The San Francisco Giants are coming off a disappointing 3-7 road trip where they played the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs. The Giants have better records than both the Rangers and the Braves and have a similar record to the Cubs.
They ended the road trip by getting swept by the Cubs in their four-game series. The Giants entered the series with a half-game lead over the Cubs in the race for the second wild card spot in the National League, and they finished the series with a three-and-a-half game deficit.
After an off day yesterday, the Giants now begin a horrid stretch of games over the next few weeks, all against teams that currently have a winning record (Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs again, the Cardinals again, and Los Angeles Dodgers). Almost half of those games are on the road too.
In addition to the quality teams they’ll be playing, they’ll also be facing some incredibly talented pitchers along the way, including Scott Kazmir, Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Gerrit Cole, the Cardinals’ impressive starting pitchers, and more.
After that, the Giants finish off the month of September facing mostly NL West teams (and games against the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics), but those will still be crucial games towards the end of the season.
In order to survive a stretch like this, the Giants need improvement in two areas, starting pitching and depth (particularly in the infield), and they need to stay healthy. We’ll first discuss the Giants’ need for improved starting pitching.