MLB.Com ranked the World Series likelihood for each of the 30 teams, and the SF Giants are not in an enviable position. According to the list, the SF Giants are no. 22, meaning that only eight teams have a lower likelihood of winning the World Series in 2021. The good news is that both the Arizona Diamondbacks (no. 26) and Colorado Rockies (no. 28) sit even lower on that list among the division rivals.
The bad news is that the Los Angeles Dodgers (no. 1) and San Diego Padres (no. 3) have some of the best odds in baseball. None of these rankings should be entirely too surprising.
SF Giants 2021 World Series odds are not great
After all, the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020 and have only improved their rotation by signing the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. Similarly, the Padres have spent all offseason bolstering their pitching staff by trading for Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove.
This is all to say that the NL West is going to be a tough and polarizing division. The Giants are the middle class of the division and certainly better than the 22nd best team in MLB. To an extent, they are a victim of circumstance. Since 2017, San Francisco has been a bottom-dweller for the most part, but they plan on being a competitive team in 2021.
Their success depends on how well they handle both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks because wins are going to be tough to come by against the Dodgers and Padres. That said, Mike Petriello of MLB.Com was very complimentary of what San Francisco is building while recognizing the difficulties of the division they play in:
"“I really like what the Giants have cooking by the bay… Their year-over-year improvement is among the most dramatic by any Major League team since the mound was lowered and divisions expanded in 1969…But the timing, really, is all wrong. We chose two NL West teams among our top three, and haven’t returned to the division since. There’s no path I can see where the Giants top the Dodgers and/or Padres in 2021.”"
The Giants have built up a lot of depth in the rotation, bullpen, and lineup. The lineup was so strong in 2020 that they were able to be selective in their approach to free agency by signing versatile infielder Tommy La Stella to a three-year, $19 million contract.
The bullpen has a lot of options, albeit mostly unproven, whereas the rotation has length but plenty of injury risk as well. The World Series odds are not looking great for the SF Giants as they prepare for the 2021 campaign, but they do seem to be on an upward trend and that is an encouraging sign.