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Week 8: What to watch for and how to watch it

The end is near, and somehow the Giants are still right in this.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

We’ve made it to the eighth week of the 2020 MLB demon season. And, to the happy surprise of many, the San Francisco Giants are right in the thick of the postseason race, and playing good baseball.

They start the week with three games against bad teams, and end it with four games against a good team. And they’re all important.

The schedule

Monday, 9/7: vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 5:05 p.m.
Tuesday, 9/8: vs. Seattle Mariners, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, 9/9: vs. Seattle Mariners, 6:45 p.m.
Thursday, 9/10: @ San Diego Padres, 6:10 p.m.
Friday, 9/11: @ San Diego Padres, 6:10 p.m.
Saturday, 9/12: @ San Diego Padres, 6:10 p.m.
Sunday, 9/13: @ San Diego Padres, 1:10 p.m.

How to watch

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

Where the Giants stand entering the week

The Giants are 20-21, fourth place in the NL West, and have a 48.5% of making the postseason, per Fangraphs. That’s up from 39.1% this time last week.

Must-see game

If you only watch one game this week, make it Sundays. It’s weekend day baseball at beautiful Petco Park, and it will be the finale of a critical four-game series against a very good team. It will probably be an important game.

Giant to watch

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

Kevin Gausman starts Monday’s finale against the Diamondbacks, and then Saturday’s showdown with the Padres. He’s been strong all year, and the Giants will need him just as much against Arizona’s poor lineup as they will against San Diego’s stellar one.

Opposing player to watch

San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There’s only been one player in all of baseball this year who’s been comfortably more valuable than the Giants own Mike Yastrzemski, and it’s Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis — who is still just 21 — is hitting .311/.398/.665, and has been worth 3.0 Wins Above Replacement, per Fangraphs. Somehow he’s even more fun to watch than those numbers would suggest.

Containing him for a four-game series might be impossible, but if the Giants want to do well against a good divisional opponent, they’ll need to at least limit the output of Tatis.

And if they don’t? Well, hell ... at least we still get to watch him!

What beer I’m drinking from my couch bleachers

If you’ve been paying close attention to this segment of the weekly previews, you might have noticed that I’ve been very basic lately, and following the craze by drinking a lot of hazy IPAs.

Part of that is because I find them delicious, but part of them is because they’re refreshing and drinkable enough to cool me down on all these hot days, while also being strong enough to act as adequate medicine for 2020.

This week the Giants are having a rare showdown with Seattle, so I’m having the Contact Haze, a hazy IPA from Elysian Brewery in Seattle. I’m guessing Elysian has fallen out of favor with Seattleites since selling to Anheuser-Busch a few years ago, but when I lived in Washington they were still fully independent and beloved by many.

It’s a 6.0% ABV, 39 IBU beer, and it’s good.