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The Giants are in first place in the NL West

Likely because they’re playing well.

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants are the leaders of the NL West. Not the co-leaders. Not the almost leaders.

The actual leaders.

Here, let me show you:

The Giants broke their tie with the Dodgers by sitting at home watching the NFL Draft, while LA went out and got beaten by the Milwaukee Brewers. Seems like a good day. Good use of time.

I don’t write all of this to suggest that the Giants hang a banner for doing well for 25 games. Those are the things we make fun of other people for doing. For years, it was your moral obligation to laugh at every Dodgers fan wearing an “NL West Champions” t-shirt.

So I’m not trying to pop champagne or drink five Budweisers at once out of those weird bottle-shaped cans.

I just want to acknowledge that we’re deep enough into the season that standings are meaningful, and the Giants are at the top of the standings.

In the last full MLB season, in 2019, 6 of the 10 teams that were in postseason position on April 29 made the playoffs. There’s nothing statistically magical about the Giants being a half game ahead of the Dodgers rather than a half game behind, but it is symbolic: the Giants are playing good baseball, and it looks real, a fact that is backed up by their +24 run differential, which is tied for second in all of MLB.

So celebrate the fact that the Giants lead the division. Not because rings are designed in April, but because it means the Giants might give you reasons to watch games in August and September that extend beyond seeing if Joey Bart’s second go-around against MLB pitchers looks any better. And because you didn’t expect the Giants to be here, which makes it rather titillating. And because it might irrationally piss off a Dodgers fan and make them throw a tantrum on the internet.

But perhaps this article does come across as celebrating April standings while the Dodgers have recently celebrated bigger things. And to that I say three things: