San Francisco Giants 2019 Season Preview: Fantasy Analysis

2018 Record: 73 – 89

Projected 2019 Record: 75 – 87

2018 Recap & 2019 Team Outlook

The 2018 Giants team looked somewhat promising coming into the season. Yet after finishing at the 73 – 89 mark, it is evident that a change in the organization needs to happen. After all, it is not easy to have back to back rocky seasons after winning 3 World Series titles in 5 seasons.

The Giants were injury stricken for a large majority of the 2018 season, particularly on the pitching side of things. Important starters Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija were both out of parts of the season. Yet the organizations other pitchers held strong and the Giants finished middle of the pack in team ERA at the end of the season.

Their hitting, however, was far from stellar. They scored a total of just 603 runs throughout the season, good for 29thin the MLB. The only team worse than the Giants offensively were the Marlins. If the club is to turn things around in 2019, a better lineup and more offensive depth will be a major factor.

2019 Giants Storylines

Manager Bruce Bochy announced this spring that the 2019 season would be the last with the Giants. While this is certainly heartbreaking for Giants fans, they hope that Bochy’s last season will spark within their club a desire to rise up after two rough seasons.

However, the Giants first need to answer some important questions. First of all, what is the deal with the blurred line between the bullpen and starting rotation? It seems that all of the Giants pitchers seem to somewhat fall into both categories. The team looks to find some consistency in 2019.

Another pressing question is how will the Giants be able to revive their lineup after making little to no moves in the offseason? Fans hope that the Giants veterans, players like Crawford and Posey, will lead this charge. Or will it be one of their few newer acquisitions, such as Evan Longoria?

Giants Starting Pitchers

Madison Bumgarner Bumgarner has had quite a historic career to say the least. His glory years certainly came as he single-handedly led his team to 3 World Series wins in the span of 5 years. Fans hope he can bring the glory back in 2019 and more importantly avoid the DL.

Dereck Rodriguez This young stud is likely to be the number 2 guy in the Giants rotation this year. The son of hall of famer Pudge, he put up good numbers in his rookie year, going 6 – 4 with a 2.81 ERA. Look for even better numbers from the 26-year-old this season.

Derek Holland Right behind the first Dereck in the rotation will be the other Derek, Derek Holland. Holland has been in the majors for 10 years now and was signed in the offseason by the Giants a year ago (from the White Sox). He has shown signs of slowing down recently but turned in a decent first season with San Francisco.

Chris Stratton The 28-year-old will be playing his fourth MLB season in 2019 and his fourth in a Giants uniform. He had a tough 2018 season, going 10 – 10 with a ERA over 5.00. He looks to turn things around this upcoming season and become and more prominent part of this rotation.

Andrew Suarez The Giants had high hopes for Suarez during his rookie season. Unfortunately, the numbers posted by the 26-year-old weren’t too impressive. He finished at 7 – 13 with a ERA of about 4.50. He will look to improve those stats in his second MLB season.

Jeff Samardzija/Drew Pomeranz It will be interesting to see where these two will fit into the rotation this season. Samardzija spent almost all of last season injured and will likely have trouble staying off the DL this season as well. Pomeranz comes over to the Giants from the Red Sox, where he spent his last season pretty much entirely in the bullpen. His numbers were awful. He finished 2 – 6 with an ERA over 6.00. I doubt either of these guys will get much starting action this season.

Giants Relievers

The Giants relievers put up decent numbers in 2018. Overall, they went 31 – 30 with an ERA slightly under 4.00, putting them at 8thoverall as a bullpen in the MLB. And they are likely to post similar numbers in 2019. Look out for strong seasons from southpaw Tony Watson and righty Mark Melancon. Giants fans also hope to cure their late inning troubles with a new closer in 2019. This will likely be Will Smith. It will also be interesting to see how the NL West deals with the large number of lefties in San Francisco’s relief core.

Giants Hitters

The Giants hitting struggled in 2018. In fact, the offense more than struggled. It was downright awful. The highest batting average of any player was Andrew McCutchen who barely hit over .250 (not to mention he was only with the Giants for half the season). No one hit more than 16 home runs or knocked in 55 RBIs.

While this is partly due to injury, there is a certain change in philosophy that needs to happen for the team’s offense to start succeeding again. Players need to turn in more quality at-bats and focus more on getting on base.

This will start with veteran Giants Buster Posey (assuming he gets off the DL) and Brandon Crawford. The two had rocky seasons in 2018 but they both know what it takes to win a World Series. This goes for Brandon Belt and Joe Panik as well.

It will also be interesting to see how effective Evan Longoria is in the lineup. The third baseman has without a doubt lots of talent but seems to be less and less productive as he gets older.

While the Giants have the materials to succeed offensively, doubts continue to loom about if they can utilize those materials this upcoming season.

Projected Starting Lineup:

  1. Steven Duggar
  2. Joe Panik
  3. Evan Longoria
  4. Buster Posey
  5. Brandon Belt
  6. Brandon Crawford
  7. Mac Williamson
  8. Chris Shaw
  9. Pitcher

2019 Noteworthy Fantasy PitchersMadison Bumgarner – There have been more injuries to Madison Bumgarner’s name of late, pitching under 140 innings in the last two days. His strikeout stuff has depreciated, and all of a sudden his fantasy value is sinking after being a reliable lefty. For where you can get him in drafts, he still can bring some potential stability to your roster as a second or third arm even. He pitches in a spacious ballpark and division, and should hover around the upper threes for an ERA. Unfortunately his numbers are similar to Dallas Keuchel, minus the groundball rate, meaning the upside is gone.

Dereck Rodriguez – 
The San Francisco rotation leaves us two viable fantasy arms, as Dereck Rodriguez turned out a strong rookie season. However those numbers are not going to hold with the .257 BABIP and 4.58 SIERA. Yes there is going to be some down starts, but he is going to have strong enough matchups to hold him on your team and use him sporadically. Rodriguez is going to have to work on inducing more soft contact given the lack of strikeout stuff.

2019 Noteworthy Fantasy Hitters

Buster Posey – 
San Francisco has one of the worst offenses in baseball right now, as they are relying on a core that took them to three World Series titles. Buster Posey is looking healthy, and at a catcher position that is thinned out, Posey still offers up value. He offers up a strong contact bat, and brings a steady source of runs and RBI. He isn’t going to get you near 20 HR seasons like a few years ago, but 10-15 isn’t out of the question.

Noah Wadhwani lives in Sacramento, California but grew up in Boston as a die-hard New England sports fan. He is currently a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley and is intending to major in applied mathematics or economics. Aside from sports, Noah’s other main passion is travel and has spent time living abroad in Denmark and Argentina.

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