The San Francisco Giants are about to embark on a baseball adventure that features two things I despise: interleague play, and a two-game series.
But it does feature something I love: San Francisco Giants baseball.
So I’ll take it.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m.) and Tuesday (12:45 p.m.)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 20-14, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +27, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd seed
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games
Record: 18-18, 4th in the AL West
Run differential: -4, 10th in the AL
Postseason standing: 1 game out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Three Giants to watch
Mike Yastrzemski: Yastrzemski returned from the Injured List over the weekend, and started to regain his form on Sunday with a two-hit day that featured a double. Yaz being healthy and providing quality at-bats at the top of the lineup will go a long way towards the Giants maintaining their early season success.
Jake McGee: After a spectacular start to the season, McGee has been on a little bit of a skid. He’s allowed 8 earned runs (and 2 unearned) in his last 7 games, with only a pair of clean appearances in that time. The Giants desperately need McGee to be a reliable late-inning option, so we’ll see if he can right the ship with Texas in town
Steven Duggar: Injuries to Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr. gave Duggar an early opportunity this year, and he’s made the most of it. And with Alex Dickerson recently hitting the Injured List, Duggar seems destined to stay on the roster a while longer, even with Mike Tauchman’s arrival. It’s an extremely small sample size, but Duggar is hitting 7-26 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 walks, and an OPS+ of 118. Add in his usual strong defense, and he’s been a very solid contributor.
Three Rangers to watch
Charlie Culberson: It’s been nine years since Culberson started his MLB career with 23 plate appearances for the Giants in a World Series season. Those were the only 23 plate appearances he had with the Giants, yet I’ve written so many “former Giants on other teams” articles that I feel like Culberson is a huge part of the team’s history. Anyway, he’s hitting .310/.347/.521, which is pretty darn good.
Kyle Gibson: Gibson has had a strong year on the mound for the Rangers, with a 2.40 ERA, a 3.05 FIP, and 35 strikeouts to 13 walks in 41.1 innings. He takes the bump for the series opener, and if the Giants bring the same bats that they brought to Sunday’s finale against the San Diego Padres, they could be in trouble.
Adolis García: García kind of came out of nowhere this year. He’s already 28, and had just 24 career plate appearances prior to this season, with a double representing his lone extra-base hit. And then this year happened. In 109 plate appearances, the right-handed outfielder is hitting .297/.339/.604. His 9 home runs are one off the highest mark in baseball. He can do damage.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed