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San Francisco Giants Betting – Don’t Overlook The Sneaky Giants

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 4/11/2012 3:55:58 PM

Most online betting sharps didn’t give San Francisco much of a chance in the World Series two years ago, but they won it over Texas and even though they took a step backwards last season, the Giants have the tools to be a pesky darkhorse in the National League in 2012.

The Lineup

Only Seattle scored fewer runs than the Giants in 2011, and they were 28th in batting average. The Giants lost Carlos Beltran to St. Louis, but they did add center-fielder Angel Pagan from the New York Mets and right-fielder Melky Cabrera from Kansas City. The Giants still have third baseman Pablo Sandoval to pair with left-fielder Aubrey Huff in the middle of the lineup and they’ll have catcher Buster Posey back after he missed most of the 2011 campaign with a broken leg suffered in a play at the plate (the Giants have since asked Posey not to block the plate in those situations). The pieces are in place for the Giants to have an improved lineup and while they’ll never be compared with the likes of the New York Yankees or Texas Rangers, San Francisco has good enough pitching that the hits just have to be timely and they have to cash in on their scoring opportunities. The Giants would also do well to get a little more speed on the basepaths as they were 24th in stolen bases last season, and since they aren’t an overly powerful team, they’ll have to generate runs via other methods.

Ryan Theriot came over from St. Louis and he is probably the Giants’ best bat off the bench; he also adds some veteran leadership and has won a World Series before, and he is a solid fielder, where the Giants were 14th in success percentage in 2011.

The Pitching

Everyone knows the Giants’ MLB betting odds are predicated on their pitching and specifically, their rotation. You would be hard-pressed to find many teams with a better duo at the top of the rotation than two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who just signed a huge extension and will have that to live up to. Madison Bumgarner is coming along nicely in the No.3 spot, while Barry Zito is still capable of doing a job in the fourth slot, although his contract still ranks as one of the worst in baseball history. The fifth spot will probably go to Ryan Vogelsong after he returns to the group after a back problem, and that part of the team is pretty much set in stone. It all starts with the horses up front, Lincecum and Cain, and the Giants have a chance to beat anyone in the major leagues at least twice through their rotation.

Sergio Romo, Santiago Castilla, Ramon Ramirez and Jeremy Affeldt are all back, as is Javier Lopez and the latter two give the bullpen a left-handed edge. The Giants will hope that closer Brian Wilson is healthy and back to his best because even though they still saved 79% of their chances (good for fourth in the majors), there wasn’t a fear of the San Francisco lineup without Wilson at the back end. That should change this season.

Intangibles

Bruce Bochy enters his sixth season with the Giants and he did a fine job holding the team together in the face of injuries last season, and Lincecum wasn’t at his best, and he didn’t get Beltran until later in the season. The team seems to respond to his methods and that will always give them a chance because even though these men are professionals, the best teams are the ones that listen to their managers and trust their judgment; the Giants seem to do that with Bochy.
The Giants are right in the middle of the major leagues in terms of average age (28.6 years, 15th in the majors), and many players have the experience of the 2010 World Series win, so experience shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever.

How It Will Play Out

You can find the Giants as an MLB betting darkhorse to win the National League pennant and World Series, and they should do battle with Arizona and Colorado for the crown in the National League West. They have to use their speed  to get more runs in after losing Beltran’s bat, but they know that the pitching will be fine and that will allow the Giants to take a few more chances.

Look for the Giants to be active ahead of the trade deadline and they could even get another bat, like they did with Beltran last season. If they do that, they have a very good chance to come out of the West. Check out San Francisco’s sports betting value.

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