Washington Nationals 2020 Season Preview: San Fransisco Giants
By Max Rayman
The San Fransisco Giants have signaled a rebuild and look to move on after being a dynasty in the early 2010’s.
The 2019 season for the San Fransisco Giants marked the end of an era. Legendary manager Bruce Bochy retired, and playoff hero Madison Bumgarner left in free agency. The core left over from the 2010, 2012, and 2014 World Series have shown that age has caught up with them. Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, are all that remain.
The Giants questionably brought in Gabe Kapler to be the next manager. Kapler was just recently fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after failing to get the team back to the playoffs. In 2018, the Phillies signed/traded for Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, J.T. Remaulto, and Andrew McCutchen. Despite all that talent, Kapler’s squad only improved from 80-82 to 81-81. After failing in Philadelphia, I’m not a fan of bringing in Kapler to lead the Giants rebuild, but if he succeeds, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.
The Giants have five prospect on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects and have an improved farm system that is ranked 11th by Bleacher Report. Atop the farm system is catcher Joey Bart, who was drafted number two overall in 2018. Bart started 2019 in High A before promoted to Double A last year. He immediately started to rake once reaching Double A. In 22 games, he hit .316, with four homers, and had an OPS of .912. He even showed off his arm as he threw out 19 runners on 79 attempts. Bart is being groomed to be Posey’s eventual successor.
San Fransisco’s 2019 record: 77-85
Washington’s record vs. the Giants: 5-1
San Fransisco added/re-signed: Wilmer Flores, Pablo Sandoval, Jerry Blevins, Kevin Gausman, Hunter Pence
San Fransisco lost: Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith,
Nationals to Watch
Half of the Giants lineup is made up of lefties, and that is very unfortunate for them. The Nationals third Ace, Patrick Corbin just happens to feast on lefties. Last season righties hit .235 with an OPS of .704 against Corbin where as lefties only hit .190 with an OPS of .508. Corbin has started to emerge as one of the best lefty pitchers in the game and is coming off of a season where he went 14-7, with a 3.25 ERA, and 238 strikeouts. Corbin has pitched well against the Giants in his career, as he used to face them often when he played in Arizona. In 176 at bats against Corbin, the current Giants lineup is hitting .256 with an OPS of .683.
The key match-up to watch is Corbin vs. Posey. Posey has hit Corbin well throughout their careers. In 54 at bats against Corbin, Posey is hitting .296, with an OPS of .714. Corbin usually starts hitters off with his fast ball to set up his slider. If Posey can capitalize on the fastball, Corbin will be unable to establish his slider and will struggle. This match-up early on in the first inning will set the tone for the game.
2020 Series Prediction
April 24-26 @ San Fransisco
June 16-18 in D.C.
The Giants are starting a rebuild while the Nationals are looking to defend their title. Washington has the advantage in offense and starting pitching. This will prove to much for the Giants to overcome.
Series Prediction: Washington wins the series 4-2