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Oakland A’s Series Preview #7: Giants are last place in NL West

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Bay Bridge Series, Part 1

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
Donovan Solano’s hot streak hasn’t pulled the Giants out of the cellar
Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s are in first place in the AL West. The San Francisco Giants are in last place in the NL West. At least this one part of the world is as it should be.

The two Bay Area clubs meet this weekend in the first installment of the 2020 Bay Bridge Series, with the Giants hosting at Oracle Park. They’re on opposite ends of the competitive spectrum right now, with one contending and the other rebuilding, but this is always a tough and dramatic series no matter how good the two sides are in any particular summer. These are definitely trap games if you take them lightly.

UPDATE: Oakland’s Frankie Montas has been scratched from his start in Friday’s opener due to back tightness.

San Francisco Giants

  • 2020 record: 8-12

The Giants lost some star power recently, including pitcher Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith leaving via free agency and then catcher Buster Posey opting out of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the lineup’s remaining stars from the old glory days have completely stopped producing, leaving the slack to be picked up by some new up-and-comers. It’s the same story on the pitching staff, where Johnny Cueto is struggling and Jeff Samardzija is hurt but a couple new names have emerged in the rotation. Click here for our full season preview.

Projected lineup

  • CF Mike Yastrzemski (L)
  • LF Alex Dickerson (L)
  • 2B Donovan Solano (R)
  • 1B Brandon Belt (L)
  • 3B Evan Longoria (R)
  • DH Wilmer Fores (R)
  • RF Hunter Pence (R)
  • SS Brandon Crawford (L)
  • C Chadwick Tromp (R)

There’s not really one regular lineup, with seemingly a new look every day, but those are most of the key names — except for Austin Slater, who sat out Wednesday due to elbow soreness. Mauricio Dubon is usually in there somewhere at an infield position, and Flores’ DH spot gets shared with Darin Ruf and Pablo Sandoval. The other half of the catching tandem is switch-hitter Tyler Heineman, though Tromp is playing pretty much every day now.

The problem is that not enough of them are hitting. Solano, Yastrzemski, and Slater are all crazy hot, Dickerson and Flores have been OK, and everyone else has been varying levels of bad to worse. And now Slater might be hurt.

Starting pitchers

These are the three expected starters:

  • Fri: Johnny Cueto (R) vs. Frankie Montas Jesús Luzardo (6:45 p.m.)
  • Sat: Kevin Gausman (R) vs. Jesús Luzardo TBD?(4:15 p.m.)
  • Sun: Logan Webb (R) vs. Sean Manaea (1:05 p.m.)

The opener brings Cueto and his 5.00+ ERA and FIP. He’s yet to go six innings in a start.

However, Gausman and Webb have been good so far. The veteran Gausman’s ERA is only decent but he’s got 23 strikeouts to only two walks and two homers, which are impressive numbers all around. Webb is a 23-year-old who is yet to allow more than two earned runs in a game.

The bullpen has five lefties, and that’s assuming southpaw Tyler Anderson is the fifth starter (or else make it six in the pen).

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the Giants’ full 28-man roster:

S.F. Giants 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Johnny Cueto (R)
Kevin Gausman (R)
Logan Webb (R)
Trevor Cahill (R)
Tyler Anderson (L)

Relievers

Trevor Gott (R)
Shaun Anderson (R)
Caleb Baragar (L)
Jarlin Garcia (L)
Wandy Peralta (L)
Dereck Rodriguez (R)
Tyler Rogers (R)
Sam Selman (L)
Tony Watson (L)
Catchers

Chadwick Tromp (R)
Tyler Heineman (S)

Infielders

Brandon Belt (L)
Donovan Solano (R)
Brandon Crawford (L)
Evan Longoria (R)
Wilmer Flores (R)
Mauricio Dubon (R)
Darin Ruf (R)
Pablo Sandoval (S)

Outfielders

Alex Dickerson (L)
Hunter Pence (R)
Austin Slater (R)
Mike Yastrzemski (L)

10-day IL: RHP Sam Coonrod (lat), RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder), LHP Drew Smyly (finger)

45-day IL: RHP Tyler Beede (TJS), RHP Reyes Moronta (shoulder), C Aramis Garcia (hip)

Opt out: C Buster Posey