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The main difference between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers is that the former has team chemistry and the latter does not.
Chemistry isn't something that you buy or force to happen. It can be slowly built up over time, but nothing beats genuine team chemistry on any sports team, and that's exactly what the Giants have.
With personalities like Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Sergio Romo, Aubrey Huff, Ryan Theriot and Hunter Pence, it's easy for a team to mesh and have fun at the ballpark. The list goes on and on, I'm sure, because the Giants' roster is full of lively personalities.
When a team is able to stay loose and have fun with one another in the clubhouse, the daily grind and immense pressure of playing baseball everyday is softened. That has undoubtedly helped the Giants stay focused and just take the season one game at a time.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, took another approach to the season. They brought in eight different players within the span of a couple months (Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Brandon League, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto) and expected them to gel with one another in the middle of a pennant race.
It wasn't impossible to accomplish, but unlikely. A team can't just throw a bunch of stars together midseason and hope that they'll instantly just start playing well with one another.
Next season? Look out, because the Dodgers offense will be a force to be reckoned with. But this year, the Giants have team chemistry and the Dodgers do not, and that's what separates the two teams at the moment.