San Francisco – Projected Win Total 86 wins – 2nd in the NL West
After being World Series champions twice in three years, the Giants fell precipitously to 76-86 last season and narrowly avoided going from first to worst in the NL West.
With general manager Brian Sabean, he has always been about retooling and not overhauling and he sold ownership on the thought last year was not really a decline, rather a flat tire and he and manager Bruce Boche are confident San Francisco can at the very least be a playoff team again.
Under this regime, the Giants have been built around pitching, defense and timely hitting.
Madison Bumgarner is the unofficial ace of the staff and many believe Matt Cain was wore out in the first half of the season and not having to pitch pressure packed games in October will help improve on a 8-10 campaign. Tim Lincecum will probably no longer be a truly elite hurler in terms of run prevention, but he still fans a hitter an inning. Veteran Tim Hudson should also help.
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MLB baseball handicappers understood the bullpen was undermined by injuries and the Giants are hopeful Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt can return to full health to help Sergio Romo.
A healthy Angel Pagan makes the top of the San Fran order more dangerous and the emergence of Brandon Belt as a stick to go along with Buster Posey and Hunter Pence gives the Giants a chance to move up from 10th in the National League in runs scored. Expect Pablo Sandoval to have big year, being a free agent after the season.
Game Notes – San Francisco got all the runs they needed in the fifth inning when they scored three times in the 3-2 victory, starting with Sandoval taking Chien-Ming Wong yard to break up the scoreless tie with a solo shot. Wong is not close to the sinker ball pitcher he was with the Yankees, with his velocity noticeably down and the lack of bite on the sinker.
MLB Season Prospects – San Francisco should almost assuredly bounce back and the thought at this moment is the win total is accurate.
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