The rest of the National League isn’t exactly a cakewalk.
The Nationals and Reds, both division winners last year, could be even better in 2013.
Despite losing Chipper Jones to retirement, the Braves might also be better this year, with the additions of the Upton brothers and continued progress of young stars such as Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman.
And for one reason or another, the Cardinals never seem to go away.
So the playoffs, which could closely resemble last year’s field since only the Dodgers appear poised for significant improvement in the National League, will be a challenging gauntlet for the Giants.
But if Tim Lincecum returns to pre-2012 form and the rest of his rotation mates maintain their level of performance from the last couple years, San Francisco’s pitching will overpower any foe in the playoffs—as it has the last two times the Giants reached the playoffs.
As for the American League foe, it’s not likely to be a team any better than who the Giants will face in NLDS or NLCS.
The Tigers are basically the same team as last year. The Angels added Josh Hamilton, but like the Yankees, their pitching depth is questionable.
San Francisco’s biggest challenge could actually come from a smaller market team, such as Oakland or Tampa Bay. If that proves to be the case, the Giants will have experience and offensive depth on their side.