The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants is one of the best, most historic, and longest running in baseball—perhaps all of sports—going back to the days when both teams called New York home.
When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957, then owner Walter O’Malley was so intent on keeping the rivalry with the Giants alive that he convinced their owner, Horace Stoneham, to move his team to California, as well.
The rivalry has been unusual in that it has been consistently competitive, with both franchises having won 21 NL pennants and 6 World Series titles. While the two teams have each made playoff appearances over the past few seasons, highlighted by the Giants’ World Series victory in 2010, last season was disappointing for both.
The Giants failed to defend their NL West crown—or even make the playoffs for that matter—denying them a shot at a title defense, and the Dodgers needed a hot finish just to get above .500 despite an MVP-caliber season from rising star Matt Kemp.
Both teams will be headed into spring training looking to improve on their 2011 team performances. With pitchers and catchers reporting in just a few short days, let’s take a look at the Dodgers and Giants, position by position, to find out which team has the brighter prospects for 2012.