Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Denard Span
Mike Leake, Nori Aoki, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Hudson
The Giants are really going for this World Series every other year thing. Cueto is a huge splash, and combined with Samardzija makes up for the losses in the rotation and then some. Span gives them a lead off hitter that they didn’t really have last year, and it gives the outfield a ton of depth. The Giants are clearly going for it this year and their off-season moves put them in good position to do so.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Denard Span
- Joe Panik
- Matt Duffy
- Buster Posey
- Hunter Pence
- Brandon Crawford
- Brandon Belt
- Angel Pagan
The first thing to note with the Giants is that their defense, particularly in the infield will be spectacular. The duo of Duffy and Panik is an underrated one when considering their defensive abilities, and ability to consistently put the ball in play. The Giants lineup sets up nice with Span, Duffy and Panik all having an OBP over .330. You then get into the meat of the lineup, and the Giants rattle off four straight hitters with decent power potential. Posey, along with an OBP of .373, hit 19 home runs last year. Behind him is Pence, who hit 9 in 52 games, Crawford, who exploded for 21 last year, and Belt who added 18 home runs. The flow of the lineup is really solid and has three right handed hitters, four left handed, and a switch hitter. They also have depth in the outfield with Gregor Blanco and Jarrett Parker. All in all, it is tough to knock what the Giants are doing right now and they should be right back it next year.
In adding Cueto the Giants now have the two aces of the last two World Series team’s on their roster. The Cueto-Bumgarner punch is going to be a mighty one, especially considering the infield defense. Samardzija is coming off of a bad year, but it would make sense that he were to bounce back in the better situation that he is in now. Peavy and Cain were once names any team would love to top their rotation, now the thought is if at least one of the can hold on, the Giants rotation will be potent. Cain has been a victim to plenty of injuries in the past few years, and Peavy now at 34 isn’t the pitcher once was, but they have Chris Heston and a prospect in Clayton Blackburn who may be able to give spot starts for either if needed.
Their bullpen isn’t one of the league’s best, but it is probably in the top of the second tier. The back end of Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla has seen shakiness in its time, but typically come playoffs both are at their best. With a guy like Heston who can bring long relief it helps the top half, but this is a team that will rely on their starters getting them to at least the 7th inning on most nights.
This team has the chance to make a lot of noise this year. They aren’t missing any major pieces, and while injuries can derail any team’s chances, the big picture of the Giants roster is a top tier team on paper. They should be able to edge out a lot of low scoring games with their pitching and defense, and they should be looked at with the Cubs as the class of the league. When seeing their odds at +650 to win the World Series, it seemed to be good enough odds to take a stab and ride on the even year Giants.
1st in the NL West
+650 Giants to win the World Series