Rivalries in sports like football and basketball are pretty commonly spoken about. Yet they aren’t the only sports that feature such rivalries.
You may be surprised to learn that baseball has many different rivalries of differing intensities. The World Series Odds will always be impacted by rivalries just like any other type of betting where a single team (or teams) are dominating the competition.
Yet no baseball rivalry quite matches that of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.
This rivalry is one of the longest enduring and most potent rivalries in all of professional baseball history.
This has been around for the better part of a century and a half and has moved with the teams from the bustling streets of New York City to modernized California, with both the team's dominance continuously amplifying the rivalry.
A baseball rivalry will usually begin due to internal division-related competition. This rivalry is no different!
The bitter rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants defies description and is considered one of the oldest and strongest in sports history. It is, quite literally, the greatest rivalry since sliced bread!
As of right now, the teams have played a total of 2,473 games against one another over 133 seasons.
This rivalry began in 1898 and was born from both teams playing in New York during the initial rise to fame. However, it has since stretched far beyond geographical convenience.
There was an already-established animosity between the rich elites in Manhattan, the home of the Giants, and the working class residing in Brooklyn. From this point, the first signs of rivalry emerged during the 1899 World Series when the Giants defeated the Dodgers.
Move To California
During the next year, the Giants and Brooklyn both joined the National League. This enabled quite a few regular-season meetings.
Following the 1957 season, Walter O’Malley chose to move the Dodgers to Los Angeles but also convinced Horace Stoneham – Giants owner – to also move to California. This was done, in part, to preserve the rivalry between the two teams.
Yet being the only two teams west of St. Louis further drove the rivalry to new heights.
At this point, the rivalry heated up and saw the Giants win the 1951 National League in a tiebreaker series. They repeated this win in 1962 which was one of the most epic races that the two rivals have ever had.
During this year, they each finished with 101 wins which triggered a three-game playoff series where the winner would proceed to the World Series. Of course, the Giants won.
As a result, the opposition between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers was once again cemented.
Head To Head Comparison
Though the Giants may have accumulated the largest number of wins of any MLB franchise, the Los Angeles Dodgers are right behind them.
It’s safe to say that the Dodgers and the Giants are two of the most successful MLB teams in history. In 2018, the teams tied with 23 National League pennants – which is the highest amount of all time.
The Giants are leading with World Series wins with eight, while the Dodgers are close behind with six wins.
The Dodgers have completely flipped the script on the Giants by winning the National League West division 17 times, including in the last six years. The Giants have only won eight times since moving into that specific division.
Shocking Moment Of 1965
There is one moment that further skyrocketed the rivalry during the mid-20th century.
Giants’ Juan Marichal’s shocking violence in 1965 is one of the worst events to occur on a baseball field. In the heat of the moment, Marichal hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro across the head after an accidental movement on Roseboro’s part.
Roseboro suffered a gash in his hairline but thankfully avoided any damage to his eye. Marichal was suspended and fined $1,750 for his violent act.
This incident solidified the permanent animosity that still exists between the two clubs and their fan bases.
Despite over 130 years of competition and thousands of games played between the teams, both the Dodgers and the Giants hadn’t met in the postseason until the National League Division Series in 2021.
The Giants had the home-field advantage during the best-of-five series after they won the NL West and achieved a franchise-record of 107 regular-season games.
Despite this, the Dodgers won two straight elimination games to clinch the series title 3–2 over the Giants. This marked the Dodgers’ first postseason meeting in the modern era and showed their desire to overcome their rivals, the Giants.
As of 2022, the Dodgers and Giants are still bitter rivals – standing as two of the most prominent teams in the NL West.
The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants remains one of the focal points in MLB history. With more competitive players joining both of these teams in the league each year, this rivalry between such impressive teams doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon!