Friday, August 19, 2011

4 Reasons Why the San Francisco Giants Will Win the NL West

1) The Giants have superior starting pitching.
The Giants' team ERA is currently 3.12, almost one whole run above the Dbacks' ERA, which is 4.03. Over the past 10 games, the Giants have allowed an average of 3.4 runs per game, compared to the Dbacks' average of 4.9 runs allowed. Lincecum in particular has shined, allowing just 2 runs over his last 3 starts. The Giants' pitching staff is doing their job, keeping their opponents' run totals low. The Giants just have to score more runs...

2) The Giants have impact players returning from the DL soon.
...and help for that is on the way. The Giants have unfortunately been caught in a slew of injuries. However, they have quite a few significant pieces of their offense returning to the field very soon. Carlos Beltran is expected to return next week and could possibly be the spark this offense needs. Pablo Sandoval is expected to return by next week as well, according to manager Bruce Bochy, and would likely carry this offense as he has for the majority of the season. Orlando Cabrera and Jeff Keppinger are also likely to return soon to help the Giants get back to their spot atop the division.

Not to mention Brian Wilson and Jonathan Sanchez, both of whom will eventually return and provide a boost to the already superb pitching staff.

Update: Bruce Bochy recently said that it is unlikely that Sanchez will be back this season.

3) The Giants have an easier schedule.
Their schedule for the rest of the season looks like this: Astros, Padres, Astros, Cubs, and Dbacks (all at home), then the Padres, Dodgers, Padres, and Rockies (the teams at the cellar of the NL West). Finally they wrap up the season with the Dodgers, Dbacks, and Rockies. Obviously, the critical series here are the two versus the Diamondbacks. In fact, the Diamondbacks are the only team that the Giants face for the rest of the season with a winning record.

Meanwhile, the Dbacks have to go through the Braves, Nationals, Padres, Rockies, Giants, Rockies, Padres, Dodgers, Padres, Pirates, Giants, Dodgers. Of course, like the Giants, they have a few series each against the other three NL West teams. The interesting thing, however, is that the Diamondbacks must face the Braves, Nationals, and Pirates, whereas the Giants' out-of-division series are against the Astros twice and the Cubs. The out-of-division teams that the Dbacks face are significantly better than the Astros and Cubs.

4) The Giants have experience down the stretch.
Finally, the main reason that the Giants will win the NL West is because the Giants been through this before and know what to expect. Last season, around this team, the Giants were trailing the Padres by a few games and were able to ultimately win the division. The last time the Diamondbacks were in a division race this late in the season? You'd have to look back to 2008. Stephen Drew, Chris Young, Dan Haren and Justin Upton are the only starters to still be on the team this year from the '08 squad. The Diamondbacks are young and inexperienced, and cannot match the Giants' experience from last year, when they went on to win the World Series.

Who do you think will win the NL West: Giants or Diamondbacks?

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