2011 MLB Predictions: San Francisco Giants Will Repeat in NL West
2011 MLB Predictions Have Giants and Colorado Rockies as Front Runners for NL West
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series last season with the best pitching staff in baseball and a slew of timely hitting in the postseason.
Now they look to get back there.
But they would be wise to win the division outright again, and 92 wins might not be enough this time around.
The Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals could all stand a better chance at the National League Wild Card.
The Colorado Rockies are expected to give the Giants a run for their money in the division, with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki poised for another monster season and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez right there with him.
The Rockies' 1-5 hitters are going to be dangerous: Dexter Fowler, Seth Smith, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, and Todd Helton.
And don't think Helton is getting too old for this Major League baseball thing.
As one scout told USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz, "I love their lineup. 1B Todd Helton has revitalized his bat speed and is driving the ball a lot more than last year."
But the Rockies have question marks in the form of Jorge De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin, who could either excel or prove inconsistent and irritating once again for the Rockies in 2011.
Beyond Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies' pitching staff is a bit suspect.
As for the Giants, they return the same starting staff that won them a championship, with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner leading the way.
And no, Barry Zito gets zero props.
The Giants did lose Juan Uribe, who was a spark plug for the club, and now they're stuck with Miguel Tejada, who I have little faith in both offensively and defensively these days, but they also have a revitalized Pablo Sandoval, who, if anyone can remember such a time, used to hit the cover off the ball.
He's showed up at spring training looking like a new man.
As a scout told Ortiz, "3B Pablo Sandoval lost 30 pounds, and it shows. He could be in for a big year."
The Giants also have a secret weapon in prospect Brandon Belt, who manager Bruce Bochy has compared to Buster Posey.
Said the scout, "They're the best team I've seen in the Cactus League."
It is because of all of this that I see the Giants repeating as NL West champs.
For Zach Greubel's take on who will lead the pack in the NL West, go here.
Most recent updates:
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?