Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Put A Sock In It Chicken Little



The sky is not falling.

The San Francisco Giants are 28-24, a full 2 games behind Arizona. Colorado is sitting there at 28-24 as well.

The Giants have played well at home so far going 19-9 and outscoring opponents by 29 runs. The road has not been so kind. In 24 games on the road the Giants are a not so good 9-15 and have been outscored by 31 runs. It may get worse before it gets better. 

Possibly the toughest stretch of the schedule is upcoming. The Giants play 26 of the 43 games leading up to All Star Break on the road. Seems daunting now, but if you break it down it doesn't look so bad.

May 29 - June 5
2 games vs. A's
3 games @ Cards
2 games vs. Jays

This is the calm before the storm. It's a bit wacky with the Giants having 2 at home, then 3 on road, and then 2 at home again. We've seen what the A's have to offer. The Giants just haven't been hitting with RISP. The Cardinals are next and they have had great pitching. A 3.07 team ERA leads the NL. It will be a test of patience at Busch. The Jays series is a question mark. The Giants probably have revenge on their minds so I'm not sure how those two games may go.

Prediction: 4-3

June 7 - 16
3 games @ DBacks
3 games @ Pirates
3 games @ Braves

Luckily the Giants get to start this road trip in familiar surroundings. They have already swept the DBacks in Arizona once this year. While I'm not sure that's going to happen, the road trip east looks a little less stressful with the first stop being an NL West park.

The trips to Pittsburgh and Atlanta may be a little more difficult. The Pirates are playing good ball right now, primarily because their pitching has been great. It may not have leveled off by the time the Giants come to visit. The Braves are known for great pitching but they have been great in all phases of the game this season. The Giants will have confidence after taking 3 of 4 from Atlanta back at AT&T Park. But as of now the Braves have been scorching hot at home going 15-5, and the Giants will visit at the end of a long road trip.

Prediction: 3-6

June 17 - 23
3 games vs. Padres
4 games vs. Marlins

The Giants have a seven game homestand that should help them rest up and get healthy. San Diego is the worst the NL West has to offer. The talent is just not there. The Marlins are the worst team in baseball. Right now they are 13-39. That's one out of every four games, which is all I think they will win in San Francisco.

Prediction: 5-2

June 24 - July 4
3 games @ Dodgers
3 games @ Rockies
4 games @ Reds

This is the big one. Ten games on the road. The Dodgers have been underachieving so we really don't know what to expect in late June. I hope Kershaw is not starting the opener. That would be a bad way to start a trip. Otherwise the Giants should be ok in LA. The hex that the Giants had over the Rockies is gone. Coors may very well be an advantage for the Rockies again. I just don't see them sustaining it long term.

The Reds are what scare me here. Ending a 10 game road trip with 4 July dates in Cincinnati is just brutal. It will be hot, fry an egg on the sidewalk hot. The ball flies all over the yard there. The Reds are hanging with the Cards in the NL Central so far and should be there all season. These games can either be home run derby, or a hot mess for the Giants. 

Prediction: 4-6

July 5 - 14
3 games vs. Dodgers
3 games vs. Mets
4 games @ Padres

The Giants finally get some home cookin after the long road trip. But it's right back in to the fire with 3 against the arch rival. Then 3 against the sub par Mets to close out the home schedule for the first half. The Giants travel to San Diego for 4 games leading in to the All Star Break. Hard to really know how anyone will be playing by then.

Prediciton: 6-4

If the Giants can play .500 baseball from here to the All Star break they should be in position to make noise in the second half. The last 5 champions have averaged a winning percentage of .632 for the stretch run. 

Yes the Giants may struggle a bit in the next month and a half. But that doesn't mean the season is over. This is the toughest stretch of the 2013 schedule. If the Giants come out around .500, they should be fine the rest of the way. I mean, that's what Brian Sabean is for, right?

Eric Nathanson
Catch me on Twitter: @2outhits


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