San Francisco Giants: 10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half

Ally Williams@@itsallyduhhCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2011

San Francisco Giants: 10 Bold Predictions for the Second Half

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    The All-Star break is the halfway mark for the 2011 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have had a roller coaster of a first half, and the second half should prove no different.

    Trades need to be made, players must get comfortable, and Bruce Bochy will have to make some difficult decisions. The Giants will not play it safe. These are 10 rather bold yet possible predictions as to how the Giants' second half of the season will shake out.

10. Brandon Crawford Heats Up and Figures out Major League Pitching

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    When Brandon Crawford came to San Francisco from San Jose, no one was really sure how he would do in the majors. He responded to that unease with a grand slam…but his bat cooled off through the first half of the season.

    After the All-Star break Crawford will be back with more confidence and better preparation for the big-league pitchers. He’s already seen many of them a few times so there’s a good chance he’ll be able to get into a hot streak in a few weeks.

9. Madison Bumgarner Will Dominate in the Second Half

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    If you look at Madison Bumgarner’s W-L record so far, it’s not a pretty sight. At 4-9, he seems to have done a lot worse than what is reality. Bumgarner has a 3.8 ERA but expect him to lower it as he settles himself down.

    A little run support wouldn’t hurt, either.

    Last season, Bumgarner gave up no more than three runs in every start after the break, with the exception of one start in August. He’ll regain that control in the second half of this season.

8. No More Long-Term Injuries

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    If karma was paying the Giants back for their World Series run in 2010, I think everyone is even.

    The losses of Freddy Sanchez and Buster Posey are forcing the G-Men to rely on other players to make the big plays and hits. This will happen as the Giants continue to work with what they have.

    More trades and pickups are bound to happen in the second half of the season, but as far as the rest of the Giants go, they’ll get to the end relatively unscathed.

7. The Giants Will Clinch the NL West on September 26th.

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    Last season, the Giants made San Francisco wait until the last day to start the postseason party. This season the Giants will not be going back and forth between first and second place all season.

    There will be some battles between Colorado. The  Rockies tend to heat up in the second half so the Giants need to be careful, but San Francisco will lead the standings for the majority of the season.

    They’ll clinch the division in the last series again, but this time, they’ll end the stress on the Friday night game against Colorado, and once again, send another team home empty-handed.

6. Emmanuel Burriss Will Hit at Least Three Home Runs

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    Emmanuel Burriss has been proving just how much he belongs on the team this year. As he gets more playing time, his confidence improves, and it shows both in the field and behind the plate.

    Last week, he hit his first extra-base hit, and I’m not convinced he’s going to stop there. He’s getting stronger, and as he gets more looks at the plate, he’s got a good chance to increase his stats.

    Look for a few more doubles, triples and even a few runs by the end of the season.

5. Hector Sanchez Brought Up from AAA

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    The Giants are in dire need of a catcher. Neither Eli Whiteside nor Chris Stewart are starting catchers and management will look at their own system.

    Yes, they’ve said Sanchez needs more time in the minors to develop before coming up. By the end of the season, though, he’ll at least have a shot to prove his ability.

    Who knows how well he’ll do, but he will get a chance to help out the club in the big leagues.

4. Pablo Sandoval Will End with over a .300 BA

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    Pablo Sandoval has been on fire since he came back from the DL.

    He’s on a 17-game hitting streak and shows no signs of slowing down. I see him being a big part of the Giants offense—whatever that is—for the rest of the season.

    He’ll do well enough to bump his average up to at least .300 by the end of the year.

3. The Wave Gets Banned from AT&T Park

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    No, really. Please stop.

2. Bruce Bochy Will Send the Veteran to the Bench for a Bit

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    Sometimes, all a player needs is a break and a wake up call. All-Star break=check.

    Now Bruce Bochy will let Miguel Tejada sit for a bit and let Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss do work for a while.

    When Tejada does play, he’s not going to be a huge addition to the team, but he’ll have some key hits and make some key plays when it matters most.

1. Jonathan Sanchez Will Be Trade Bait

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    Barry Zito will reclaim his spot in the pitching order. He’ll do well, and Ryan Vogelsong will continue to own the opposition. When Jonathan Sanchez comes back, it will be difficult to justify moving anyone.

    Sanchez is still a great pitcher, but when he has so many wild outings, he’s the odd man out. He’ll be used in a trade to get a big bat along the lines of Carlos Beltran or a good catcher.