2020-07-11 13:00:00 EDT
The San Francisco Giants certainly don’t have a whole lot of expectations going into the 2020 MLB season.
San Francisco is coming off a tepid 77-85 record in 2019, leaving the team in their place in the National League West and out of the playoffs for three straight seasons. With any luck, the Giants can make some more progress toward that postseason goal in 2020. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
San Francisco’s campaign last season was mediocre by pretty much every measurement. Being stuck in a division with a great Dodgers team isn’t ideal, and the Giants also have some ground to make up in the standings with the Diamondbacks as well. Oddly enough, San Francisco finished better on the road (42-39) than at home (35-46) last year. The Giants put together a few solid season series numbers versus teams like the Rockies (12-7) and Brewers (4-2), but are still on the wrong side versus major division opponents the Dodgers (7-12) and Arizona (9-10). The good news is, San Francisco isn’t that far off the pace in the grand scheme of things and if things go as planned we should see improvement relatively quickly.
Looking at the 2020 schedule, San Fran will get the heavy 40-game set versus LA, Arizona, Colorado and San Diego. That’s not necessarily great news in a competitive division; wins will be difficult to come by. The Giants also play at Dodger Stadium a lot this season; 12 percent of the schedule in fact. Beyond that, the Giants also get the American League West. Houston and Oakland should be pretty solid teams in that division in 2020, but there will be some wins for the taking versus Texas, the Angels and Seattle.
San Francisco doesn’t have a ton of marquis name recognition in the lineup, but it’s a fairly well-rounded group overall. Mike Yastrzemski has some nice power out of the leadoff spot, and Evan Longoria is normally a solid producer of homers and RBIs. Alex Dickerson and Brandon Crawford are good options in the middle of the order, but that duo will have to keep their batting averages up north of .250 or so in order to be consistently effective.
On the mound, the Giants have some experienced names at the top of the order, but also some question marks. Veteran Johnny Cueto will headline the staff, coming off a 5.06 ERA and a 1-2 record in limited action last season. Jeff Samardzija is a solid No. 2 after his 3.52 ERA and 11-12 mark in 2019. After that it will likely be Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly to round out the main guys. The Giants could get creative with “tandem” games within this 60-game sprint, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a guy like Andrew Suarez rack up several starts.
Pick: Under. I’d like to go over, but there are some factors working against the Giants in 2020. First, the schedule. There are a lot of tough divisional games versus the likes of LA and Arizona, then Houston and Oakland loom large as well. San Francisco will likely just get lost in the shuffle; they’re simply not positioned to be a dominant team right now.
The Giants lineup just isn’t at all intimidating on paper, and none of their starters seems likely to finish with an ERA under 4.25 or so. I don’t see San Francisco making any sort of impact this year, and I think they’ll finish around 22 or 23 wins in another lost season.