Neel Predicts: SF Giants struggle, SD Padres win World Series


Neel Sharma, Sports Editor

The San Francisco Giants are one of the MLB’s most prestigious clubs and are famed for hosting superstars like Buster Posey, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. In the 2010s, the Giants won three World Series titles and fielded generational talents. 

 But where are the Giants now? The answer is they are not as good as one might think for a well-funded MLB team. 

In sports, money is everything. This is especially true for baseball because the sport lacks salary caps.

Salary caps serve as a limit for how much teams can spend each year, and they serve as the standard for keeping franchises on the same economic playing field. Since baseball does not have a salary cap, rich teams have an advantage. 

Take a look at the Oakland A’s, who follow a classic “Moneyball” formula to make the most of their limited means. The formula involves trading drafted players to other teams that can afford to sign them once they hit free agency.

The A’s are smart with how they scout and draft players and always accumulate young talent. Oakland’s successful farm system allows them to stay afloat economically despite their minimal budget. 

Across the Bay Bridge, the Giants, worth $3.7 billion, are the fifth richest baseball team, behind only the Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees. The Giants have followed a stingy, frugal method of building superteams through drafted players and a strong minor league system for years, playing a game similar to the “Moneyball” system but without any reason. The Giants have the available resources to build a better team and do not need to rely on such a system. 

In order to compete within their division, the Giants must spend big if they want to pursue another World Series any time soon. The San Diego Padres and New York Mets are high-spenders in the Giants’ division that build super teams and take advantage of their wealth –– which is about half of what the Giants have. Ultimately, the winner of the National League West, the Giant’s division, will be one of two teams. Unfortunately for Bay Area fans, neither of the two will be the Giants because of their lack of starpower and a below average bullpen. If the Giants want to become competitors, they must make larger moves in the offseason and sign superstars. Instead, this year will result in a battle for SoCal bragging rights with the Dodgers falling short of the Padres for a  playoff spot. The Dodgers will likely earn a wildcard spot though.

Beyond the NL West, the teams that will see the most success are traditional superteams such as the Yankees, Astros, Padres, Mets and Phillies, all of which will see 90+ win seasons. 

And the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox will both underperform with only 85 and 76 wins respectively. While the Sox have kept stars like Rafael Devers and Adam Duvall, the loss of Xander Bogaerts is one that will negatively affect their offense and defense. The Rays strong start will be cut short after they face stronger teams in the coming months. They lack strong pitching and will barely compete for a playoff spot.

The Angels might have the famed breakout year that baseball experts have been anticipating for the last 10 years, and it is possible that with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, they could finally break out. The Angels will have their best season in recent history with 93 wins and will likely get into the playoffs by winning the wildcard. 

Though the Giants continually show weakness in their ability to make impactful offseason moves, the team is still a franchise with infinite potential. Given the teams’ funding, they can practically buy any player they want, and if they take advantage of their wealth, they can make a playoff appearance. The MLB however, is going in the right direction; the league is filled with young stars who will help enrich the sport for years to come.