SF Giants are Misunderstood

 HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

BE SURE YOU KNOW
WHAT MAKES THE GIANTS TICK!

We mentioned yesterday that we planned to preview some of the big TV games this weekend in Major League Baseball.

The 'biggest of the big' in terms of the media is, of course, Boston at the New York Yankees. FOX is giving that virtually national coverage this afternoon. It's the Sunday Night game on ESPN.

If you follow baseball, you OBVIOUSLY know a lot about those teams already. You've been watching them for years. There's nothing we can tell you about AROD, Jeter, or Sabathia that you don't already know. The Red Sox have injuries. You know that. They need to overcome those injuries to chase down either New York or Tampa Bay. Boston is behind the eight-ball, but it's possible.

No news there.

Because we've been hearing falsehoods about the San Francisco Giants in the mainstream media and in baseball conversations all over cyberspace, we decided our time would be better spent today talking about the TRUTH with the Giants.

First, here's the misperception:

'San Francisco has great pitching but a HORRIBLE offense. They'll need the pitchers to do all the work down the stretch and in the playoffs because the offense is one of the worst in baseball.'

Now, the truth:

'San Francisco has great pitching but an AVERAGE offense that is much better than people realize. It's not great. But, average will get the job done when your pitching is solid.'

If we've heard it once, we've heard it 100 times the past few months...everybody thinks the Giants are terrible offensively.

Here are some of their stat rankings heading into Friday Night's action:
Batting Average: 4th in the National League
On-base percentage: 8th in the NL (exactly league average)
Slugging percentage: 8th in the NL (slightly above league average)
Runs-per-game: 9th in the NL (slightly above league average)

There are 16 teams in the National League. The Giants actually rank 4th in batting average, but sink down to league average in terms of adding walks and power to that basic starting point. It all adds up to league average in runs-per-game. They are not one of the worst offenses in the league. They don't have a 'bad' offense. They're fine.

Now, let's look at the pitchers:
ERA: 2nd in the National League
WHIP: 5th in the NL
K's per 9 IP: 1st in the NL
HR's allowed per 9 IP: tied for 1st in NL
Saves: 1st in the NL by a mile
Bullpen ERA: 3rd in the NL

The San Francisco Giants are in contention for a playoff spot, and the best record in the National League because they have great pitching and an average offense. That means:

*San Francisco will score vs. vulnerable opposition pitching.
*San Francisco will score in hitter's parks.
*San Francisco will score in warm temps or with the wind blowing out
*San Francisco doesn't have to score a lot to win with their staff!

We've spent a lot of time this year trying to emphasize to you that the San Diego Padres are for real. It's time now to turn your attention to the Giants. They're not located a half hour away from Bristol, Connecticut...so ESPN doesn't gush over their every highlight. The lead columnist from ESPN didn't grow up there, so there aren't stories and podcasts every few weeks about mundane developments. The networks are still focused on the big cities for their national telecasts, and San Francisco is considered a small market team from their perspective.

Now, they could still fall apart. Pitching is fickle. And, teams who are built on pitching are one or two sore labrums away from falling off the pace. Just remember that the Giants aren't built ONLY on pitching. They're like a football team that has a great offense but an average defense, or a great defense but an average offense. That will get you to the playoffs. With a little luck, it might get you in the history books.

You won't get to see San Francisco at Atlanta on national TV this afternoon. They will be the featured game Sunday afternoon on TBS. We encourage you to check that game out, because it could very easily be a playoff preview. Both teams are certainly in good form of late.

LAST 30 GAMES
*San Francisco 22-8
Philadelphia 19-11
San Diego 18-12
*Atlanta 17-13
Cincinnati 17-13
St. Louis 17-13
Houston 17-13

Hey, if you love watching the Yankees and Red Sox, go for it. If you want to check out some young Turks...give some time this weekend to Giants/Braves. And, most importantly from the NOTEBOOK perspective, if you're trying to pick side and total winners...be sure you understand how the Giants got hot! You can't pick winners if you're falling prey to media misperceptions.

The Jim Hurley Network has two live dogs ready to bite on Saturday! Click here to get on board for these two bankroll-building shockers!

Let's see what's on deck for the Giants after this tough weekend set in Hotlanta.

Monday-Thursday: versus Chicago Cubs
Friday-Sunday: versus San Diego (huge!)
8/17-8/19: at Philadelphia
8/20-8/22: at St. Louis
8/23-8/25: vs. Cincinnati

Wow...what a brutal stretch after the breather vs. the Cubs. And, it's easy to get distracted in a sandwich spot like that too. San Francisco's playoff hopes will largely depend on how they survive that gauntlet. Starting Friday Night, they'll play 12 games in a row that will have a playoff atmosphere...and that's coming on the heels of nine they will have just played against Los Angeles, Colorado, and Atlanta.

This is why it's important to pay attention to the Giants RIGHT NOW. They may hit a wall that allows you to fade them with authority as they run out of gas. They may announce to the world that they truly are championship material...and they'll be doing that at value prices.

That wraps up our Saturday report. Back Sunday to run our first NFL Divisional Preview. We'll take a close look at the NFC East to get you ready for Sunday Night's Dallas/Cincinnati game on NBC. Monday it will be back to baseball as we crunch the numbers from a busy Sunday of action to get you back in synch with the pennant races. Football previews resume when the NFL schedule does, on Thursday.

Make sure you're with us EVERY DAY in the NOTEBOOK so you know what's REALLY going on in the world of sports!

And, sign up with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK if you want to make a fortune as a legal sports bettor. Call 1-800-323-4453 for complete details on our baseball and football packages. The August combo gets you both sports through the end of the month. Longer term packages are available that include college football, and baseball through the World Series.

Don't forget that game day releases and club packages can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card. If you want to try out the NFL for a day before making a longterm arrangement, you can purchase our pick Sunday afternoon online. That will be true all through the Preseason as well.

Pay attention to the San Francisco Giants in the coming days and weeks to see if they can keep their recent surge going. And, squash your man by signing up with THE GIANT OF SPORTS HANDICAPPING...JIM HURLEY!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and JimHurley.com. For more information on JIM HURLEY'S handicapping packages, call 1-800-323-4453.

23
Nov

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