For the Giants, the 2017 season was not one they want to remember. They finished the year with a 64-98 record which landed them in last place in the NL West. Their ace Madison Bumgarner got hurt during the season in a dirt biking accident, the offense was invisible and the 2017 season was an overall train wreck for the Giants. That being said, great organizations find a way to bounce back and the Giants are on pace to do that. They started their track back to success by landing 2 huge names in the offseason that will help their offense significantly in 2018. Evan Longoria, a 10 year major league vet, will be a huge help to not only the Giants offensive production but will also bring a leadership role to the clubhouse and help the young guys through the 162 game grind. The Giants also acquired superstar Andrew McCutchen, the explosive OF from the Pirates in what was one of the more shocking moves in the entire 2018 MLB offseason. The Giants made it very clear they were in no mood to sit and rebuild and instead were aggressive, picked up some big names and have now found themselves in a position to win in 2018.
One lead source of the Giants production in the 2018 season will come from the success of their starting rotation. The Giants pitching staff is led by the most mysterious man in baseball, Madison “Mad Bum’ Bumgarner. Mad Bum has established himself as one of the more prominent forces in all of baseball over the years and last year he hit a road bump. Mad Bum on an off day was riding a dirt bike, where he than fell off, bruised, perhaps broke a couple of ribs and strained his throwing elbow. Giants fans were furious with the southpaws irresponsible behavior and Bumgarner found himself on the DL. He is looking to make better choices and bounce back with a big 2018 campaign. He unfortunately broke a finger in his throwing hand during Spring Training, and will start the season on the DL. Not exactly an ideal situation for the Giants’ ace. Complimenting Mad Bum in the rotation is a 32 year old veteran from the Dominican Republic, Johnny Cueto. Cueto has potential to be special and has shown glimpses of greatness throughout his career, but last season that was not the case as Cueto finished the year with an 8-8 record and a mediocre 4.52 ERA. He will need to improve significantly if the Giants want to contend in a wildly talented NL West this season. The back end of the Giants rotation is decent and features Jeff Samardzija who I think is going to bounce back in a big way from the worst season of his career. This pitching staff can go one of two ways this season; they can either be very talented and successful because the talent is absolutely their, or they could be awful like they were last year. Only time will tell.
I think the key factor to the San Fransisco Giants success in 2018 is the offensive production. It is clear this offense was bad last year, but last year is last year and this year is a clean slate. Like I alluded to early, the Giants significantly improved their offense with the acquisitions of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Longoria is coming off of a 20 homer and 86 RBI season and will look to help the Giants’ power numbers that were non existent in 2017. As for McCutchen, he will help you in almost every sense of the game as he is a tremendous fielder, can hit for power, can score runs and is an overall superstar. I think these two guys alone are going to help the Giants improve by at least 20 games. That being said, this offense is balanced and will not have to depend solely on the middle. They have the best catcher in baseball in Buster Posey who will give you a .300 BA and 150 runs a season like it’s clock work, the best defensive shortstop in the NL in Brandon Crawford who can also swing the sticks and an outfielder in Hunter Pence who is looking to bounce back from a season he does not want to ever have to bring up again. Just like the Giants rotation, this Giants offense is mysterious and you will either see a really balanced offense that can hurt you on a consistent basis or a offense that will struggle to get a run across the plate.
Overall, I could not tell you where I think this team could finish. On paper, they are good enough to win 85 plus and clinch a wild card spot. Then again, last year on paper, this did not look like a team that would lose 98 games. Due to some key acquisitions in the offseason and the team getting healthy, the San Fransisco Giants will be much improved, but as for how far this team will go in the 2018 season, I think truly only time will tell and who knows maybe we are looking at the World Series champions.