The SF Giants have a better chance of finishing in the top half of the division
The San Francisco Giants will likely play baseball this season — whether or not that is a safe notion remains to be seen. They will not win many games under any scenario.
But we knew that already.
Major League Baseball is expected to unveil a plan to teams and players as soon as next week. A trio of trustworthy national reporters — ESPN’s Jeff Passan, NY Post’s Joel Sherman, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal — confirmed that at approximately the same time Wednesday night.
The most recent proposal — floated by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale — sees MLB divided into three divisions of 10 teams apiece, sorted by geography. This mostly makes sense, as it would cut down travel and keep cross-contamination to 10 teams rather than all 30. (We got a sense for how much COVID-19 could spread quickly from the NBA in March.)
East Coast teams mostly get off pretty easy, since everything in the east is located relatively close anyway. (The Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Blue Jays international question remains to be answered, though it seems likely they’d be forced to play in their spring training facility in Florida.)
West Coast teams, you still have to travel. The Giants would be put in a division with the Athletics, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Astros, and Rangers. If you’re from Texas, suddenly you’re missing those short flights to the “East” to play the Rays.
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We’ve looked before at how these proposals would affect the Giants. It’s a nice thought. All of them are essentially the same with the opponents varied a bit.
The Giants are in a rebuilding year. We know this. They will lose a lot of games no matter how you cut the cookie.
Their chances of upsetting the cart get a little better when fewer games are played, because the chaos of the baseball season is filtered out the longer the year goes.
Under the most recent realignment plan, the Giants actually don’t fare too bad. FanGraphs’ ZiPS projection for a 100-game season has them going 45-55. That’s ninth place in the division, but only a couple of outcomes going a different direction by being 50-50.
They have a 1-in-7 shot of finishing in the top half of the division, too.
That would hurt the 2021 draft pick a bit, but could certainly provide some entertaining baseball at times.