No. 3: 2015 San Francisco Giants
C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
2B Joe Panik
3B Matt Duffy
SS Brandon Crawford
LF Nori Aoki
CF Angel Pagan
RF Hunter Pence
Key Bench Players
C Andrew Susac
2B Kelby Tomlinson
OF Gregor Blanco
In their third title defense in five years, the 2015 Giants failed to make the postseason, winning 84 games. However, their Pythagorean win-loss record was five games better than their actual record, meaning they lost a little of that even year magic.
When healthy, the offense was actually quite good. Unfortunately, several key players saw their seasons cut short by injury. In particular, Nori Aoki (93 G) and Hunter Pence (52 G)—the Opening Day corner outfielders—both missed extended time.
Center fielder Angel Pagan (75 OPS+) was the only starter with an OPS+ below 100, and the team finished with a 101 OPS+ that was tied for sixth in the majors.
Put another way, the offense in 2015 was almost twice as good as the 2019 team.
Buster Posey led the way, hitting .318/.379/.470 with 19 home runs and a team-high 95 RBI. That strong performance coincided with breakout seasons from middle infielders Brandon Crawford (113 OPS+, 21 HR) and Joe Panik (129 OPS+, 8 HR).
Madison Bumgarner also did some damage with a league-average 100 OPS+ in 81 plate appearances. His five home runs were tied for ninth on the team and were more than Angel Pagan hit in 551 plate appearances.
Sadly, this season proved to be the beginning of the end for the Giants. There was a glimmer of even year magic in 2016, but it’s been downhill ever since.