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San Francisco Giants Season Predictions | 2012 Season Betting Preview

2012 MLB Handicapping: San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants had a pretty good year last year, but came up eight games short of the division champion Arizona Diamondbacks, ultimately settling for a disappointing second place finish. So how will the Giants do in 2012?

Can they get their bats that killed them last season finally in gear? And what about their pitching, can they keep up the exhausting pace of a combined 3.20 ERA?

Let’s have a look.

Giants Assets

San Francisco’s strength will no doubt once again come from its pitching.

The Giants’ hurlers were second best in the National League last season in earned runs against, and led the NL in batting average against, finishing second in strikeouts while giving up the fewest total bases.

To say the G-men were dominant is an understatement, and this year fans can expect more of the same.

And it all begins with Tim Lincecum who will return for another season in the city by the bay after being offered a healthy contract extension.

“The Freak” had what some might believe was a pitiable season last year because of his 13-14 record, not to mention his declining fastball speed and his waning strikeouts per nine innings pitched ratio. However, Lincecum still finished the year with a 2.74 ERA in 217 innings pitched, with 220 strikeouts, and a WHIP scarcely over 1.2. So, make no mistake, Lincecum is still the real deal.

Behind him is Matt Cain, the Giants unheralded co-ace, who besides posting an ERA of 3.00 or lower year in and year out, continues to strikeout a heap of batters as he continues to get the job done at a steady pace. Last year he was 12-11 with a 2.88 ERA, his best performance in the past four seasons.


Giants Weaknesses

So can the Giants find some offense to support those arms?

If they want to make an October run they will need to dig deep after finishing 2011 dead last in runs scored.

But losing better than average bats won’t help. Only, Pablo Sandoval, Aubrey Huff, Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez return from 2011, with only Sandoval finishing with more than 14 home runs on the year, while just two other now departed Giants finished with an OPS+ of 100 or higher.

With such an anemic lineup you would have thought the Giants would have made some moves in the offseason, but they didn’t, acquiring only Melky Cabrera in exchange for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, while signing Ryan Theriot and Angel Pagan on the free agent market.

The rest of the lineup will consist of some no names from San Francisco’s minor league system, including players like Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Francisco Peguero.

Not good when you play in a place like AT&T Park that’s made for batters.


I expect more of the same for the Giants this season. More great pitching and the same ugly offense. But that’s not to say that they won’t be a contender to win the division, but once again coming up a short behind a better rounded Arizona.

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