Baseball Prospectus just released their 2021 MLB projections, and the SF Giants are only projected to win 75 games. Given the state of their division, that projection may totally be in the realm of possibility it’s too low.
Now, we all know that projections and predictions have been wrong before. Just ask the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Giants. So the fact that PECOTA is down on the team should not worry us too much. Still, it’s worth looking at how they have to exceed these expectations to pass a .500 threshold.
PECOTA projects the SF Giants to win 75 games this season.
This article is not meant to argue that the Giants should be projected to win 102 games instead of the Dodgers (really, 102? Why not just give them another trophy while you’re at it). Instead, I’m arguing that the Giants could easily be a .500 ball club this season if not slightly above .500.
Now, that may not knock too many readers’ socks off, but the Giants are still rebuilding and will likely continue the process of rebuilding for the next few years. They showed us some promising signs in 2020 and if they can build on that in 2021 I would not be surprised to see them end up with something closer to 85 wins by the end of the season.
Shockingly enough, offense was not the main problem for the Giants in 2020, it was actually a strength. It is easy to forget that they were fifth in team batting average last season which is not something to scoff at even in a shortened season. Plus, they hit that well without their star catcher Buster Posey. With him set to return in 2021, we could see him be a valuable part of the lineup yet again.
Pitching and defense were their two main troubles last season. Defense is somewhat easier to fix than pitching so I am not too concerned in that department. And while the rotation certainly is not what it was back in 2010, additions like Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani may end up being the next Kevin Gausmans and could stabilize the rotation.
With regards to the bullpen, it is already much improved by the return of Reyes Moronta and additions like Jake McGee and Matt Wisler, I expect the bullpen to be much more consistent than it was last season.
In short, the SF Giants may not be National League West favorites, but PECOTA projections may be sleeping on the team. Do not be surprised if they exceed that 75 win threshold through the expanded depth and shrewd front-office moves this offseason. They’ve done it before, so they might just be able to do it again.