Fantasy

San Francisco Giants: Fantasy Values a Week Ahead

A week ahead look for the San Francisco Giants.

The San Francisco Giants have had one of the worst months of baseball in a very long time. They only won one series and couldn’t string two wins together. Playing against division rivals, the Giants totaled an 8-15 record. Against Arizona (3-3), San Diego (2-4), Colorado (1-6), and a split versus Los Angeles (2-2).

The hitting couldn’t be at a worse level than it is right now. According to the stats on MLB.com, there is only one player who has a high enough batting average that can make the top 50 and that is Joe Panik (.299). Buster Posey is hitting well (.348) but does not have the plate appearances to qualify. The most homers are from Brandon Belt (4), but that doesn’t include him in the top 50.

Belt also is the leader for the Giants in RBI with 11. Both Panik and Hunter Pence have come across the plate 26 times which places them for 50th on the list. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Giants are not hitting the ball.

Giants pitching

With that said, how goes the pitching department? Again the only player stands out and that’s Johnny Cueto who has been an absolute stud. He has four wins (tied for second). Cueto’s ERA is not acceptable at 4.86 but only because he got ripped in Colorado and in Arizona. However, these two ballparks are at the very top in allowing runs.

As for the rest of the pitchers, it hasn’t been all that great at the top of the pitching chart. Madison Bumgarner (0-3 3.00 ERA) is injured (broken collarbone) and won’t return until All-Star break. Jeff Samardzija (0-4 6.32 ERA), Matt Moore (1-3 4.80 ERA) have both been garbage. However, take a look at Matt Cain (2-0 2.30 ERA) and Ty Blach (0-1 2.55 ERA) who took over for the injured Bumgarner.

Consider Cain as an option to target on the waiver wire. He has gone from a 5.9 ownership rate to a 20.5 over the last week. As for Blach, when Bumgarner returns, he should continue to be part of the rotation. He has been pitching that well. It’s very possible for him to replace Samardzija or Moore as either one has not done much in this early part of the season.

Starting Wednesday, Samardzija will be facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Dodgers come in the middle of the pack when it comes to hitting, so they should have no issues ripping Samardzija at home.

The Dodgers will send out Julio Urias who has only one start this season and a 1.59 ERA and one earned run in 5.2 innings. Urias did have a nice season last year with a 5-2 record and a 3.39 ERA, so it’s probably a good idea to fade Giants hitters.

On the road

San Francisco will play Cincinnati on Friday. Here is where you may want to use the some of the Giants hitters as they face starter Bronson Arroyo who has been awful. Arroyo has five starts and has won two and lost two. However, he has a 7.20 ERA and has had two of his three worst starts at home. In those three starts, he has given up 10 runs in eight innings, including two home runs.

Cain will be the starter, in his first four starts, he only gave up four runs in 23 innings. The Padres did get to him by scoring four runs in just four innings. The Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati does not give up many runs as they are tied for 19th, but the Reds are an above average hitting team.

On May 6th, the Giants will be sending Blach to the mound. Blach in his first two starts has only given up five runs in 17.2 innings. A big key to his success has been keeping the ball from exiting the stadium. He has not allowed one home run in his near 18 pitchable innings.

In the next two games, the Reds haven’t chosen a scheduled starter, but following rotation, they will have Tim Adelman pitch. In his 15.1 innings pitched he has given up eight earned runs and five home runs. Get those Giant hitters such as Pence, Posey, and Belt into your lineups.

Following would be Scott Feldman who has been steady for the Reds. He has a 3.25 ERA in  27.2 innings. Feldman has been particularly tough at home with 16.2 innings pitched and allowing just six earned runs for a 3.33 ERA. Those Giants hitters may find it tough to get anything going. Cueto should get the starting nod for San Francisco, and he is an easy plug-in.

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