In last week’s preview, we covered the Arizona Diamondbacks. For this week, we’re deep-diving to the bottom of the NL West to find the Giants. Many naive San Fran fans will tell you that this is their year since it’s an even year (2020) but that’s a pretty stupid notion if you look at this team. The championship days are certainly a thing of the past and it’s crazy just how far this team has fallen since then.
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Runs Scored: 768 (28th)
Runs Allowed: 773 (16th)
Stolen Bases: 47 (28th)
ERA: 4.38 (15th)
WHIP: 1.30 (11th)
Saves: 41 (14th)
2020 Win Total Projection: 69.5 wins
The Giants play in probably the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in baseball, owning the lowest park factor in MLB last season. While it absolutely kills the value of all the hitters, it makes all the pitchers very intriguing. Getting the benefit of a ballpark like that makes all of these pitcher price tags pretty shocking, with none of them going in the Top-200. I wouldn’t mind taking a shot on guys like Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija because they’ll inevitably have success in some of their starts at home.
It also opens up the door for opposing pitchers to come in and lower their ERA and WHIP. Facing this weak lineup in this spacious ballpark is a dream for fantasy owners and pitchers going into ORACLE Park will be a major theme in my streamer articles beginning next month. Having such a low-scoring ballpark keeps the Giants a competitive team too simply because it’s easier to stay in a game when neither team in scoring. If this club wants to have any success, they need to win a lot of low-scoring games at home and this is certainly an ideal place to do just that.
Getting to hit in this ballpark absolutely sucks for these guys but they’d likely struggle anywhere. We’re talking about a 2-3-4-5 that combined for 50 homers last season while hitting about .250. That’s truly atrocious, with no player on this team hitting more than 21 dingers or reaching 70 RBI. You’d think that would force them into stealing a bunch of bags to kickstart their offense like the Royals but no player reached double figures in steals either. That led to the Giants finishing 28th in runs scored, OBP and OPS last season. That makes all of these guys worth fading and it’s worth keeping every single guy in this lineup on your waiver wire.
|Joey Bart||C||Minors last season|
Johnny Cueto (SP)
I couldn’t justify picking any hitters but there should be one or two good pitchers in this amazing ballpark. Cueto is easily the most consistent of the bunch and a couple of injury-riddled seasons is keeping his price tag extremely affordable. The former All-Star is currently the 121st pitcher off the board and the 321st player in total. That’s downright insulting and you’d think that he’s suspended or injured with a price tag like that. Garnering a few starts at the end of last season indicates that he’s fully healthy and he’ll probably be toeing the rubber for the Giants on Opening Day.
We’re talking about a guy who has a 2.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP dating all the way back to 2011 and the injury risk is completely eliminated considering you really don’t have to spend anything on him at this price. Honestly, every pitcher in this rotation is a sleeper because of that park and they’ll surely be enticing options to stream throughout the year, especially if they get two starts at home for the week.
Buster Posey (C)
Buster, get that carrot out of your ear you silly man! No wonder you’ve been struggling the past few years! Joking aside, take a look at these numbers: 90 runs scored, 12 homers, 79 RBI and a .270 AVG. That’s a pretty good season, right? The problem is that its Posey’s last two years combined (219 games). That says a lot about just how much he’s fallen, posting a .375 SLG and .715 OPS in that two-year stretch. That’s downright nightmarish and it’s clear that all the years behind the backstop have crippled his power at the plate. People still end up grabbing him in 12-team leagues because of the name though but the game simply isn’t there anymore.
As someone who watched a ton of NL West baseball last season, I was genuinely surprised to see that the Giants won 77 games last season. I really thought they were closer to a 70-win team and those 77 wins appear to be the ceiling for this year. This is a club that should be in the midst of a rebuild but they continue to hold veterans like Posey, Cueto, Belt, Crawford and Samardzija. All of those guys should have been shipped off years ago to start an inevitable rebuild but this organization thinks that they can compete because of past success. That’s going to set them back for years and this franchise could be in for some rough times down the line.