The San Francisco Giants will rely on strong starting pitching, a struggling Padres team, and an easy September schedule to overtake the San Diego Padres and win the 2010 National League West.

The Schedule:

The Giants are currently three games back of the Padres with 28 games to play. 12 of the remaining games are against teams with sub .500 records, and another seven of those games are against the division leading Padres. The other games are against the struggling Cubs and the hated Dodgers.

The Padres have lost seven straight games and seem to be trying to hand the Giants the division title. The Giants next 10 games are on the road, but they are all favorable matchups for the Giants. San Francisco will go to L.A for three games, Arizona for three, and San Diego for four.

The Pitching:

Although he had been struggling recently, Tim Lincecum pitched eight strong innings last night and looked to have regained his Cy Young winning form. Lincecum’s one run performance was his first win since July 30th, but it could go a long way towards rebuilding Lincecum’s confidence.

There is no doubt Lincecum has the talent to be one of the best pitchers in the MLB and if last night was any indication of how Lincecum is going to pitch down the stretch, Giants fans should be full of optimism.

Along with Lincecum, the Giants have Matt Cain whose 10-10 record reflects his lack of run support more than his lack of ability. Cain is a dominant pitcher who has recorded nine straight quality starts and is more than capable of leading the Giants into October.

The San Francisco rotation also features Madison Bumgarner who is possibly the best fifth starter in the league. Bumgarner is 5-4, but has won four of his last five starts.

When the West will be Won:

The Giants are averaging six runs per game over the past 10 games and seem to be heating up at the right time of the year. They have won three of their last four and could take over the National League West lead as early as Tuesday in Arizona.

Expect the Giants to win the 2010 NL West and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

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