We stopped believin’ in the San Francisco Giants’ even-year championship magic on a heart-wrenching night last October. So all this faith, numerology, and baseball superstition regarding odd-numbered years being the Giants’ “off years” while even-numbered years entitled us to a title is now officially outta here. The San Francisco Giants begin their 2017 regular season with a 1:10 p.m. Sunday afternoon away game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Las Vegas odds have the Giants as unlikely 12-1 underdogs to win the World Series.
You guys. SFist is here to inform to inform you that the Giants are definitely going to win the World Series this year.
As was the case last year, National League rivals the Chicago Cubs are the favorites to win the title again. Also as last year, the despicable Los Angeles Dodgers — for whom the illegal-looking Sergio Romo now pitches — are an objectively speaking better team on paper, and likelier to win the NL West. But those teams don’t have what the Giants have, that time-tested combination of Wild Card wiliness, clutch performance in elimination games, and the three-dimensional baseball chess mastermind known as skipper Bruce Bochy.
Your big new Giants free agent addition is All-Star closer Mark Melancon (pronounced meh-LAN-sen), a fix brought in seemingly to prevent the blowing of three-run leads in ninth innings. Our old friend Barry Bonds is back as a “special advisor” — he is curiously less hulking these days! Draw your own conclusions. And FYI your local sportsball network CSN Bay Area is now called NBC Sports Bay Area.
Also note that the Giants are playing another exhibition game against the Oakland A's tonight at 7:15 p.m., the second of two at AT&T Park (tickets here). And their home opener will be on Monday April 10 against the Diamondbacks, at 1:35 p.m. (tickets here).
With the notable exceptions of Romo and Angel Pagan being off the team, the Giants’ roster is pretty similar to that of last year’s. Serious concerns remain in place about the team’s outfield, as the oft-injured Hunter Pence currently appears to be the only reliable outfielder. The addition of Alameda native Jimmy Rollins at shortstop would have been a wonderful story, but he did not even make the team.
So why are these Giants going definitely going to win the World Series? Let us begin with the starting pitching rotation, which remains elite thanks to MadBum, Johnny Cueto, and the addition-by-subtraction loss of the dreadful liability Jake Peavy. Samardzija remains solid, and the up-and-down Matt Cain has promising replacements waiting in the wings should he falter. The bullpen remains iffy, but it’s as sure as seagulls the team will bolster that squad with a mid-season trade, and the addition of Melancon will undoubtedly improve on the Giants’ 28-27 record in one-run games.
So do stop counting on the calendar year’s divisibility by two to determine whether or not the Giants will win the World Series. And more importantly, do not stop believin’.