Ever since Ryan Howard was rung up to end the National League Championship Series in 2010 and Buster Posey celebrated, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants have been a pair of teams linked by their successes and failures.
It's only natural when you have a pair of teams built on the same philosophy: Pitching. Both teams have great starting rotations and solid bullpens with lineups that take a back seat. They play solid defense and win by playing fundamentally well.
So why are the Giants playing in their second World Series in three years while the Phillies have watched all three from home? What's the difference?
On paper, the Phillies are a better team. Coming into the 2012 season, they had the highest payroll in the National League and an All-Star at what felt like every position, yet, finished in third place.
The Giants went in the other direction, holding off the now-payroll Goliath Los Angeles Dodgers to take the National League West.
But again, it all comes down to the simple question of "what's the difference?"
To try and get to the bottom of this question, we'll compare the teams' 25-man rosters side by side to see who has the advantage. We'll use each club's Baseball-Reference page to build the 25-man rosters by who played the most, unless there is an extenuating circumstance, which will be noted.
Are the Giants really a better team than the Phillies, or did the latter just underachieve?