The San Francisco Giants finished the 2021 season with 107 wins, the best record in baseball, and an NL West division crown.
Who saw that coming?
Clinching a division title over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of the season, the Giants have secured their spot in the NLDS, and home-field advantage throughout the entire postseason.
They were the biggest surprise of any team this season, and are now in a position to chase their fourth World Series title in 12 years. After proving the naysayers wrong every step of the way, have the Giants finally turned their doubters into supporters?
Here's what the national media predicts for the Giants' 2021 postseason run:
Ken Rosenthal: Giants lose to Los Angeles Dodgers in NLDS
Jayson Stark: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, lose to Milwaukee Brewers in NLCS
Jim Bowden: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Atlanta Braves in NLCS, lose to Tampa Bay Rays in World Series
Marc Craig: Giants lose to Cardinals in NLDS
Brittany Ghiroli: Giants beat Cardinals in NLDS, beat Braves in NLCS, lose to Houston Astros in World Series
Keith Law: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
"I started by picking the teams with the better starting rotations and then decided from there if the underdog offered enough reason for me to go against that," Keith Law writes. "Therefore, I’m not saying that the Dodgers are an objectively better team than the Giants are, but that they have a starting pitching advantage that I don’t think the Giants’ strengths can overcome enough for me to pick them over LA."
Andy McCullough: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Eno Sarris: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, lose to Brewers in NLCS
Those predicting Giants win NLDS over Dodgers/Cardinals (out of 30 total analysts)
(Jason Benetti, Mike Bonzagni, Dave Flemming, Doug Glanville, Eric Karabell, Tim Keown, Joon Lee, Matt Marrone, Dan McCarthy, Dan Mullen, Karl Ravech, David Schoenfield, Phil Orlins, Matthew Stupienski, Rachel Ullrich, Matt Vasgersian)
"The Giants are the best team in baseball," Glanville writes. "They have excelled through pitching by reaching manager Gabe Kapler's goals of gaining count leverage, having a low walk rate and winning strike one. But home runs matter. And they have hit the most in the NL while giving up the fewest in all of baseball. They strike quickly and neutralize their opponent from doing the same. They have a winning formula, and all season long it has worked against everyone. Even the Dodgers."
Those predicting Giants win NLCS:
Benetti, Bonzagni, Flemming, Glanville, Karabell, Keown, Lee, Marrone, Mullen, Orlins, Ravech, Ullrich, Vasgersian
Those predicting Giants win World Series:
Mike Bonzagni, Dave Flemming, Doug Glanville, Matt Marrone, Dan Mullen
Jake Mintz: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, lose to Rays in World Series
"That feeling has returned in San Francisco," Mintz writes. "This is a baseball club clicking on all cylinders, built to win in October. It’s 2010-2014 all over again...
"But what about the Dodgers?!?" Duh, they’re a juggernaut of a team, but we’ve seen them capitulate in October before," Mintz continues. "Remember every season before last? I think the Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw injuries are series-altering losses for L.A., and I think the home-field advantage will play a role for San Fran in the end. Get ready to see those big, puffy, black Giants coats dotting the stands at Oracle Park because this team is primed for a deep October run."
Pedro Moura: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Jordan Schusterman: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Ben Verlander: Giants lose to Cardinals in NLDS
Ryan Fagan: Giants beat Dodgers/Cardinals in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, lose to Rays in World Series
Jason Foster: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Edward Sutelan: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Jon Paul Morosi: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, lose to Braves in NLCS
Sarah Langs: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Anthony Castrovince: Giants lose to Cardinals in NLDS
Mark Feinsand: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Jesse Sanchez: Giants beat Cardinals in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, beat Rays in World Series
"The Giants have been the best team in baseball all year and everyone is going to see why in October," Sanchez writes. "Pitching wins in the postseason, and the Giants have shown they can pitch with the best of them. Add a solid offense, veteran leadership, and a capable manager in Gabe Kapler and it's hard to pick against them. The Rays will come up short for the second year in a row, but they are not going anywhere anytime soon."
Will Leitch: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
"There is a very real possibility that Brandon Crawford will throw out a runner to end the 2021 World Series and my first thought will be, as it has been all year, “Oh, the Dodgers are still going to win this,” Leitch writes. "So I might as well triple-down on the Dodgers, who, even without Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw, look historically great"
David Venn: Giants lose to Dodgers in NLDS
Alyson Footer: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, beat Rays in World Series
"I’ve spent the past five months waiting for the Giants to come back down to Earth and finish in third place in the NL West, just as most of us predicted when the season started," Footer writes. " 'They’re a first-half team!” “They’re too old to withstand a full season!” “Their rotation is patchwork with a bunch of No. 3s!” Boy were we wrong. (And by we, I mean, me.) So mark me down as firmly on the San Francisco bandwagon."
Andrew Simon: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, lose to Rays in World Series
Mike Petriello: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Brewers in NLCS, lose to Rays in World Series
Nathalie Alonso: Giants beat Dodgers in NLDS, beat Braves in NLCS, beat Rays in World Series
"The 107-win Giants didn’t defy expectations all season long to fall short when it counts, so they’ll defeat the Braves in the Championship Series with relative ease to make it to the World Series," Alonso writes. "And while it’s not an even-numbered year, Buster Posey will continue his renaissance in the Fall Classic and lead the Giants to glory one more time, though the deep, balanced Rays won’t make it easy."
In the national media's eyes, the 107-win Giants are not the favorite to win it all this year. But that's OK, because they were never the consensus favorite to win the World Series in each of the 2010, 2012, and 2014 seasons. The underdog mentality suits them well.
Of the analysts who predicted either a Giants World Series appearance or win, there seemed to be a similar theme in almost all of those predictions. Most of them believed that San Francisco would take down the Dodgers in the NLDS, beat the Brewers in the NLCS, and either win or lose to the Rays in the World Series. There seemed to be a common path among those who predicted the Giants will make it to the Fall Classic, and it consists of those three teams.
Nevertheless, the Giants are back in the postseason and will look to prove plenty of doubters wrong once again.