SF Giants: 3 reasons they will win the National League West
Reason #1: The rotation will stay strong
The starting rotation was one of the biggest question marks for the Giants coming into this season. We figured that Kevin Gausman would be similar to the pitcher he was last season, but beyond that there was much uncertainty.
Thus far, that uncertainty has turned into optimism. Alex Wood, despite some rough outings as of late, has shown shades of the pitcher he was in 2017 when he earned a spot in the All-Star Game. Anthony DeSclafani has been similarly strong, posting a 3.09 ERA thus far.
Additionally, Gausman has been even better than he was last year, winning the honor of National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of May. Johnny Cueto and Logan Webb have both dealt with injuries thus far, but they have been reliable when healthy.
However, it is important to note that the Giants do have a little bit of depth when it comes to the rotation if injuries or underperformance become a bigger issue. Aaron Sanchez was serviceable before he had to go on the IL and Sammy Long was superb in his debut outing on Wednesday against the Rangers. Plus, we know Conner Menez can be a starter and he has looked very solid in relief this season.
We know how huge the starting rotation was in all three of the SF Giants World Series wins, but we also know that you do not need five aces to win a division. The Giants won the division in 2012 with a struggling Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain in his prime, Madison Bumgarner approaching his prime, a resurgent Ryan Vogelsong, and a well-past-his-prime Barry Zito.
The rotation still has plenty of time to regress this season, but there is not anything we have seen thus far to suggest that it will completely implode. If all their starters stay right around their current level, they are going to be in a good position in September.