Are the Giants a real playoff threat or are they just a middle of the road club?
Accusocre which puts out weekly updates of simulations to determine the probability of a team making the playoffs pegs the Giants at 16.2%. They are currently fourth among their rivals in the National League west.
I have to say that at this point I would say that 16% feels about right. There is certainly things to like about this club but man their sure are a lot of weaknesses that are here and don't seem to be going away.
First let's go over the positives.
This team still has one of the best pitching staff's in baseball. 1-4 they match up with anyone and if Madison Bumgarner is here to stay he certainly could be a very strong 5th starter.
Another thing that goes hand in hand with the great pitching is that the Giants are good at run prevention period. The defense that the team fields behind the strong staff has been solid with some really nice performances from guys like Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez.
Another positive fir the team has been Aubrey Huff, a guy that was left for dead and has excelled in the first half of this season and for his career he has normally been a strong second half player so there is hope that he can keep this up or possibly get stronger with the warm weather.
There is no more getting around them so I present the teams glaring weaknesses.
The team has trouble playing from behind. This is a team that is built to score only a handful of runs per game and doesn't have a whole lot of big innings but rather one that goes station to station and plays small ball to drive runners in.
This seems to kill the team when the pitching isn't top notch. They give up a few runs early and after that a 3 run deficit seems like climbing Mt. Everest. The team doesn't give up but it does feel like when they are down 3 or more the game is out of reach and that only a miracle can bring them back.
This was on full display in the last 2 games against the Red Sox. The Giants gave up early runs and then the rest of the game they were pressing to try to get back into it which doesn't suit the team the Giants have assembled.
Pulling on this thread a little bit more and we see that the Giants offense is not very good. They are closer to league average then they were last season but they are still not a good team that will score a lot runs this year.
When it comes to wins and losses if the pitching is good that shouldn't make that big a difference but it could mean a lot of close games and in close games sometimes luck and random noise plays a large factor in who wins and looses. Luck is not something that can be predicted and it certainly doesn't look like the Giants have done all that well when luck is a factor.
Another weakness is that the pitching staff and the bullpen specifically are walking too many batters. For a team that often has little margin for error this is a big factor in why they are not performing as well as they could and in my opinion should.
Maybe I am just in a pessimistic mood but the torture routine of the 2010 Giants is getting to me, but I am hooked and I am invested.
One last thought Beat LA. Beat those filthy bums real bad. A good Dodger beating would go a long way toward lifting everyone's spirits.