As many people know already, the San Francisco Giants will be receiving their World Series rings tomorrow prior to their 10:05 PM EST start against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants scuffled to start the season 2-4 on the road and now look to bounce back at home and get their season underway.

The Giants got a great seven inning, 13 strikeout performance out of starter Tim Lincecum in the Giants 8-4 win at San Diego. This win may not look like at a lot, but the Giants started the season out 0-7 against the Padres last season. They also were 1-5 in their first six against the Dodgers

Matt Cain will take the mound for the Giants in a big game. We may see some nerves out of the Giants in the series as they will hang the World Series banner on Friday, get their World Series rings on Saturday, and Buster Posey will get his Rookie of the Year award on Sunday. This team is also very confident in their abilities and should be able to shake the nerves at home in front of their home crowd.

Looking forward into the season, things look like they could change in the outfield with the return of Cody Ross. The return of Ross may not move Huff back to 1st, but rather of to left where he would be a better fit.

The Giants sound very confident in the abilities of 1st baseman Brandon Belt. Belt is 4 for 22, six games into the season. He has 1 home run and 4 RBIs to go with his poor .182 average. Belt plays a solid 1st and the fact that Pat “the bat” Burrell is hitting a team worse .143 may keep Belt in the starting lineup.

Burrell simply cannot play an effective outfield. He has lost a few steps and the Giants need more out of their lineup than a 2 for 21, although those two hits were both solo home runs. Ross back in the lineup would help a bunch with average as he is a career .265 hitter and is coming off a 14 home run and 65 RBI year. He doesn’t have the home run capability that Burrell does, but his defense is top notch. 

The offense will continue to be the focus of the Giants as they have scored only one run in two of their loses thus far. Their lineup is looking better over what was last year.

Sandoval came back 30 pounds trimmer and he has stepped it up on both offense and defense. Pablo currently leads the team with a .400 average. The Giants will also heavily rely upon the bats of Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey in the middle of the lineup. Belt, Torres, and Tejada have gotten off to slow starts, but there is plenty of time to get up to speed. Freddy Sanchez has been on a tear as he leads the team with a .481 on base percentage. 

The pitching again will be key for the Giants. Their starting staff is arguably the best in the MLB with two-time Cy-Young award winner Tim Lincecum leading the way. Jonathan Sanchez is coming off a 13-9 record last year, his best in his young career. Matt Cain has come out the gates looking very effective after a minor elbow injury in the spring. Cain went 6 innings in his first start of the season and did not allow a run in a 10-0 blowout over the Dodgers.

Barry Zito takes the 4th spot and should play this season out with a chip on his shoulder after he didn’t contribute during the Giants playoff run. Madison Bumgarner is coming off a 7-6 season last year and showed some great signs of stardom during the Giants playoff run. 

The Giants relief pitching got a huge relief themselves when closer Brian Wilson returned. Wilson pitched against San Diego and gave up three runs off two hits in 2/3 innings pitched. Wilson will bounce back and return to form. Ramon Rameriz has come out hot pitching 3.1 innings and allowing zero runs. Guillermo Mota has tossed four scoreless innings as well. The Giants currently have five relief pitchers that haven’t allowed a run and all have pitched at least two innings. 

While the defensive side of this team is in question now, this team will get better with a healthy Cody Ross. This will be a huge speed boost in the outfield, as well as a guy who has some pop with the bat. The Giants pitching is stacked top to bottom and the pressure will be with the Giants offense. The Giants offense is an improvement over last year, which could mean big things for the Giants. 

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