Will Giants be second defending champ since 1903 to finish last the next season?

The Giants were mathematically eliminated from the postseason Wednesday night thanks to the Cincinnati Reds’ victory over the Cubs. Now all that’s left is to avoid joining the 1998 Florida Marlins as the only defending World Series champions since 1903 to finish last in their division a season after claiming the title.

Of course, the Marlins imemediately dismantled the team that won the 1997 World Series behind series MVP Livan Hernandez and a lineup that included Edgar Renteria, Moises Alou and Bobby Bonilla.

The last-place Giants entered Thursday 19½ games behind the Dodgers in the National League West, but only the division leader and second-place Arizona Diamondbacks are out of reach.

The Giants are within a half game of the fourth-place Colorado Rockies and a game of the third-place San Diego Padres with 15 games remaining following Thursday’s series opener against the Dodgers. Interestingly enough, the Giants sport the best record within the division at 37-29, including a 21-10 mark on the road.

The Dodgers will have plenty of influence on the fate of their biggest rival beginning with the current four-game series in Los Angeles and ending with a three-game series in San Francisco beginning Sept. 24.

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