Major League Baseball threw the hammer down on Manny Ramirez on Thursday, suspending the Los Angeles Dodgers’ slugger 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. With him out of the first-place Dodgers’ lineup, the San Francisco Giants are an intriguing long shot to win the National League Pennant.

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Thanks in large part to Ramirez’s presence in the lineup, the Dodgers raced out to the best record in baseball. But with him missing 50 games, the door might have been left open for a couple of L.A.’s National League rivals.

One of the more intriguing long shots are the Dodgers’ biggest rivals, the Giants, who oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.COM have made a 35/1 long shot to win the National League Pennant.

San Francisco has one of the worst lineups in all of baseball and the Giants have scored the least amount of runs to this point in the season. However, the Giants’ starting pitching is among the best in MLB. They have three former Cy Young winners in the starting rotation in Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson and Barry Zito. They also have two promising youngsters in Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez.

The starting pitching is going to keep the Giants in most games, so if the offense can ever turn it around and heat up, San Fran could be one of the surprises come the end of the season. Plus, if the G-Men are still in contention around the trade deadline, don’t put it past GM Brian Sabean to go out and get a bat in exchange for some of their promising young pitchers.

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Posted: 5/8/09 11:19PM ET

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