same time. This season, on paper, looks to be both of those things. The Giants return essentially the same team that won the World Series last season and the Dodgers spent a ton of money in order to compete.
Some important things need to happen though. The Dodgers need to find the same team chemistry enjoyed by the Giants two of the past three seasons, which led to World Series titles, and not the team chemistry of the Boston Red Sox of the past two seasons. The high-priced talent needs to mesh into one cohesive unit.
The Giants, on the other hand, need the return of Tim Lincecum circa 2007-2009. While they are returning most of the team that won the world series last season, most of the contenders upgraded their roster while the Giants focused on re-signing their own free agents. But getting the old Lincecum back would be an in-roster upgrade from last season when Timmy finished last among qualifying N.L. pitchers in ERA.
This season has a lot of great potential storylines. But the greatest of all could played out between two old and bitter rivals. Can’t wait to get this started.