With the season set to open up in Arizona in 114 days, it’s time for some BOLD predictions!
Bold Prediction #1- The Giants Win Their First 20 Games of the Season
The only real challenge on the schedule in the first 20 games of the season is the dominant pitching staff that the Phillies bring to the mound. Yes I know that the Diamondbacks might give the Giants an early season test, but I’m going to assume that last year was a fluke because I still can’t get over what happened last season. With a healthy Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez, topped off with a lean Panda, this prediction could possibly be within grasp. I look for the Giants to start the season similar to how they began their 2010 season, 6-1 through their first seven games. The Reds, Mets, Rockies, and the Padres aren’t going to give the Giants pitching staff any concerns, well maybe in the haunted Coors Field, but aside from that, nothing is going to make Tim Lincecum think twice.
Bold Prediction #2- Tim Lincecum Wins His Third CY Young Award
This is not much of a bold prediction considering Timmy’s abilities, but he hasn’t won the award since the 2009-2010 campaign, so I might as well throw the thought out there. With a somewhat rejuvenated lineup with more speed included, the Giants should give their ace the run support he truly deserves after a MISERABLE 2011. Even if the Giant’s offense is average, Timmy will win at least 18 games. Let’s start dreaming for a second here. What if the Giants offense magically gave Timmy an average of four runs each time he toed the rubber? Man, the Freak would win a minimum of 25 games, and be crowned the NL Cy Young award winner in a blink of an eye. OK back to reality, time for the next prediction.
Bold Prediction #3- Brandon Belt Hits 30 Homerun, While Playing His First Full Season for The G-Men
He definitely has the talent to achieve this accomplishment, but the obvious question will be if he gets a full season worth of playing time. With the way things went last year, I would highly doubt he gets a full season worth of at-bats, but don’t count it out either. Now for the sake of this article, let’s assume that the baby giraffe gets 500-600 at bats this upcoming season. Well, he hit nine homeruns in exactly 187 official at bats last year. If you do the calculations, he would end up with approximately 29 homeruns if he gets at least 580 at bats. So as you can see, this goal is clearly within reach for the highly touted prospect.
Bold Prediction #4- Pablo Sandoval Finishes Top Three in MVP Voting
With the way Pablo wrapped up last season, the MVP award will be in his hands somewhere in the near future. If Pablo follows his offseason workout plan, comes to spring training having lost more weight that he did last fall, then you can expect big things from the budding third basemen. Personally I think he should have taken home the gold glove award for N.L. third basemen, but not winning the award will only make him want to work harder this offseason. If the injury bug doesn’t bite him again and Buster Posey is batting in front or behind him, then Pablo should have an MVP caliber year, leading the Giants back where they belong, the PLAYOFFS!
Bold Prediction #5- The Giants Blow Right Through The Playoffs And Win The World Series.
The N.L. West is the first task, but let’s assume that they win the N.L. West, and advance to the playoffs. With the rotation they have, including a Madison Bumgarner that will mature even more in 2012, the G-Men have the potential to land right back where they were in 2010, the World Series. If there are no serious injuries to any of the core players, the Giants should have no problem winning their division, setting them up for a wild postseason run. Man, that just gives me the chills when I type that!
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