San Francisco Giants: Summon some even-year magic in an odd-numbered year
You know the story: The Giants are the only team besides the Red Sox with three titles in the new millennium, having won the World Series in 2010, ‘12 and 14. They advanced as far as the Division Series in 2016 before falling to the Cubs, but they haven’t played a postseason game in an odd-numbered year since 2003. To change that, San Francisco will not only need improved work from a bullpen now anchored by closer Mark Melancon, it will also need to keep second baseman Joe Panik and rightfielder Hunter Pence on the field and in working order to aid a lineup that ranked just ninth in the NL in runs scored last season. The pair, so vital to their 2014 championship, have played a combined 385 games and delivered just 7.3 WAR over the past two seasons amid a variety of injuries.