Giants Success This Season Will Likely Depend on the Relief Pitching

San Francisco Giants

Sunday, March 12, 2017 4:46 PM GMT

Let’s try to figure out if the 87½ game Regular Season Team Win Total for this team appears too high or too low and offer up a pick in this popular Futures marketplace for a team which won 87 games last season.

Seemingly always a collection of long-haired characters, the Giants always have to worry about their arch-rivals—the Dodgers—in the NL West but this coming season San Francisco may also have to worry about improved Rockies and Diamondbacks teams who may be between them and another Postseason appearance.

 

Odds, Record Overview

Their streak of winning the World Series in odd-numbered years was broken last season, but the San Francisco Giants (87-75, 2nd in NL West in 2016) still have a nice Roster, are one of the grittiest teams in baseball and always have high

expectations heading into a new MLB season, especially under 11th-year Manager Bruce Bochy who brought championships to The City By The Bay in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The G-Men were an NL-best 57-33 at the All-Star Break last season but went an uncharacteristic 30-42 in the 2nd Half, still making the Playoffs as a Wild Card and losing to the Cubs in the NLDS.

But even making the Playoffs in the NL West will mean having to get good Pitching and that could end up being the Giants (14/1 to win World Series, available at Intertops) Achilles’ heel. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in the neon glow of Sin City has the Giants at 6/1 to win the NL (Open 8/1 Oct. 23, 2016) and 13/4 to win the NL West.

 

Offseason Moves

The departure of Relievers Santiago Casilla (A’s) and Sergio Romo (Dodgers) left some holes while Reliever Javier López and Starter Jake Peavy are veteran Free Agents and not on the Roster and may be near retiring while OF Grégor Blanco signed with the semi-rival Diamondbacks and LF Ángel Pagán is now a Free Agent. The disappointing Relief staff was bolstered by the signing of righty Closer Mark Melancon (Pirates) and Lefty set-up man and deadline acquisition Will Smith (Brewers) should also help while 3B Jae-gyun Hwang (Lotte Giants), 33-year-old C Nick Hundley (Rockies) and OF Michael Morse (Pirates) were also added, the latter who had 10 HR and 48 RBI in 83 games in Colorado and who can provide solid physical and psychological backup to starting C Buster Posey.

 

Infield

San Francisco’s Infield is a real strength, especially depth-wise with Eduardo Núñez (16 HR, 67 RBI in 2016) and Hwang at 3B, Brandon Crawford (12 HR, 84 RBI) and vet Jimmy Rollins at SS, Joe Panik and Gordon Beckham at 2B and Brandon Belt (17 HR, 82 RBI) at 1B with starting C Buster Posey (200/1 to win MLB HR Title, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) also able to play 1B at times—especially against southpaws—as well as Michael Morse. Conor Gillaspie (3B), Kelby Tomlinson (2B) and Aaron Hill also provide further talented depth.

 

Outfield

The Giants outfield will likely see a platoon of Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson and Morse in LF, Denard Span starting in CF with quirky vet Hunter Pence in RF with backups Gorkys Hernández and Justin Ruggiano giving some possibly promising depth. Leadoff man Span (.266, 11 HR, 53 RBI) will have to get on base and play solid defense in center while the aging and often brittle Pence will need to avoid injury. Parker could have a breakout season.

 

 

Pitching, Catching

This is where San Francisco will likely make it or break it, with a very solid starting Pitching staff led by dual-aces Madison Bumgarner (Regular Season Win Total 15½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and Johnny Cueto (Regular Season Win Total 13½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Matt Moore, Matt Cain and Jeff Samardzija along with top prospect Tyler Beede waiting for his shot. Posey and Hundley will be Loss Gigantes’ 1-2 Catchers with Trevor Brown also a very able backup.

 

The Relief Pitching will see the highly paid ($62 million, 4 years) righty Melancon step into the Closer role, Will Smith the #1 left-handed set-up guy with Derk Law and Hunter Strickland assuming that role from the right side. Cory Gearrin, George Kontos and Steven Okert will also provide instrumental innings for a bullpen that blew a MLB-high 32 Saves last season.

 

Conclusion: Giants’ Futures Success, Failure May Depend on Diamondbaccks

Much of how the Giants do in relationship to their Regular Season Wins Total (Regular Season Wins 87½u -120, BetPhoenix) may depend greatly on how well or how poorly the Arizona Diamondbacks (77½o -115, BetPhoenix) and Colorado Rockies (80½o -120, BetPhoenix) do in the NL West play this season as the Dodgers (94½o -120, BetPhoenix) should do about the same as 2016 with its loaded Roster while the Padres (65½u -115, BetPhoenix) will likely have much trouble with their almost Triple A-looking Roster.

Adding (and paying for) Melancon should help but maybe the big key for San Francisco both in making the Postseason as well as in its Regular Season Win Total is how well it does against the offensive Rockies. While the Giants have gone 46-30 the L4 seasons against Arizona, San Francisco has gone just 37-39 against Colorado, never finishing more than 1 game above .500 in their head-to-head meetings. Dodgers-Giants games will always be wars and MLB’s best rivalry, but the G-Men have done relatively well against their arch rivals from La La Land, San Diego and Arizona, but figuring out the The Rox (12/1 to win NL West, SuperBook) has been a different story. And how they do against Colorado may be the key to the Giants season.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS PREDICTED RECORD: 89-73MLB FUTURES BOOK PICK: Giants Over 87½ WinsBest Line Offered: at BetPhoenix