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.

If you have any comments or questions, reach me here or on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Also, if you want to see some other team previews or my bust picks, click here!

2019 Recap 

Record: 77-85 

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 

Strengths 

Ballpark

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.

Weaknesses 

This Lineup

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.

Starting Lineup 

Order Player Position R HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG
1 Mike Yastrzemski CF 64 21 55 2 .272/.334/.518
2 Buster Posey C 43 7 38 0 .257/.320/.368
3 Brandon Belt 1B 76 17 57 4 .234/.339/.403
4 Evan Longoria 3B 59 20 69 3 .254/.325/.437
5 Alex Dickerson RF 29 6 28 1 .276/.332/.489
6 Brandon Crawford SS 58 11 59 3 .228/.304/.350
7 Hunter Pence LF 53 18 59 6 .297/.358/.552
8 Wilmer Flores 2B 31 9 37 0 .317/.361/.487
9 Pitcher

Starting Rotation  

Order Player IP W ERA WHIP K
1 Johnny Cueto 16 1 5.06 1.25 13
2 Jeff Samardzija 181 11 3.52 1.11 140
3 Kevin Gausman 102 3 5.72 1.42 114
4 Drew Smyly 114 4 6.24 1.59 120
5 Tyler Beede 117 5 5.08 1.48 113

Bullpen  

Role Player IP W S ERA WHIP K
Closer Tony Watson 54 2 0 4.17 1.26 41
Setup Shaun Anderson 96 3 2 5.44 1.55 70
Setup Dereck Rodriguez 99 6 0 5.64 1.46 71

 Bench 

Player Position R HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG
Zack Cozart INF 4 0 7 0 .124/.178/.144
Austin Slater OF 20 5 21 1 .238/.333/.417
Joey Bart C Minors last season

Had to put in Joey Bart because that’s my namesake. With that said, it’s unlikely that he’ll play anytime soon with Buster Posey ahead of him.

Sleeper 

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.

Bust 

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.

2020 Outlook/Prediction 

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.

 
  1. Matt says:
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    Dubon is the sleeper on the batting side, and you haven’t even mentioned him on the bench. 275 hitting 15/15 leadoff hitter will go nicely in my MI slot.

    • Matt says:
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      Across AAA & majors last year, Dubon’s line was 94/24/65/297/13 in 153 games. Even 75% of that at pick 300+ is a bargain.

      • 183414 says:
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        I’ve drafted Dubon 3x out of 8 drafts. 29th picks @340/341/342. Only concern is if the Giants are dumb enough to fave Flores take a.b.’s away from him. If so, then he’s an easy drop. But 15/15 with decent b.avg., if not better than that, seems to be a low risk dart.

      • The Real Joey Bart

        The Real Joey Bart says:
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        Yeah he could be solid but I dont think he’ll be starting come opening day. He should be but i don’t trust them to make the right decision honestly

        • 183414 says:
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          Agree. But when drafting 5-6 weeks before the season, no harm in using a 29th round pick on a young player , who if given the starting job, could get you 15/15 and a .275 b. avg. Giants, unfortunately are rudderless, and Wilmer Flores and Brandon Crawford starting over Dubon are further proof of that.

          • The Real Joey Bart

            The Real Joey Bart says:
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            Oh yeah totally agree with you there. I honestly don’t play in leagues that deep so he probably wont be on my radar unless I hear that he’ll play somewhat regularly

  2. Tea Time says:
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    What are your thoughts on both Dubon and Billy Hamilton. I know Hamilton has trouble getting on base, but might he find 400 plate appearances ? The Giants OF is not really proven anything at the MLB level (I realize Yastremiski was pretty good for most of a season) over any length of time except Pence who is getting old. I would think Hamilton could possibly get playing time as more than a pinch runner / defensive replacement. I would think Hamilton and Dubon would be on at least bench spots, I think Dubon may end up the starter over Wilmer.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
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      I cant imagine Hamilton doing anything quite honestly. As for Dubon, I’d like him if he started and batted near the top of this lineup but I’m not so sure the Giants will do that

  3. Is watson really the closer over Anderson?

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
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      They’ve actually said that they’re going with a committee. So, that’s no fun for us

  4. HighAndTight says:
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    You have Zack Cozart on the bench, but he was unconditionally released over a month ago.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
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      Oh my mistake. Guess I missed that news. Thanks for the heads up

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