In what might be the best sports day so far in 2011, the Giants quest to be repeat WS champs begins today against the hated (and deservedly so) Dodgers.
Of course Tim Lincecum is starting for the Giants, as the two-time Cy Young winner seeks his third award in 4 years (he might've won his third last year if not for the month of August).
Most intriguing is Brandon Belt starting at first base (just announced today). With Belt in the lineup it looks like the Giants have added another Buster Posey to their lineup. The team's offense was much maligned but their present lineup looks better than most:
C- Buster Posey, who one SI writer has picked as his choice for MVP this year.
1B- Belt, the prime candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, he hit over .350 despite moving from A to AA to AAA in one season.
2B- Freddy Sanchez, .292 last year.
SS- Miguel Tejada, coming off an off year last year, but he is a former MVP, still with some pop in his bat. Should contribute around 20 HR's and 75 RBI's
3B- Pablo Sandoval, he's lost 35 lbs. over the off season and worked on laying off pitches. This should get him closer to his 2009 form than the 2010 season.
OF-Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff. This may not be Mays, Bonds and Henderson but between these guys should add 1-2 runs per game.
And of course there is the best pitching staff in the majors (that's right Phillie fans, the Giants staff is better overall) of Lincecum, Matt Cain (the same SI writer picked Cain as his Cy Young candidate), Madison Bumgarner, Johnathon Sanchez and Barry Zito (who hopefully was not hurt in the car crash today), along with closer Brian Wilson, should limit opposing teams to around 3.2 runs per game. With pitching like that the Giants need only average 4 runs per game.
Prediction: 100 wins, 62 losses, NL West winner.