5. They will make the playoffs
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, I’ve been drinking a lot of the recent Kool-Aid.
Ironically, my biggest question mark for this team isn’t offensive. Even with Joe Panik’s struggles and Alex Dickerson’s injury trouble, I have faith in the depth of the roster.
The additions of Scooter Gennett and Mauricio Dubon provide a number of middle infield options. They also added more upper-minors outfield depth at the deadline, giving them further insurance to injuries.
My biggest concern is in the starting rotation. Tyler Beede and Shaun Anderson have both begun to struggle, Dereck Rodriguez has been ineffective all season, and Jeff Samardzija’s peripherals are skeptical of his recent performance.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants: The closer of the present and future has arrived
- BOGO 50% off on San Francisco Giants shirts at BreakingT
- SF Giants: Brandon Belt hits IL with fractured thumb
- SF Giants: 2021 team is approaching franchise milestone
- SF Giants: Brandon Belt is a qualifying offer candidate
However, if you believe in a rebound from Bumgarner, which I do, he’s shown in the past that he’s capable of carrying a rotation, like he did in 2016. Furthermore, the return of Johnny Cueto is potentially right around the corner. The quality of pitcher that Cueto is when he returns may ultimately be the deciding factor.
The San Francisco Giants didn’t just hold onto Smith and Bumgarner. Look at what the teams ahead of them in the standings did at the deadline.
At the moment, the Giants need to jump three of the following four teams: the Cubs, Nationals, Phillies, and Brewers. None of them made major additions at their biggest areas of need.
The Nationals bullpen has been a problem and while they added three relievers, none are game-changers. The Phillies added Corey Dickerson, who will provide a nice outfield bat, but their pitching remains a question. The Brewers only additions were the pair of relievers in Ray Black and Drew Pomeranz who they got from the Giants, and even if you believe in them, their starting pitching is a huge hole.
Furthermore, the Giants have a tough schedule in the second half. Normally that wouldn’t be a good thing. However, in this case it means they are playing many of the teams they need to pass in the standings.
They host the Nationals and Phillies at Oracle Park in back-to-back three-game series starting Monday. A losing streak could make this prediction look stupid very quickly, but it’s also a prime opportunity for them to assert themselves.
It won’t be easy.
To win just 87 games, which still might not be enough for the playoffs, they need to go 33-22 in their remaining 55 games. That’s a .600 winning percentage.
Even if they don’t make it to the Wild Card Game, they have plenty of bulletin board material already. Many had them completely counted out just a month ago. Now they are above .500 into August.
Did you think that was in the cards back in April?
No. Of course you didn’t.
This season has already been a roller-coaster in the best possible way and there are plenty more chances ahead for unexpected twists.
Now that we no longer have to dive into every rumor, we get to do what we do best. Sit back and enjoy some competitive San Francisco Giants baseball.