Through the month of April, the San Francisco Giants are in second place in the National League West at 5.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Many people are already writing off the division and giving it to the Diamondbacks. But let’s take a look at history and see if the division is already settled.
Last year on May 1 the Colorado Rockies were atop the division at 16-10, 0.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks and 2.5 games ahead of the eventual division winner in the Dodgers.
In 2016 the Dodgers, Giants and Rockies were all tied with .500 records at the end of April. We all know the Giants would eventually hold a big lead on the division before giving it up to the Dodgers.
The year before that the Dodgers were three games up on the Padres after the first month of the season and would go on to win the division.
Back in 2014 the Giants led the NL West after April by 0.5 game over the Dodgers. Los Angeles would wind up winning the division by six games over the Giants.
The 2013 season might be a great example that hot starts can be meaningless. The Rockies were atop the division on May 1 that year at 17-11. They were one game up on the Giants, two up on the Diamondbacks and 3.5 up on the Dodgers. The Dodgers would eventually win the division that year by 11 games.
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In 2012 the Giants were 4.5 games behind the Dodgers for first place after one month of play. As many of you probably know, the Giants wound up winning the division by eight games over the Dodgers.
The year before that the Diamondbacks were 5.5 games out of first place before ultimately winning the division by eight games.
It was an odd year in many ways back in 2010 as the Padres actually led the division after April, and then the Giants went on to win it over the Pads by two games.
And finally, 2009 was a bit of an anomaly as The Dodgers were up on the Giants by 3.5 games after April and won the division by three games over the Rockies.
So in the last 10 years, only twice has the team who had an outright lead of the division after April went on to win the division. Twice a team was up by 4.5 games or more after the first month, and neither of those teams went on to win the division.
Anyone thinking that this division is a wrap hasn’t watched a lot of baseball. There is still a very good chance that the Giants could win the division, as well as the Rockies and Dodgers.