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Week 6: What to watch for, and how to watch it

We’re at the halfway mark.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are at the halfway mark of the 2020 MLB season. They’ve played exactly 30 games, with exactly 30 remaining.

They’re not in ideal position, but truthfully, they have to be decently happy with where they are.

Before the season started, I wrote that the Giants could easily be out of the postseason race after a few weeks. Half of their first 20 games were against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros (arguably the top teams in baseball), with all 10 of those on the road.

But they survived, and even though they hit a rough patch and fell to 8-16, they finished the first half on a furious pace, and have to pretty happy with where they are entering Act 2, which is a good bit easier than Act 1, albeit not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

They start the second half the way they started the first one: With a series against the Dodgers. But first, an off day, which I’m they’re very thankful for.

The schedule

Monday, 8/24: OFF
Tuesday, 8/25: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, 8/26: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:45 p.m.
Thursday, 8/27: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 5:05 p.m.
Friday, 8/28: @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Saturday, 8/29: @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 5:10 p.m.
Sunday, 8/30: @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 1:10 p.m.

How to watch

Regional TV: NBC Sports Bay Area, available through fuboTV (all games)
National TV: Tuesday (FS1), Wednesday (ESPN, out of market only) and Sunday (ESPN, out of market only), both available through fuboTV
Radio: KNBR 680 AM/104.5 FM

Where the Giants stand entering the week

The Giants are 14-16, third place in the NL West, and have a 29.8% chance of making the postseason, per Fangraphs. That’s up from just 3.3% this time last week.

Must-see game

If you only watch one game this week, make it Wednesday’s. The Giants have played the Dodgers surprisingly well, going 3-4 so far, with all of those games in Southern California.

On Wednesday’s game we’ll get a spectacular pitching matchup: Kevin Gausman vs. Clayton Kershaw. That should make for some fun baseball.

Sadly, Austin Slater is on the Injured List and won’t get to face Kershaw.

Giant to watch

Los Angeles Angels v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This one is easy. It’s going to take a long time to get used to seeing Joey Bart’s name in the lineup, and to not want to find time to tune into the game just to see him play. In fact, it will probably take well into next year before we get there.

Bart’s MLB career is just four days old, and he already has a four-game hitting streak. His defense and pitch framing have been captivating, his contact has been hard, and his approach has been admirable. It’s way too early to make any grand proclamations, but he certainly has the look of a star.

Here’s his stat line after his first few games: 4-12, 3 doubles, 1 walk, 2 hit by pitch.

Find time to watch him this week.

Opposing player to watch

MLB: Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The start to Madison Bumgarner’s post-Giants career has not been good. He began the year allowing 7 home runs and 18 earned runs in just 17.1 innings, then hit the Injured List with back tightness.

He threw a simulation game on Sunday, and could come off the IL just in time to face the Giants.

If so, he’s worth watching, because ... well, I don’t really need to explain it, do I?

What beer I’m drinking from my couch bleachers

The Giants are cooking, so I’m turning to one of my go-to, all-time favorite beers: The Fresh Squeezed IPA from Deschutes Brewery, a 6.4%, 60-IBU IPA that goes down as easily as a lager, and is wildly juicy without tasting sweet.

I love it, just like I love when the Giants win six straight games.

Seven is better, though.