It’s an even year. And this is a really good team.
So there’s no surprise that the San Francisco Giants, who host the Orioles for three games starting Friday night, are considered one of the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series.
The Giants looked like they were going to roll into the postseason, but they’ve hit a speedbump, going just 8-16 since the All-Star Break and, subsequently, allowing the Los Angeles Dodgers back into the National League West race.
But they’ve gotten some injured players back recently – namely second baseman Joe Panik and outfielder Hunter Pence – and they added some reinforcements at the trade deadline: infielder/outfielder Eduardo Nunez, lefty Matt Moore and reliever Will Smith.
Longtime Giants beatwriter Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News says this is the most talented team he has covered in 20 years in the sport. And Baggarly chronicled the Giants teams that won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
In this week’s “Around The Beat” podcast, Baggarly breaks down the trade that brought Moore to the Giants and explains why a team that seemingly had a deep rotation would give up a young and popular infielder like Matt Duffy for another starting pitcher.
Baggarly goes deeper into that rotation and says this is the year that Madison Bumgarner, who pitches against the Orioles on Saturday, could claim the National League Cy Young Award.
Baggarly details what makes Giants manager Bruce Bochy so successful – spoiler alert Orioles fans, it sounds a lot like the formula that Buck Showalter follows.
He also suggests which Giant would be included on his NL MVP ballot right now, and it’s not catcher Buster Posey.
You should listen to Baggarly. He knows his stuff. If you don’t trust me, then trust Alex Trebek.
Intrigued? Check out the podcast.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB