(The Spread) – The 2010 World Series champions are starting to receive some love from oddsmakers.
The San Francisco Giants are barely leading the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West Division but the G-Men are currently favored to win the 2012 National League Pennant at 5/1. That said, they have company at the top because the Washington Nationals have the same 5/1 odds.
The Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds have the next best odds to win this year’s NL Pennant at 11/2, respectively, while the Atlanta Braves are 7/1. The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals are both 9/1, respectively, while the Miami Marlins are 15/1. Some of the mid-range long shots include the Arizona Diamondbakcs (16/1), the New York Mets (18/1) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (20/1).
Two months ago the Giants were sitting in fourth place in the NL West and five games back of the red-hot Dodgers. But they fought through injuries to Brian Wilson and Pablo Sandoval to cut into L.A.’s lead and then eventually overtake the Dodgers when their rivals got into a nasty funk. The fact that the Dodgers have been without star Matt Kemp (hamstring) has helped dramatically.
Even though they’re currently favored to win the NL Pennant, the Giants remained a flawed offensive group. They’re 24th in runs, 25th in slugging percentage and 16th in on base percentage. That said, they’re 10th in batting average, third in ERA, 5th in WHIP, third in opponents’ batting average and 5th in quality starts. If they’re going anywhere this year, their pitching will once again have to lead them.