Are we really starting Week 7 of what it is only a 10-week season? It simultaneously feels like we’re only halfway through the first week, but also on Week 109.
What a weird season.
I don’t want to say the Giants have an easy week ahead of them, because no such thing exists in baseball. But their schedule this week is kinder than in any of the previous six weeks, so it certainly presents an opportunity as they try to make their playoff push.
Let’s see what they can — or can’t — do.
Monday, 8/31: OFF
Tuesday, 9/1: @ Colorado Rockies, 5:40 p.m.
Wednesday, 9/2: @ Colorado Rockies, 12:10 p.m.
Thursday, 9/3: OFF
Friday, 9/4: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, 9/5: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, 9/6: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 1:05 p.m.
How to watch
Regional TV: NBC Sports Bay Area, available through fuboTV (all games)
National TV: Wednesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Radio: KNBR 680 AM/104.5 FM
Where the Giants stand entering the week
The Giants are 17-19, fourth place in the NL West, and have a 39.1% chance of making the the postseason, per Fangraphs. That’s up from 29.8% this time last week.
If you can only watch one game this week, make it Tuesday’s. The Giants will be rested from a day off, and, with the deadline in the rearview mirror, they’ll have the comfort of knowing who’s on their team for the rest of the year. And in they go to Coors Field, where they’ve struggled this year, but where their above-average offense should flourish.
The Giants have won eight of their last 11 games, and their offense has looked very good. Tuesday is a chance to build on that momentum.
Giant to watch
I almost went with Joey Bart, but decided to give you all a break from beating that drum. So instead, it’s Brandon Belt.
It’s easy to forget, but Belt started the season slumping. And since then he’s been hotter than hot. Over the last two weeks of August, Belt went 21-44 with 4 home runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, and 7 walks to just 6 strikeouts. He’s still at under 100 plate appearances for the season, but is rocking career highs in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage — by huge margins.
He’ll spend the week at the best hitter’s park in MLB history, and then against a very rugged pitching staff back home, at a ballpark that has been playing a lot more friendly to hitters this year.
Opposing player to watch
Don’t let Coors Field fool you: The Rockies are a bad offensive team. Though I have learned not to tweet that, as Rockies fans did not take kindly to that the last time the Giants visited Denver.
But the Rockies offense is, indeed, bad, ranking 27th in the league in wRC+.
Even without a minimum plate appearance qualifier, the Rockies have just three players who have a wRC+ north of 100 (with 100 being average). Even the 2019 Giants are laughing at that futility.
At the top of the list is shortstop Trevor Story, whose wRC+ (139) and Wins Above Replacement (1.9) are lapping the field in Denver. If the Giants want to have better success at Coors Field than they did a few weeks ago — and I trust they do — it’s starts with limiting Story’s impact.
What beer I’m drinking from my couch bleachers
I’m not sure if there’s a place I love to watch Bay Area sports at more than the Lost Coast Brewery brewpub in Eureka. So with the Giants looking to make a strong postseason push this year, I’m turning to a terrific Northern California beer: The Revenant IPA, which is a 7.0% ABV, 59-IBU easy-drinker. It’s heavy on the citra hops — some of my favorite — and rather simple. I mean that as a compliment. It’s not hard to drink, like some IPAs, and it pairs nicely with Giants baseball.