As the interleague schedule begins full-bore (ignoring the whopping one series played last month), there are a lot of good matchups. Five of the 14 series feature teams with 30 wins apiece facing off. But there is one series that stands out more than the others, pitting the team holding the best record in the American League against a team from the National League with the same record, good for third in the league. That is the matchup in San Francisco pitting the Rangers against the Giants.
These two teams are going in opposite directions since April, though. The Rangers paced baseball with a 17-6 record, but are just 16-19 since. Their lead over the heavily hyped Angels has been slashed from nine game down to four games in the five plus weeks since April concluded. As for the Giants, they only had a 12-10 April, putting them 3.5 games behind the red hot Dodgers to start the year. The Giants are 21-15 since that start, but have actually lost a half game on the Dodgers, who continue to merrily march along at the top of the NL West.
The Giants' offense isn't nearly as bad as it was last year, despite their 35 homers being the second lowest total in the NL. The main reasons for the success of the offense are a pair of outfielders acquired in trades this offseason: Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Cabrera, brought in from the Royals for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, leads the NL with 87 hits and has a .934 OPS in his second tour of duty in the NL, while also adding ten stolen bases. Pagan, acquired from the Mets in a swap for Andres Torres, has an .832 OPS and 12 steals. San Francisco is also getting a shocking amount of contributions from journeyman Gregor Blanco, who has an .858 OPS in 48 games with the team.
The shocking contributions from these three are seemingly overshadowing the pefromance of San Francisco's usual offensive contributors. Buster Posey is still raking with an .828 OPS behind the plate, but Pablo Sandoval has only played in 24 games this year. Youngster Brandon Belt has struggled despite an uptick in playing time, OPSing just .700 for the season without a homer.