San Francisco Giants 2019 Fantasy Projections – Painstakingly Painful by the Bay
During the last decade, it was seemingly a foregone conclusion that during even years the San Francisco Giants would win the World Series. A streak of three even-year titles ended in 2016 with an NLDS loss to the eventual world champion Chicago Cubs.
Even during the three lean years, 2011, 2013 and 2015, the Giants were respectable. While 2017 was another odd year without lofty expectations, it turned out to be the leanest year in more than three decades for San Francisco.
They broke with trends in 2018, not even challenging for a National League playoff spot. Here is a rundown of the 2018 season, plus some insight into how the San Francisco Giants stack up for fantasy lineup purposes.
San Francisco Giants 2018 Recap
San Francisco wasn't awful in any particular category in 2018, they just weren't overly good in any either. Pitching and fielding ranks were about in the middle of baseball, as too were most of their hitting stats.
They managed to get runners on base, occasionally, but had a difficult time pushing them across the plate. What it meant was the second worst scoring team in baseball. When your pitching staff is producing average results, but you have problems scoring, your prospects of winning are going to be less than average.
Therefore, it isn't too surprising that the Giants finished 2018 with 73 wins and 16 games under .500. It was an uninspiring season by an uninspiring baseball team. To say that the San Francisco Giants were a rather boring team in 2018 would likewise be an understatement.
2019 Fantasy Pitchers Projections – The Best of the Giant Staff
When it comes to uninspiring, the Giant's pitching staff did little to change that assessment of their season. They had one pitcher win double-digit games. Every starting pitcher, but two, ended up with a losing record on the season.
Chris Stratton was one of those two starters, but he could only break-even at 10-10. His ERA was over 5.00 and his WHIP was even more uninspiring at 1.43. He didn't strike out a lot of hitters, and opposing teams hit .273 against him on the season.
The best ERA and WHIP numbers were produced by the only San Francisco starter to win more games than they lost. Dereck Rodriquez, son of Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriquez, pitched surprisingly well in 19 starts.
Rodriquez wasn't on the fantasy radar at the start of the season, but six victories against 4 losses and a 2.81 ERA made him the most fantasy-worthy Giant hurler by season's end. What really hurt the Giant pitching prospects was another lean year by staff ace Madison Bumgarner.
After six consecutive seasons with at least 30 starts, the Giant workhorse has made only 36 total starts the last two seasons. While his ERA is still serviceable, it is not in line with the four straight seasons under 3.00 that is remained from 2013 through 2016.
Mad Bum still produces a lot of swings and misses, but he hasn't been the same dominating fantasy ace that he was when he was winning World Series MVP honors. There are some who feel he is such a good pitcher that retooling his approach will again make him one of the best in baseball.
When you come with the pedigree of Bumgarner, you're almost a foregone conclusion to make some impact on a fantasy roster. He also could be a very intriguing candidate for comeback player of the year conversations.
Andrew Suarez and Jeff Samardzija will round out the Giants starting staff, and neither has done anything to elicit much confidence going forward. Samardzija was once an all star with the Cubs, but everything from ERA to WHIP have ballooned in recent years.
He has also been a hard luck pitcher during his career as a starter, posting a winning record only one time. Suarez started 29 games in his rookie season, but he did nothing to excite the fantasy world with his performance.
2019 Fantasy Hitter Projections – The Best Bats by the Bay
As uninspiring as the Giant pitchers were, their hitting was even more lackluster. The best batting average out of their starting hitters was Andrew McCutcheon's .255, and he's no longer on the team.
Buster Posey had the best batting average of any Giant who stepped into the box more than 100 times. Posey managed to hit a respectable .284 in 105 games, but his home run total fell to a woeful five for the entire year.
In fact, Evan Longoria led the Giants in long balls with 16. It was Longo's lowest home run output in six seasons, and it went with his lowest batting average in seven. Hunter Pence bid farewell to the Bay Area, and while his magnanimous personality will be missed, his .226 final average simply wasn't how he envisioned ending his Giants career.
If not for uninspiring, the Giants hitters were consistent. Across the middle of the batting order, Alen Hanson, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and McCutcheon, they hit .252, .253,.254,.254,.255 respectfully.
One thing the Giants were offensively was consistent. The problem was, they were consistently bad. Posey usually comes with dual-eligibility in fantasy formats at both catcher and first base. That makes him, and the possibility of a bounce-back season a viable fantasy option.
Panik was beat up in 2018, so he has some appeal as a filler at second base. The problem with putting too much confidence in anyone on the Giants roster of bats is that no one in their lineup intimidates big league pitchers. If opponents play the statistics and bypass any hotspot in the Giant's order, San Francisco will repeat 2018's difficulties scoring runs.
Fantasy Rank for the San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner is a hard prospect to pass up in fantasy drafts. Stratton may eventually be a viable middle-tier arm, but the jury is still out on the productivity of the remaining Giant hurlers. There isn't anything awe-inspiring in bullpen to add hope that leads will stay leads when the starters exit.
Without anyone who really makes opposing pitchers plan to work around, San Francisco provides even less for fantasy batting orders. Posey could be in line for a comeback season, but everyone else is second-tier at best.
The Bottom Line for the San Francisco Giants
If fans thought that 2018 might be the return of the Giant's even year success, they were soundly disappointed. If they think that 2019 may somehow break the cycle of bad odd numbered years, they may be disappointed even more. The Giants have an average pitching staff, and an even less productive offense. It could be a painstakingly painful season by The Bay.