The San Francisco Giants finished last season first in the NL West when most thought they’d be third at best. Not only did the Giants outplay the San Diego Padres, but they also were extremely competitive against the Los Angeles Dodgers. There’s no reason to think that the Giants can’t hold up this season.
However, there will be obstacles for the Giants this season. The Padres were embarrassed last season from a sub-par performance and the Dodgers, of course, want to get revenge on the Giants and win the division.
The NL West is going to be extremely hard this season. There’s plenty of talent and skill and so many hard games each and every night. First, the Giants pitching staff will need to improve a bit. The Giants have an ace in Logan Webb but the rotation starts to fall off from there. You can’t have Anthony DeSclafani as the second starting pitcher in your rotation.
Third up, would be Alex Wood, who had a fantastic season last year, but could be inconsistent at times. Then there’s Alex Cobb, who will be fourth on the rotation. He pitched for the Angels last season and had some really good numbers when it came to ground balls and analytics. However, once runners got on base, Cobb struggled a bit.
He’s a quality guy at the bottom of the rotation, but it just seems like the Giants need a second top-tier pitcher to pair with Webb in the starting rotation. When it comes to position players, Buster Posey, the long-time catcher for the Giants has retired.
We’ll assume that Joey Bart gets to take over, but the Giants might stick with backup catcher Curt Casali for the time being, or pick someone else up in the free agency. Nothing is out of the question here. But losing Posey will hurt in the middle of the order. Outside of Posey, the offense is basically the same. Brandon Belt is returning along with Brandon Crawford.
Those to lefties were absolute studs last year and have contracts in place for this season (and for Crawford, beyond this season). The Giants also developed guys like LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski and have veterans in the lineup like Darin Ruf, Tommy La Stella, and Evan Longoria.
The main thing for the Giants is that they have plenty of depth when it comes to position players. They can match up well against lefties or righties and have a plan in place for those situations.
Lastly, the bullpen carries the Giants last season, especially when the starting rotation was weak. With Tyler Rogers, Jake McGee, Dominic Leone, Jose Alvarez, and even Zack Littell, the Giants were fantastic in the bullpen and always helped keep the Giants in games throughout the season.
I’d love to see some younger guys on this team. That’s an area where the Giants haven’t really shown off yet. But ultimately, San Francisco can get all the way to the World Series if they play the way they played last season.