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Don’t Stop #BeliEVEN

Back in the playoffs, the SF Giants have the power to keep the Even Year magic alive.

AT&T Park, courtesy of Wikipedia

The San Francisco Giants are a mysterious team. With a recent history of MLB postseason success, many fans are anxiously waiting for their fourth World Series title in 7 years. However, when they aren’t winning championships and spraying champagne all over the streets of San Francisco, they get to relax at home when October comes, watching the other teams duke it out for the title. The “even year” magic that the Giants have displayed in 2010, 2012, and 2014 seems to be diminishing this year.

Unlike the best team in the league, the Chicago Cubs, the Giants’ journey to October was anything but easy. While they cruised to the All-Star break with the best record in the MLB, they soon became vulnerable and desperate in the second half, barely scraping their way into the playoffs. It seems that just about all of their weaknesses were being exposed and poked at. Their bullpen became very unreliable in the late-innings; MVP and franchise catcher Buster Poser has exhibited very little power and their ace, Madison Bumgarner, has faltered in the second half. Alas, there is still hope.

Their chances of winning it all seem slim and this time around it may be even harder than pronouncing “Jeff Samardzija”, but looking at the present, the Mets are a very beatable team. The Giants will rely on Bumgarner and Posey to shut down the Mets, and manager Bruce Bochy will hopefully never have to use the bullpen. When the Giants start to hit and produce runs, they are nearly unstoppable, except when Santiago Casilla comes in and ruins their momentum by blowing a save. However, they have won their last four games to end the season, including a sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers, so things are looking up for the Giants.

The Mets have further struggled to hit against left-handed pitchers this season, and Bumgarner is easily the best left-handed pitcher in the game (shots fired at Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers). The Giants have faced Mets ace Noah Syndergaard in New York before, and they fared very well against him, scoring 4 runs and stealing 3 bases with Syndergaard on the mound. Furthermore, Madison Bumgarner has pitched like Joe Ammirato ’18 against middle schoolers at Citi Field, sporting a 4-0 record with a miniscule 0.62 ERA.

While the Giants do not have anyone as powerful as Mets outfielder Yoenis Céspedes, the Giants never relied on gargantuan power to score runs. Utilizing the same small-ball approach they have used for years, the Giants will thrive in the playoffs if (or rather, when) they beat the New York Mets. Although it may seem unreasonable to assume that the Giants’ pitchers will throw 14 straight no-hitters to continue their even-year streak, their entire team and their past playoff magic has the entire Bay Area believing (or #beliEVEN) in the Giants.

Prediction: Giants win 3-1, Madison Bumgarner hits a bomb off Noah Syndergaard and manages to pick a fight with the entire Mets team.

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