The Floor Has Been Raised for 2018 Giants

Madison Bumgarner

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, March 24, 2018 6:44 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018 6:44 PM UTC

The 2017 Giants were a massive disappointment to bettors and fans alike. Mark Lathrop looks at the key additions over the winter and sees a team that has raised the floor of how far they can fall.

We will be breaking down each division team by team as we approach the 2018 MLB season to identify futures value and upcoming betting trends. Today we will take a look at the San Francisco Giants out of the NL West. The Giants were a weaker Under call in my model last year, and boy did they deliver anyway. San Francisco won just 64 games in 2017, which was easily the worst performance versus a totals futures line (87.5 games). Their bar has been lowered six games to 81.5 at Bovada this year, and some key new additions have put that within reach.

Pitching Staff

The Giants have a solid 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation with Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija. They are both projected to put up sub-4 FIP’s – along with Johnny Cueto. Samardzija is especially important to the Giants after posting his fifth season of 200 innings or more, even if his HR/FB% increased for the 3rd year in a row. His FIP of 3.61 in 2017 was also an improvement for the 3rd year in a row, so you get the bad with the good. Madison Bumgarner had a down year in 2017 after hurting his throwing shoulder on a dirt bike, and projections don’t have him back 100% just yet. Still, he’s too young for the wheels to be falling off. The underrated Chris Stratton rounds out the back of the rotation for the Giants, and the former #20 overall pick did well in his limited innings in 2017. He should be ready to take a step forward, especially pitching at home. Closer Mark Melancon will be an injury risk as he recovers from surgery on his throwing arm. Editor’s Note: Mark’s futures projections for the Giants have been adjusted downwards by 2 games as a result of the recent injury to Bumgarner.

Lineup

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Hey guys 👋#BrandonsAreAwesome pic.twitter.com/6LEzWXAv2t

— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) March 22, 2018
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The big addition to the Giants lineup this season is 31-year old Andrew McCutchen, who put up 28 bombs last year in a pitcher’s park and now moves to an even worse one for him. As a result, McCutchen is only projected to put up 25 HRs or less this year. He won’t be the best player on the team anymore though, so maybe that will take some pressure off of him. That crown for the Giants goes to catcher, Buster Posey, whose career .308 batting average isn’t going to slow down even if his power starts to dwindle. Projections also see a bounce back season for Brandon Crawford, who put up his worst OBP since 2011 last season.

Wild Cards and Betting Trends

The Giants disappointing 2017 season wasn’t helped by riding cold hands, such as Hunter Pence. They’ve bolstered their lineup by adding the before-mentioned Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. Neither are the stars that they once were but are a massive improvement and raise the floor of how far the Giants can fall. They may not win the NL West, but they will win more games than not in 2018.

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