In a mediocre National League West, the San Francisco Giants are three games out of first place with a record of 37-36. With 311 runs scored versus 319 runs allowed, it is surprising that the Giants are having such success in the West.
The Giants’ Pythagorean record (their expected record using run differential) is 35-36, which is under .500, and as a result the Giants’ current performance has them overachieving quite substantially.
The Giants rank fourth in the NL in runs scored with 310. From this number it is quite obvious that the runs allowed by the pitching staff are hurting not only the Giants’ Pythagorean record, but also their actual record.
The Giants are last in the league in ERA+ at 84 (ERA+ is the percentage above or below league average multiplied by 100, and park adjusted). With the worst pitching staff in the league right now, the Giants’ offense has been critical to their current success.
Clearly, the Giants’ pitching staff needs to get back on track if the team wants to continue to compete in the NL West. A winning record with a negative run differential is highly unlikely to last, and if the Giants want to win the division or a wild card spot, they must create a positive run differential.
With an effective offense, the success of the Giants’ pitching staff will be pivotal to their success moving forward.