2011 San Francisco Giants Predictions and MLB Futures Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 3/24/2011
All hail the champions of the Major League Baseball world.
Winning the franchise’s first World Series since 1954 was an amazing accomplishment for the 2010 San Francisco Giants. They took the league by storm and it is still hard to believe that they actually had the goods to earn a ring. Their victory over Texas last October was not only stunningly easy but it was also a rallying point for all of those “free-loving hippies” on the Left Coast over all of those “gun-toting tea-baggers” in the deep South. It was a wild ride.
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But that was last year. This is this year. And winning the World Series last fall doesn’t give you a head start this spring or count for any wins this summer.
If the Giants are going to repeat they better hope that they didn’t use up all of that magic last year. Because looking at their roster they are going to need it.
Here are Doc’s Sports 2011 San Francisco Giants Predictions and MLB Futures Odds:
2010 Record: 92-70
2011 Wins Over/Under: 88.5
Odds To Win 2011 NL West: 1/1.5
Odds To Win 2011 NL Pennant: 5/1
2011 San Francisco Giants Odds to Win World Series: 9/1
Pitching: There are few compliments that I can give this group that will surpass what they have already accomplished; this team won the World Series based on the fact that their starting rotation and closer were the best in the business at the end of last year. Tim Lincecum is a Cy Young winner and is one of the best in baseball. Matt Cain has shrugged off erratic run support to continue his ascent as one of the league’s most underrated arms. And the lefty crop of Madison Bumgarner, Barry Zito and Jon Sanchez have started to find a consistent level of performance that is right near the top of second-tier southpaws in the game. The bullpen had the league’s second-best ERA last year and Brian Wilson turned out to be a loveable psychopath – a man after my own heart – that was killer in the clutch. So everything is great, right? Well, yes, as long as everyone maintains last year’s level. However, the starters and relievers enter this season with an extra month’s worth of innings on their arms. And it is not like all of the guys I mentioned haven’t gone through rough stretches at some point over the last two or three years. Even Lincecum was shaky at times in 2010, posting a season ERA a full run higher than 2009. This is a solid foundation but it is not without some cracks.
Hitting: Well, they hit when they need to. That’s about the best thing I can say about the Giants sketchy lineup. San Fran plays in a pitcher’s paradise and they play in the N.L. West (big parks, great pitching, small-ball style) so their offensive numbers are always going to be misleading and unimpressive. But last year the Giants had a lineup full of professional hitters that gave them consistently quality at-bats. And just about all of the primaries are back. Also, they will have a full year of star-to-be Buster Posey anchoring the middle of the order, so they could be better. A lot does depend on Kung-Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval, returning to 2009 form because he has the ability to be one of their top hitters. Freddy Sanchez is underrated and Cody Ross is one of my favorite players in baseball because he is one of the Top 5 or 10 most clutch hitters in the game. But swapping Miggy Tejeda for Juan Uribe and/or Edgar Renteria is a huge downgrade. Tejeda is a liability at the plate and in the field. And when I look up and down this lineup I see some nice pieces but no one that can carry the group. That was their strength last season (not being overly dependant on one guy). But it could be a weakness this year (no top-end offensive talents, other than maybe Posey).
Key Stat: For as much slack as the offense takes they were either right at or better than the National League average in five key metrics: batting average (above), runs per game (equal), at-bats per home run (above) and OPS (above).
2011 San Francisco Giants Predictions: Last year San Francisco caught a rush. On July 3 they were playing .500 ball before they closed the regular season on a sick 51-21 run. They ran through the playoffs and looked dominating while taking down Texas. But we’ve seen this out of National League West teams before and the next year is generally never as pretty. Better teams than last year’s Giants – think about the 100-win Giants team of 2003 or the 98-win Arizona team of 2002 – couldn’t repeat as division champions and only three teams in the last 12 years have won the West in back-to-back years. I think the Giants will experience the hangover that plagues so many title teams, in all leagues, and even though I think they will clearly be in the West mix I think they are going to be bankroll busters by the middle of the summer.
2011 San Francisco Giants MLB Season Win Totals Predictions: ‘Under’ 88.5. The margin of error in the N.L. West is razor thin because of the type of baseball that is played out there. San Diego won 90 games last year and Colorado was rolling before a late collapse. The Dodgers shouldn’t be in as much turmoil. The Giants aren’t going to fall off the map. But I think that they come back to earth a bit and that they won’t win this division.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB cappers in the country and has turned a profit in four of the last five years on the diamond with his baseball picks. He closed 2010 with $6,000 in earnings over the last four months and is looking forward to a great upcoming season against the MLB odds. Click here for more information on his MLB picks.
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