San Francisco Giants Predictions
The San Francisco Giants were known as a band of misfits when they won the World Series in 2010. Two years later, they simply banded together to be crown World Series champs once again in 2012. It was an improbable run to say the least. The Giants overcame an 0-2 deficit in the NLDS, winning the final three games in Cincinnati to take the series. They trailed St. Louis 1-3 in the NLCS before limiting the Cardinals to just one run over the final three games to win in the series in 7. They would go on to sweep the Detroit Tigers in the World Series to cap off their incredible run, which included surviving six elimination games. There will be new challenges in 2013 as the Giants must try and hold off the free-spending Los Angeles Dodgers within the division. Let’s take a look at their roster and see where they’ll end up at season’s end.
Angel Pagan (CF) – Led the league in triples (15) thanks to his move to AT&T park, which is made for three-baggers. Pagan hit .288 with 95 runs scored and 29 steals in his first season in San Francisco.
Marco Scutaro (2B) – Knocked in 44 runs in 243 at-bats after joining the Giants last summer. He was as big a reason as any that San Francisco won the World Series in 2012.
Pablo Sandoval (3B) – ONce again hampered by injuries, Sandoval only played in 108 games last season. He hit .283 with 12 homers and 63 RBIs, and it would be nice to see what he could do over a full season’s work.
Buster Posey (C) – Won the batting title with a .336 average to go along with 24 homers and 103 RBIs last year. Posey is clearly the top catcher in the big leagues.
Hunter Pence (RF) – A ‘down year’ for Pence was still pretty darn good. Despite hitting just .253 last year, he managed to hit 24 homers and drive in 104 runs in his time between Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Brandon Belt (1B) – Hit .254 before the break and .293 after. While Belt only had seven homers in 411 at-bats, he still hit .275 and stole 12 bases. The power will come for this budding star.
Gregor Blanco (LF) – A great defender with a knack for drawing walks, Blanco just needs to prove he can handle an everyday role. He stole 26 bases last year and tends to wear down over a full season.
Brandon Crawford (SS) – Wasn’t even a finalist for a Gold Glove last year even though he should have been. Crawford hit just .248 with four homers and 45 RBIs in 2012, but every one of the Giants’ starters will tell you he makes up for it in the field.
Matt Cain (RHP) – His 14 strikeouts in a perfect game last year matched Sandy Koufax for the most all-time. Cain finished 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA to really earn his new, lofty contract last year.
Madison Bumgarner (LHP) – His 16 wins were the most by a Giants lefty since Kirk Reuter in 1998. Bumgarner went 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA while striking out 191 batters in 208.1 innings in 2012.
Ryan Vogelsong (RHP) – One of the most underrated starters in the game, Vogelsong was a postseason Ace, going 3-0 with a 1.109 ERA in 2012. He has thrown 41 quality starts over the past two regular seasons as well.
Barry Zito (LHP) – Came through with a pivotal win in Game 5 of the NLCS at St. Louis to pick up his first postseason win since 2003 with the A’s. Zito went 15-8 with a 4.15 ERA in the regular season.
Tim Lincecum (RHP) – His delivery was a mess as he led the NL in losses, runs allowed, earned runs and wild pitches last year. Lincecum was also second in walks and would love to just put 2012 behind him.
Sergio Romo (RHP) – Finished fourth in the NL among relievers in ERA (1.79). He also had 14 saves while teaming with Santiago Casilla (7-6, 2.84 ERA, 25 saves) to replace the injured Brian Wilson. Romo will open the season as the closer with Casilla setting up him. Jeremy Affeldt (1-2, 2.70 ERA) and Javier Lopez (3-0, 2.50 ERA) combine with Romo and Casilla to form arguably the best bullpen in the majors.
2nd Place NL West & OVER 86 Wins – It’s only human nature for a team like San Francisco to have a bit of a letdown the season following a World Series title. That happened in 2011 as they won 86 games and allowed Arizona to overtake them in the NL West. While this team still has the talent to win the division, I just think this is the year of the Dodgers. San Francisco will have to settle for second place and a likely wild-card spot in 2013.
|2013 San Francisco Giants Odds|
|Total Regular Season Wins||O86 (-115)|