The Giants have locked up their division, and look to have the 3rd best record in the NL, which means they will play the 2nd best team in the Division Series. But, who that will be remains to be seen since the Reds and Nationals currently have the same record. It appears that if they do finish in a tie, the Giants would head to Cincinnati for the NLDS. So, could the Giants possibly win their 2nd World Series title in 3 years?
3 Reasons Why:
- Good Eye – the Giants just don’t strike out very much. There are only 3 teams with a better strikeout percentage than San Francisco (Indians, Royals and Twins oddly enough), and they are at the top of the NL when it comes to BB/K ratio. Here’s another way of looking at it: the guys with the most strikeouts on the team (Belt & Blanco at 102) are tied for 90th in MLB – Baltimore has 6 players on their roster with more than that!
- Speed – they have the highest team speed rating in all of baseball. They’ll finish the season with 2 players with 25+ stolen bases, and 5 that are in double-digits.
- Marco Scutaro – the definition of an unsung hero. When you look back at the trade deadline, and some of the deals that went down (or even after the deadline in L.A.), there are some big names that were shifted around. But, oddly enough, one of the best deals done by any team was the Giants’ pick up of this utility infielder. Scutaro has been batting .361 since coming over to San Francisco, with an .855 OPS (his career average is .730!). Consequently, the Giants, who were just 10 games over .500 when they made the trade, have gone 38-21 since that point, and ran away with the division. He’s been the spark they need.
3 Why Not:
- Power Outage – the Giants have hit fewer home runs than any other team in baseball. Their slugging percentage is .397 as a team (19th in the league). And before you blame it all on their home field being a tough home run ballpark, they’ve only hit 70 home runs on the road – 23rd in MLB.
- Mistakes – the postseason is a time to play error-free baseball. I’m not sure San Fran can do that. They’ve committed the 4th most errors in baseball, which makes them tied for the 2nd worst fielding percentage in the league.
- Bullpen Woes – on the surface, it doesn’t appear that the Giants are doing too bad in the bullpen (3.51 ERA, only 15 blown saves). But, it seems that they’ve been fortunate more often than good. They’ve managed to work their way out of a lot of baserunners, with one of the better LOB% in the league. But, buyer beware – they’re allowing opponents to bat .250 against them (6th worst in all of baseball), with a .301 average on balls in play (also 6th worst). This bullpen looks ripe for exposing in the postseason.
That’s all I have. What do you think the Giants’ chances are?