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Who will have the better 2020: Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija, or Smith?

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The Giants are bad, so this week, FanPulse voters were given something else to consider.

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Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs - Game One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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With the Giants having won just 8 of their last 24 games, a FanPulse survey of just how people feel about the current team seemed like a waste of time. So, a new question was added to the survey for Week 25.

Before I get to that, here’s how the Giants organization and Bruce Bochy himself fared against a potentially discontented voting body:

Confidence in team’s direction: 79% (+8%)
Bruce Bochy’s approval rating: 91% (+7%)

Now, it’s probably not much of a surprise that both the organization and the manager saw a decent bump in their numbers after taking two out of three against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. Yeah, that would do it. Some semblance of hope. Next week’s results should be interesting. Losing three out of four to the Pirates was not a great follow-up.

But in between these two generic surveys, I got the results to a poll question I slipped in last week:

Who will have the better 2020?

  • Madison Bumgarner
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Will Smith

Now, there wasn’t any room to define “better”, but at the same time, the question seems self-evident. If you want to go by WAR you can. If you’re a believer that only players on winning teams can have “good” seasons, then you’re setup there with two of the four options being free agents. Maybe your bar is “All-Star selection”. I would think you’re setup there, too.

Anyway, the poll results were unambiguous:

  • Madison Bumgarner - 57.35%
  • Johnny Cueto - 27.94%
  • Jeff Samardzija - 4.41%
  • Will Smith - 10.29%

Madison Bumgarner on a new team, potentially, would probably stand to have a chance of being even better than he’s been this year, and I wonder if the Giants do let him go but keep Will Smith if it will be the case that Cueto, Samardzija, and Smith will combine for a better WAR than Bumgarner. I wonder if that question would’ve brought a different result: Will Cueto, Samardzija, and Smith combine to have a better season than Madison Bumgarner?

Generally speaking combine three solid players and their output is likely to be greater than any individual player. But that wasn’t the question!

Without knowing what FanPulse voters had in mind when they made their selection, they’re bullish on Madison Bumgarner’s 2020, compared to Cueto, Samardzija, and Smith. There are many reasons why Bumgarner would be the obvious choice.

He and Smith will both be in their age-30 seasons in 2020, while Cueto will be in his age-34 and Samardzija in his age-35. Even if totally healthy, they’re in their decline, and Smith is a reliever, typically a position with volatile results year to year. If you didn’t vote, where is your mind on this?

If you’d like to vote in the next FanPulse survey, sign up here!