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Weekend BP: Giants projected for a lot of wins

Well that’s pleasantly surprising.

Brandon Crawford low-fiving Austin Slater Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Hello and happy weekend San Francisco Giants fans.

Some good news happened on Friday. Fangraphs released their start of spring training National League rankings projections, and the Giants come in at No. 3 in the National League West. That’s not surprising. Everyone expect the Giants to finish third in the NL.

But most people expected the Giants to be a distant third. Instead, Fangraphs lists the Giants at a close third in the NL, just a hair behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego padres. According to the Fangraphs projections, the Giants are expected to win 88 games this year ... after winning just 81 a season ago. And most importantly, the Dodgers and Padres are only expected to win 91 games. In other words, a nice little boost of variance, and the Giants could leap frog over Los Angeles and San Diego. All it takes is three games.

It’s a fairly rosy projection after the Giants went just 81-81 a season ago, and lost the most valuable player on their team, left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Rodón. But the Dodgers got significantly worse, losing starters like Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Tyler Anderson, while the Padres did .... well, honestly, who knows what the Padres did. We’ll just have to wait and see.

88 wins would be fairly impressive after an 81-win 2022. But there are reasons for pessimism after the team failed to land Aaron Judge, had a physical fail with Carlos Correa, and generally doesn’t look ready for the playoffs.

We’ll see.