The Dodgers and Giants have been the two best teams in the NL West the past several seasons, but it's actually been a long time since we had a truly close battle between the blood rivals for the NL West title.

Last season, the Dodgers won the division by eight games. In 2014, they won it by six games (and the Giants took the World Series, but they didn't face off in the playoffs). In 2013, it was the Dodgers by 11 games over Arizona with the Giants 16 back. In 2012, it was the Giants winning the division by eight over the Dodgers.

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When was the last time the two teams sat atop the division in a truly down-to-the-wire race?


The Dodgers took a three-game lead over the Giants into the final series of the season, which was against the Giants. The Giants would take the first game, cutting the lead to two games with two to play. And then ...

The Dodgers were down 3-0 heading into the ninth, scored three to tie it with the bases loaded and Steve Finley hit a walk-off grand slam. Amazing. Fun fact: Finley was 39 years old that season and hit 36 homers.

The only thing that would have made it more cool from a dramatic-baseball standpoint is if that happened on the final day of the season. Could you imagine that?

Maybe the Giants get their revenge this season by pulling it off. Is Hunter Pence a good candidate? Finley was an in-season acquisition via trade, so what if Eduardo Nunez played that role?

Or what if the Dodgers have a frantic rally on the road before having Kenley Jansen come on to nail down the division?

These things are possible, because the final three games of the season between these two teams come on the final weekend in San Francisco's AT&T Park.

If the teams stay within three games, there's drama.

If they are tied, it's tantamount to a three-game playoff series for the division title.

Yes, please.

As things stand, they are tied right now, both sitting 64-49.

How they got here has been a tale of two teams, of course. The Giants had the best record in baseball at the All-Star break at 57-33. Since then, they are 7-16. They haven't won a series. On the flip-side, the Dodgers have won four straight and have won five of their last six series that lasted longer than two games (they split a two-gamer with the Rays).

Both have gone through plenty of injuries to major players and important role players, but the best player in this entire rivalry -- Clayton Kershaw, obviously -- continues to be sidelined. The Dodgers are proving they can win without him, but his either return or non-return is most certainly a factor here.

Oh, and before that aforementioned final series, there are six other head-to-head games between these rivals.

As Flounder on Animal House would say, "oh boy is this great?!"

All stats current heading into play on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Biggest Movers
7 Mariners
6 Astros
1 Cubs The Curse of the Official Power Rankings is broken. The Cubs haven't even lost a game since the last rankings came out, having taken eight in a row and 11 of their last 12. Maybe they like breaking silly, nonsensical made up stuff like "jinxes" or "curses." Hmm ... -- 18-26
2 Nationals In the span of a week and a half, the Nationals won four of seven against the Giants with a combined series score of 19-19. That would've been a pretty decent NLCS, no? -- 16-30
3 Rangers Remember all the talk about the Orioles' run differential and "unsustainable" record in one-run games in 2012? The Rangers are only plus-seven in differential and are 25-8 in one-run games right now. Hmm ... 2 20-23
4 Blue Jays Last two series of the season: Three vs. Baltimore, three at Boston. Please let this be a three-team race heading into that! 1 24-20
5 Orioles Manny Machado homered in each of the first three innings on Sunday, making him the second man ever to do that. I don't know if I've mentioned before that he's fun to watch. I haven't, right? I'm pretty sure it's a no. Hmm ... 1 18-27
6 Guardians Corey Kluber's Cy Young win in 2014 was spurred on by a huge second half (9-3, 1.73 ERA). Right now, he has a 1.46 ERA in his last five starts. Hmm ... -- 18-23
7 Dodgers Rookie of the Year? Set your sights higher with Corey Seager. He's in the MVP conversation. Top five right now, I'd say. Who is definitely ahead? Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Daniel Murphy, it feels like. Who else, though? 1 30-14
8 Red Sox Remember all the "don't retire, you're too good!" All-Star Game talk about David Ortiz? Big Papi is hitting .221/.287/.364 since the break. It's only 21 games and he could surely bounce back, but he's also 40. Even the greatest hitters of all-time lose out to Father Time. 1 21-23
9 Mariners The crushing loss a few Sundays ago to the Cubs could have easily derailed the entire season. Instead, the Mariners -- after losing their next game -- have won seven of eight. 7 18-27
10 Tigers Beginning Aug. 23, the Tigers have 35 games remaining. Of those, only SEVEN come against teams with winning records. Hmm ... 3 16-28
11 Giants I still feel like they have another hot streak in them. Maybe getting the Orioles at home this coming weekend? Win that series and it propels them forward, possibly. 1 24-19
12 Marlins You know who is having a very good under-the-radar season? Martin Prado (.324/.377/.437). 1 18-24
13 Mets No, I don't care that Yoenis Cespedes played golf during the season. Nor should you. 2 29-17
14 Cardinals They were within 6 1/2 games of the Cubs for over a week. Since then, the Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10 and that includes a 3-5 record against the Reds and Braves. 2 24-20
15 Pirates An ongoing theme in this portion of the Official Power Rankings: Wild-card contenders (Mets, Cards, Pirates, Rockies) playing less than good against bad teams. The Pirates lost two of three to the Braves last week, which came on the heels of being swept by the Brewers. They have now, however, won three of four (against the Reds and Padres). Hopefully, for their sake, things have been fixed, because a road trip to L.A. (Dodgers) and San Francisco awaits, beginning Friday. 2 18-25
16 Yankees No, I actually don't think Friday is going to be A-Rod's final game in Major League Baseball. 3 32-13
17 Astros They were 2 1/2 games out after a win on July 27. Since then, the Astros are 3-9. The upcoming schedule isn't fun, either. After two more with The Saboteurs, the Astros get the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Orioles and Pirates. 6 29-16
18 Rockies The Rockies have now lost five of their last six. No one is running away with the second wild card (see above comments), but the Rockies were so far out, they can't afford stumbles like this. 4 20-24
19 Royals It's about time to chalk this up as a lost season for Alex Gordon, right? I know he had the injury, but he's played in 81 games and it's Aug. 10. It's hard to see him turning everything around quickly at this point. He needs an offseason to regroup. 1 15-28
20 White Sox Remember how much so many people would hate on Adam Dunn? Todd Frazier is hitting .213 with a .299 on-base percentage (both are terrible in case you somehow didn't know that) ... and 31 home runs. Does Frazier avoid the ire just because he plays third base? Hmm ... -- 22-22
21 Twins The last series The Saboteurs lost came against the Braves, naturally, because they were looking to sabotage the Braves' chances at getting the number one overall draft pick next season. It all comes back to the sabotage with this group. -- 27-18
22 Phillies There was a time the Phillies lost 13 of 14 games. So they are actually one game over .500 other than that. Obviously, you can't just erase that portion of the season in the standings, but from a team expected to be much worse than this, that's a very good sign of how things have progressed. 2 21-24
23 Angels That's five straight losses as the best player in baseball continues to be wasted. Kole Calhoun really deserves better than this. (Yes, I'm kidding, guys. Settle down) -- 27-19
24 Athletics One of the prospects (Jharel Cotton) they got back in the Josh Reddick/Rich Hill trade threw a no-hitter in Triple-A on Tuesday. That's pretty cool. 1 19-28
25 Reds 3-4 since last week for the Reds, but all against .500-plus teams and the Reds are still 14-9 since the All-Star break. 1 14-30
26 Brewers Their last eight games came against the Padres, Diamondbacks and Braves. The Brewers went 2-7 in those games. Still, I can't go any lower than this because this team was only nine games under .500 as late as July 31. I could see arguments for putting them last due to that being the day before trading away an All-Star catcher and their closer, but I'm just not willing to throw out the entire body of work after nine games. Not yet. If they lose Wednesday and Thursday to the Braves and then are swept by the Reds this coming weekend, you can count on number 30 next week. 4 29-16
27 Braves What? Too high? The Braves are 6-1 in the last week, 9-4 since July 24 and 14-13 since July 6. That's worthy of a bump, albeit a modest one. As noted in the space above, we still have body of work to consider. 2 21-24
28 Rays Evan Longoria's summer of power continues. He's up to 25 homers in 110 games. His career high in home runs is 33, which was set back in 2009. He had just 21 last year in 670 plate appearances. 1 26-18
29 Padres Travis Jankowski is 13 for 27 in August with four multi-hit games out of seven. Also, Jankowski is a pretty cool name. Something like a 70-grade on the 20-80 scale. 1 28-16
30 Diamondbacks Good to take the series against the Brewers, but there's nowhere to go here. The Braves are red hot, the Twins have been playing well for a while and no one else really deserves to be last over the D-Backs. Maybe the Brewers or Padres distinguish themselves before next week or the Reds/Braves/Rays/Twins group gets all kinds of ugly again. -- 23-23