The Giants begin the 2023 MLB season with potential, but still a lot of uncertainty.
After a productive, yet frustrating offseason in which San Francisco failed to come away with a superstar player, the Giants look to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 campaign and re-establish themselves as playoff contenders.
Here are what MLB experts are predicting and projecting for the Giants this season.
Projected record: 80-82 (26% playoff odds | 0.8% World Series odds)
“What’s changed most since we saw them last: Some of the names are different,” Brad Doolittle writes. “Michael Conforto, Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling are in. Carlos Rodon and Evan Longoria are out. But the same dynamic — depth, versatility, making every percentage play — remains in effect. It can work, but it’s a bit of a letdown after the Giants were attached to such superstar names as Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa over the winter.”
“The season will be a success if … They win 90 games and make the playoffs,” David Schoenfield adds. “The Giants predictably fell off from their 107-win season in 2021, finishing .500. They lost Carlos Rodón and failed to land [Aaron] Judge or [Carlos] Correa. Mitch Haniger already has an oblique issue. Still, the Giants hope they can piece together a strong offense like they did in 2021 and Logan Webb leads a rotation that could be better than many expect (with rookie Kyle Harrison joining at some point).”
Most likely 2023 award winner: “[Logan] Webb elevated to another level last year, going 15-9 with a 2.90 ERA in nearly 200 innings while sporting the fourth-lowest home run rate in the majors,” Alden Gonzalez explains. “Only Framber Valdez generated more ground balls than the sinker-heavy Webb, whose steady effectiveness could place him in the Cy Young discussion in 2023.”
One (realistic) bold prediction: “David Villar leads the Giants in home runs (27) and RBIs (85),” Schoenfield predicts.
NL West predictions
San Diego Padres: 90-72
Los Angeles Dodgers: 88-74
Arizona Diamondbacks: 78-84
San Francisco Giants: 74-88
Colorado Rockies: 64-98
“Not going through with the Carlos Correa deal might be the best long-term move for the San Francisco Giants,” Matt Johnson writes. “However, it’s fair to criticize Farhan Zaidi for failing to land a franchise-caliber talent to build the team around since he took over the Giants’ front office in 2018. While small improvements were made to the lineup (Michael Confort, Mitch Haniger), there are far too many holes in the lineup to believe the Giants will even make the NL West leaders nervous.”
Kyle Harrison earns NL Rookie of the Year votes
“The Giants replaced Carlos Rodón with Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea during the offseason, but they’ll have another left-hander with front-line potential joining the staff soon in Harrison,” Joel Reuter explains. “The 21-year-old had a 2.71 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 186 strikeouts in 113 innings between High-A and Double-A last year, and a strong start in the upper levels of the minors could earn him a quick promotion to the big leagues, where he’d have the swing-and-miss stuff to make an immediate impact.”
“The Giants find themselves in a challenging position,” Edward Sutelan adds. “On the one hand, Logan Webb and Camilo Doval look like franchise fixtures on the pitching staff. And in 2023, Alex Cobb, Sean Manaea, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani should help give the team a solid pitching staff. On the other, this is a team that is continuing to get older with Cobb at age-35, and key bats like Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Crawford, Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Joc Pederson and Wilmer Flores on the wrong side of 30.
“The model sees a team with a solid roster of players that should have a strong pitching staff and a lineup that can produce enough runs to keep the squad around .500. But after missing out on Judge and opting not to sign Correa, the Giants aren’t in a great position to push the Dodgers or Padres.”
NL sleeper team: Giants
“When I think about the NL, I’m going Giants,” Mendoza said Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “And the reason is, Farhan Zaidi, what he does over there to be able to build and find guys — we saw that two years ago when everyone came at him like, ‘Giants, one of the worst teams in baseball …’ they ended up taking the division from the Dodgers by one game. And what they were able to do at the trade deadline.
“I understand on paper now, the Giants are not a team that you’re looking at, especially because they’re so quiet, (not) as exciting as the Padres are. We talked about the Los Angeles Dodgers. But nobody’s looking at San Francisco, but I do believe, maybe not today, but when you look at the end of July and the moves they’re making, as long as they’re within shooting distance of that Wild Card, the Giants are the sleeper team for me.”
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