Description: San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner bounced back from his worst start of the season with seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball against the Nationals Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Bumgarner gave up nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 4 2/3 at Colorado his last time out, but he otherwise has been tremendous this season. Overall, the left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is just 2-for-15 versus Nationals left-hander Zach Duke.
Insight: Sandoval was 4-for-18 in the four-game series in Colorado, a disappointment for fantasy owners who expected four high-scoring games and plenty of offensive production. The Giants scored 17 runs between Thursday and Friday, but just two over the weekend. Despite the mediocre Saturday and Sunday, Sandoval is hitting .302 for the season with seven homers and 32 RBI. This matchup, however, is likely to continue his weekend drought.
Description: San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan is a career .500 hitter in 10 at-bats versus Washington starter Zach Duke.
Insight: Pagan left Sunday's game with flu-like symptoms, so it's not known whether he'll be healthy enough to go on Monday. Andres Torres (.224, 1 HR, 4 RBI) would likely take his place in the outfield, but he's 1-for-7 against Duke.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum has a 6.00 ERA over his last four starts.
Insight: Lincecum has cut down on his walks after issuing 11 free passes in his first two starts, but he's still extremely hittable. He has allowed line drives at a 27 percent rate and has been lucky to only have a .306 BABIP. The right-hander's chase rate is down to just 24.8 percent, his lowest his his rookie year. With Lincecum's fastball down to 90.2 mph, batters can let his changeup, which he is throwing at the same velocity as he always has, pass by out of the zone.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy is giving Ryan Vogelsong one last chance to prove he belongs in the starting rotation. SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Mercury News
Insight: Vogelsong (1-4, 8.06 ERA) has thrown just one quality start in eight tries this season. He'll make his scheduled start Monday against Washington but we're not sure what will happen after that.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is hitting .444 with six RBI during his current six-game hitting streak and homered in two of the last three games. However, he has an unfavorable matchup with Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin on the hill Thursday.
Insight: Belt is 25-for-96 (.260) with five homers against right-handers this season, compared to 5-for-26 (.192) against lefties, but Chacin, a righty, has held him hitless in 10 career at-bats.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has homered in three of the last four games and is 7-for-17 with two blasts and three walks against Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin.
Insight: Sandoval suffered a broken hamate bone in his hand in each of the last two seasons and missed all of May in 2011 and most of May last year, so he's already ahead of the curve this season with 154 at-bats, a .312 average, seven longballs and 30 RBI on May 16.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed six hits and eight runs (three earned) in two innings Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The Giants made a couple of errors behind him, and he compounded them by serving up two homers.
Insight: After eight starts, the right-hander is 1-4 with an 8.06 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. He has allowed six or more runs in each of his last four starts. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, manager Bruce Bochy said after the game that there is no guarantee Vogelsong will take his next turn in the rotation.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has homered in three straight games.
Insight: He was 0-for-4 Tuesday against the Blue Jays went hit a three-run blast off Brad Lincoln in the top of the ninth with the Giants trailing 10-3 to salvage his night for fantasy owners. The stocky third baseman is hitting .316 with seven homers and 29 RBI in 38 games.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey is not in Wednesday's getaway day game against the Phillies.
Insight: No injury, just the normal day game after a night game off. He's batting .282 with 4 HR and 19 RBI. Solid, but not the production we are used to from the 2012 NL MVP. The day off should do him some good.
Description: Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw dominates most hitters in baseball, but Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is not one of them. Sandoval is 10-for-33 (.303) in his career against Kershaw.
Insight: Kershaw hasn't allowed a homer and struck out Sandoval seven times, but the Kung Fu Panda clearly doesn't have a problem putting good wood on the ball against Kershaw often enough to help fantasy owners.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is just 3-for-24 with 11 strikeouts in his career against Clayton Kershaw.
Insight: Belt has homered in two of the last three games and driven in six runs in that span. He also has a higher batting average against lefties, both in his career (.272) and this season (.294), but Kershaw is the best lefty in the majors.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is in Tuesday's starting lineup, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
Insight: Sandoval left Monday's game after his elbow "tingled," but he felt fine today. Sandoval has a bone spur in his right elbow that is causing an irritated nerve, so he'll likely deal with recurring soreness all season, but he has opted to play through it rather than undergo surgery.
Description: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitless in eight at-bats versus Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill with half of the at-bats ending in strikeouts.
Insight: Crawford is one of this season's biggest fantasy surprises. He's batting .281 with five homers, 14 RBI and an .885 OPS. Great numbers for any shortstop. This matchup, however, is an unfavorable one.
Description: After five starts, Giants hurler Ryan Vogelsong's ERA sits at 6.23. The right-hander allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits (three homers), walked three and struck out six in five innings Sunday versus San Diego.
Insight: Vogelsong has been very good over the past two seasons, but while his K/9 and BB/9 in 2013 are nearly identical to last year, he has given up a startling seven homers in 30 1/3 innings and stranded just 65.5 percent of runners.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is a career .423 hitter (11-for-26) against Padres starter Jason Marquis with a 1.269 OPS.
Insight: Pence is off to a productive start with four homers and 13 RBI. He's rarely an exciting fantasy option, but he plays every day and accumulates solid fantasy totals. Sunday is a good matchup for the Giants' outfielder.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will miss his second game in a row Monday night against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: It makes sense since Belt is hitting just .167 against lefties this season and Wade Miley (2-0, 2.79 ERA) will be throwing for Arizona. Then again, Belt isn't hitting much better against righthanders (.188). Joaquin Arias (.188, 0 HR, 2 RBI) will make his third start of the season at first base.
Description: San Francisco starter Barry Zito tossed seven shutout frames Sunday in a 5-0 win over San Diego.
Insight: If you take away Zito's meltdown against the Brewers last week (2 2/3 IP, 8 H, 9 ER), the 34-year-old would be 3-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Zito's next start is scheduled for Saturday against the Padres.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum looked like his old self Saturday against the Padres. He fired 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight to improve to 2-0.
Insight: Lincecum was facing the weak-hitting Padres, but it was good to see him put up a 58-37 strike-to-ball ratio. He has walked just three batters over his last 11 2/3 innings after issuing 11 free passes in his first 11 frames. With reduced fastball velocity making his changeup less effective, Lincecum's margin for error is greatly reduced from his Cy Young seasons.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence should not be started on Friday as he's a career .125 hitter when facing Padres right-hander Edinson Volquez with 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats.
Insight: Pence is off to a productive start with a team-leading four homers in his first 65 at-bats. He's rarely an exciting fantasy option, but he plays every day and accumulates solid fantasy totals. Friday night is not a good matchup for the Giants' outfielder.
Description: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 3-for-4 effort Thursday against the Brewers.
Insight: Crawford had a double and a solo homer, his third of the season. The shortstop hit just .248 as a rookie and owns a .266 average and .734 OPS in 1,107 minor league plate appearances, so he likely won't keep this up.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain didn't walk a batter and allowed seven hits in six innings Thursday afternoon, but three of those were two-run homers.
Insight: Cain allowed all seven runs over the first three innings but settled down and held the Brewers scoreless over the next three. He has allowed 25 hits, five homers and 18 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings this season. However, two of his four starts were quality outings in which he threw 13 innings and gave up two earned.
Description: San Francisco slugger Pablo Sandoval hasn't had much success against Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo throughout his career (2-for-15, five strikeouts).
Insight: Sandoval's 10-game hitting streak could be in jeopardy with Gallardo getting the start on Thursday. The Kung Fu Panda enters the day with 14 RBI for the season. That's the third-highest total in the National League behind Brandon Phillips and John Buck (19 each).
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito was shelled for eight hits, two homers and nine runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday night against the Brewers.
Insight: Zito didn't allow an earned run over 14 innings in his first two starts, but it all came crashing down Tuesday. Look for the Giants left-hander's ERA to settle somewhere in the 4.10-4.20 range this season.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum gave up four runs in the first inning Sunday against the Cubs but held Chicago scoreless over the next four.
Insight: Lincecum gave up six hits and two homers in five innings but he walked just one after issuing 11 free passes over his first 11 innings this year. Lincecum has a 5.62 ERA and 1.56 WHIP after three starts.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Andres Torres won't be in the lineup Sunday against Chicago. It's probably because he's been such a poor hitter against Cubs righthander Edwin Jackson throughout his career.
Insight: Torres is just 2-for-13 against Jackson with five strikeouts. He whiffed three times against the Cubs on Saturday and hasn't hit a home run since October. Torres shouldn't be a part of your team's fantasy plans in 2013.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain was much better Friday than his second start. He held the Cubs to two runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out six.
Insight: The two runs came on solo homers that were carried out by the wind. Cain has allowed two runs and 11 hits in 13 innings in his first and third starts but gave up seven hits and nine runs in 3 2/3 his second time on the hill.
Description: Good news for Marco Scutaro owners: Scott Feldman is pitching today for Chicago.
Insight: Scutaro has owned Feldman in the past (.400 lifetime). Of course, most of those at bats came when Feldman was in Texas, which is generally considered one of the more hitter-friendly environments in major league baseball. On the other hand, Scutaro has had a very tough time at Wrigley Field in his career (.083 AVG in 24 at bats). That's a little alarming but with a good chunk of the league getting an off day on Thursday, Scutaro should still be worth a start.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt had a pair of hits in five at-bats Wednesday against the Rockies.
Insight: Belt came into the game with just two hits in his first 22 at-bats this season. He had a big spring in each of the past two years and owns an impressive minor league resume but has failed to carry it over to the regular season.
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito has yet to allow a run over his first 14 innings this season. He won his second straight game Wednesday against the Rockies by scattering seven hits over seven innings.
Insight: Zito has an 8/4 K/BB. The lefty got off to a similar start last season, posting a 1.67 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in April, but he eventually regressed to a 4.15 ERA for the season. Zito basically has had the same season in three of the last four years -- 4.03 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 1.35 WHIP in 2009; 4.15 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 1.34 WHIP in 2010, 4.15 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 1.39 WHIP last season.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey is 5-for-8 against Colorado starter Jeff Francis with a home run and a 1.792 OPS.
Insight: Posey got the night off on Tuesday, so should be ready to go Wednesday afternoon. He's also got slightly better power numbers during day games than night games with an OPS of .893 in the sunlight and .866 in artificial light.
Description: Giants righty Matt Cain got demolished Sunday in a 14-3 loss to St. Louis.
Insight: Cain lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and nine runs over 66 pitches. It wasn't pretty but every one is entitled to a bad game once in a while. We're expecting Cain to fare much better Friday when he takes the mound at Wrigley Field.
Description: Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings Saturday against the Cardinals. He walked two and struck out six.
Insight: Vogelsong took a 2-1 lead into the top of the fifth but allowed three in that inning and one in the sixth. Vogelsong is two years into his resurrection as a useful starter after spending four full seasons out of the big leagues -- 3.05 ERA over 369 1/3 innings in the last two seasons -- so we really don't have the same concerns we had last year at this time.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs Saturday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in his right elbow that is causing irritation but it only bothers him when he throws the baseball. He is 5-for-18 (.278) with two homers and four RBIs and has yet to strike out in five games.
Description: In a battle of former aces Wednesday night in Chavez Ravine, Giants righthander Tim Lincecum was slightly more effective than Los Angeles' Josh Beckett.
Insight: Lincecum went the minimum five innings for his first win of 2013. He gave up just two runs on three hits but his control of the strike zone was nonexistent (seven walks). It's not a very encouraging start to the season for a player coming off an awful 10-15 campaign in 2012.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will miss Wednesday's game with an illness.
Insight: Belt played through the illness Monday but he missed Tuesday's game. The young first baseman hit .410 with eight homers this spring, but he also hit .378 with three homers last spring and underwhelmed during the regular season. He's worth rostering in all leagues, but he has a lot to prove early in the year.
Description: An illness will keep Giants first baseman Brandon Belt out of the lineup Tuesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Insight: Belt played through the illness Monday but he'll need a rest Tuesday. The young first baseman hit .410 with eight homers this spring, but he also hit .378 with three homers last spring and underwhelmed during the regular season. He's worth rostering in all leagues, but he has a lot to prove early in the year.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is in the lineup for Monday's season opener.
Insight: Sandoval (.283, 12 HR, 63 RBI in 2012) has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve over the past couple of weeks. there was concern that he would need to rest it before the season began, but evidently he's ready for the opener.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence is just a .043 hitter (1-for-23) versus Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw with six strikeouts.
Insight: Pence went over 100 RBI for the first time this past season and became one of the Giants' clubhouse leaders during the team's playoff run in October, but he should not be in fantasy lineups on Monday.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) left Friday night's game with elbow discomfort and is now a question mark for the season opener.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve this spring. He could easily start the season on the disabled list.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) will return to action as the DH Friday night in the team's spring game against Oakland.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve this spring. He couldn't make it through a light throwing session just last week but recovered quickly.
Description: The Giants signed catcher Buster Posey to an eight-year, $167 million contract extension with a team option for 2022, according to ESPN.
Insight: Posey is the reigning NL MVP and has won two World Series titles in his three seasons. The deal is the longest in Giants history and the most money ever guaranteed to a player with fewer than three years of service time. He should once again be a top-two fantasy catcher.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is pain-free and could be ready for Opening Day, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve. He couldn't make it through a light throwing session just three days ago but appears to have recovered quickly.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has seven home runs this spring.
Insight: Of course, Belt also hit .378 with three homers last spring and only hit .254 with four homers in the first half. He finally has the first base job locked down, but he has yet to carry over his minor league power to the majors.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) tried to play catch Saturday but couldn't make it through a light session, according to CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years. It's unclear if that is contributing to his irritated ulnar nerve. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said surgery "has not been discussed at all," but admitted that Sandoval could start the season on the DL "if he's not making improvement tomorrow."
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is optimistic he will be ready for Opening Day, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Sandoval has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve in his elbow that caused him to lose some sensation in his fingers.
Insight: Sandoval has suffered a broken hamate bone in each hand over the last two seasons but we wouldn't necessarily call him an injury risk. That is a fluke injury that just happened to occur twice for the same player in consecutive seasons.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has slugged four homers in spring training and is batting .417 in 36 at-bats.
Insight: Of course, Belt also hit .378 with three homers last spring and only hit .254 with four homers in the first half. Belt finally has the first base job locked down but he has yet to exhibit the power to be a reliable fantasy option.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum is still struggling with blisters and won't pitch Thursday against Cleveland.
Insight: Lincecum has now missed two starts in a row so the blister problem doesn't seem to be going away. Hopefully he'll have it figured out by the time the regular season starts. Lincecum pitched poorly in his first start of the spring, a no-decision against the Dodgers on February 26th (1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER).
Description: Giants righthander Tim Lincecum has blisters on his finger and is scratched from his next start.
Insight: Lincecum has suffered from this in a number of seasons so he says he's not concerned. We're hoping he returns to his Cy Young form this season, but are watching his spring training outings closely for signs of recovery.
Description: San Francisco righthander Matt Cain was hit in the knee by a line drive Sunday against the Cubs but manager Bruce Bochy says Cain should still be able to make his next start. SOURCE: Comcast Bay Area
Insight: Cain struggled in his first start of the spring, allowing four runs and four hits in his only inning of work. We're guessing Sunday's tough outing was just a case of Cain dusting off the cobwebs. He should be back to dominating by the time April rolls around.
Description: As expected, righthander Matt Cain has been named the Giants' Opening Day starter. SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Mercury News
Insight: No surprise here. Cain (16-5, 2.79 ERA in 2012) was a Cy Young award candidate last season and pitched the first perfect game in club history last June. The 28-year-old is in the prime of his career. Don't let him slip too far in this year's fantasy draft.
Description: The Giants have re-signed reliever Santiago Casilla to a three-year contract extension. SOURCE: Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Casilla stepped in and saved 25 games with a 2.84 ERA after Brian Wilson had to have Tommy John surgery last season. However, he lost the closer job to Sergio Romo in the second half and shouldn't carry much fantasy value next year.
Description: Shortstop Marco Scutaro has agreed to stay with the San Francisco Giants. His new deal is worth $20 million over three seasons.
Insight: Scutaro played the best baseball of his career after the Rockies traded him to the Giants at midseason (.362, 7 HR, 74 RBI) and went on to win his first NLCS MVP Award in October. Given the position's lack of depth, Scutaro is definitely worth looking into in fantasy next season.
Description: Center fielder Angel Pagan has agreed to re-sign with the Giants according to Jon Heyman from CBS. The deal is worth $40 million over four years.
Insight: There was speculation that Pagan could be headed to Philadelphia after the Phillies missed out on signing B.J. Upton but ultimately the 31-year-old decided he'd rather stay in San Francisco. He's an average fantasy player who can run and hit for average but lacks power.
Description: One day after being non-tendered by the Giants, closer Brian Wilson reportedly has "zero interest" in returning to the team. SOURCE: Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: ESPN's Jim Bowden noted via Twitter that a source said Wilson has interest in the Giants, Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox. Schulman responded saying he was told Wilson feels disrespected by the Giants, adding that one person who knows the right-hander said he's "pouting" and could change his mind. There's no guarantee the Giants even want him back coming off his second Tommy John surgery. Sergio Romo locked down the closer role down the stretch in 2012 after taking the reigns from Santiago Casilla.
Description: Scott Lauber from the Boston Herald says the Red Sox could target reliever Brian Wilson if San Francisco doesn't tender him a new contract.
Insight: Wilson grew up in the Boston area so there could be a little incentive to work out a deal if he becomes available. The Red Sox already have a capable closer in Andrew Bailey and still need to fill holes at first base, shortstop and both of the corner outfield positions so signing Wilson probably won't be a top priority for them this winter.
Description: David O'Brien from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves are very interested in free agent center fielder Angel Pagan.
Insight: Pagan has a similar skill set to Michael Bourn as he's a good hitter for average (.288) with excellent speed (29 steals on 36 attempts). He's also far less expensive than Bourn. The former Braves center fielder has said he's hoping to land a $100 million contract this offseason.
Description: Jon Heyman from CBS Sports expects San Francisco to offer outfielder Hunter Pence arbitration this winter.
Insight: Pence went over 100 RBI for the first time this past season and became one of the Giants' clubhouse leaders during the team's playoff run in October. The 29-year-old is set to become a free agent after the 2013 season.
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito's renaissance continued in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday against the Tigers. Zito fired 5 2/3 innings, allowed one run on six hits and fanned three with one walk in an 8-3 win.
Insight: San Francisco's biggest stars in Game 1 -- Zito and Pablo Sandoval -- barely factored into the team's 2010 World Series win. Zito was left off the postseason roster entirely and Sandoval only had 17 at-bats the entire postseason. Zito is now 2-0 with 1.69 ERA in three starts this postseason. He's won nine straight decisions going back to Aug. 7.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval became the fourth player in World Series history to homer three times in a game in Game 1 Wednesday. Sandoval went deep twice against starter Justin Verlander and once off Al Alburquerque.
Insight: Sandoval was barely involved in the team's World Series victory in 2010 -- he had just three at-bats in the World Series and 17 in the entire postseason. The Kung Fu Panda has been a little more relevant this year -- Sandoval is batting .370 (20-for-54) with four doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs in the 2012 playoffs.
Description: San Francisco 1B/OF Aubrey Huff is a career .176 hitter (3-for-17) against World Series Game 1 starter Justin Verlander. All three hits were singles.
Insight: Huff has worked exclusively as a pinch-hitter in the postseason and has done little batting 1-for-5 with a walk. Manager Bruce Bochy won't change his current formula for success, so Huff shouldn't start.
Description: San Francisco second baseman Marco Scutaro is one of the few Giants with extensive experience against Justin Verlander, but he's had very little success, going just 5-for-23 (.217) with eight strikeouts.
Insight: The 2012 NLCS MVP doesn't have a good history in his matchups with Verlander and should be avoided in Game 1.
Description: Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner will start Game 2 of the World Series. He was demoted to the bullpen in favor of Tim Lincecum in Game 4 of the NLCS.
Insight: San Francisco has to hope Bumgarner has corrected the mechanical flaw that has caused him to be ineffective since late August. In his last nine starts including the postseason, Bumgarner is 2-6 with a 6.85 ERA.
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito will start Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers.
Insight: Zito wasn't even on the postseason roster in 2010 when San Francisco won it all, but he's a key part of the rotation now with Madison Bumgarner struggling and Tim Lincecum in the bullpen. The veteran is coming off his most memorable performance since joining the Giants -- 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 5 of the NLCS with San Francisco facing elimination.
Description: The Giants could be interested in trading starter Tim Lincecum this offseason according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Insight: The two-time Cy Young winner saw his performance decline sharply in 2012, finishing the year with a 5.18 ERA and a career-high 15 losses. He last appeared during Thursday night's Game 4 loss to St. Louis. The 28-year-old will be a free agent after the 2013 season and is still owed $22 million from his current contract.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong delivered a clutch performance Sunday night in Game 6. Over seven innings of work, the righthander allowed just one run on four hits.
Insight: Vogelsong finished with one walk and nine strikeouts. He's been huge for the Giants this postseason, compiling a 1.42 ERA in three starts with two of those outings coming in elimination games. Ace Matt Cain will get the start for San Francisco on Monday.
Description: Barry Zito turned in perhaps his most memorable outing as a San Francisco Giant Friday night in a huge Game 5 win over St. Louis.
Insight: Zito allowed just six hits and one walk over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He also had six strikeouts. In terms of pitches thrown (115), this was Zito's longest outing of the season. With the win, the Giants were able to cut the Cardinals' series lead to 3-2. The final two games of the series will be played at AT&T Park back in San Francisco.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey was named this season's National League Comeback Player of the Year.
Insight: We're guessing that won't be the only piece of hardware Posey walks away with this postseason. He's a favorite to win the MVP Award as well and if San Francisco can turn things around, Posey could win his second World Series in three seasons.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has been dropped to sixth in the order for Thursday's NLCS Game 4.
Insight: Pence has mostly been batting fifth for San Francisco during the postseason. During the regular season, Pence hit .200 with 0 HR and 3 RBI in 45 at bats out of the sixth spot in the batting order.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence is only hitting .161 with zero extra-base hits and no RBIs in eight games this postseason. And while Pence has 11 hits in 38 career at-bats against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, he's also whiffed 11 times against the St. Louis starter.
Insight: Pence has been brutal at the plate since he came over in a trade from Philadelphia at the trade deadline. In 59 regular season games with San Francisco, Pence hit .219 with a .671 OPS.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum will start Game 4 of the NLCS against St. Louis, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Insight: Lincecum has earned a start with 8 1/3 innings of three-hit relief this postseason. He went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA in the regular season but was much better in the second half, going 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA.
Description: Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner has been demoted to the bullpen in favor of Barry Zito. Zito will start Game 5, manager Bruce Bochy said.
Insight: Bumgarner has been awful during the playoffs, posting an 11.25 ERA in his two starts after going 16-11 with a 3.37 this season. Bumgarner's struggles go back to late August -- he posted a 5.89 ERA over his final seven starts of the regular season.
Description: San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong notched his first career postseason victory Monday in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals.
Insight: Vogelsong fired seven innings, allowed just one run on four hits and struck out four to help the Giants tie the series 1-1. The right-hander has given up just three earned runs in his last 29 innings pitched going back to the regular season.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro has been diagnosed with a left hip injury, according to the San Francisco Giants' official Twitter account.
Insight: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Matt Holliday took out Scutaro on a hard slide at second base early in Game 2 of the NLDS Monday, forcing Scutaro to leave the game. Scutaro will have X-rays on his injured hip.
Description: Giants righthander Tim Lincecum again came out of the bullpen and pitched two scoreless innings against St. Louis in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Insight: Lincecum has pitched 8 1/3 innings in three relief outings this postseason, yielding just three hits, one earned run and striking out nine batters. This looks a lot closer to the Lincecum who won a couple of Cy Young awards and he should find his way into the starting rotation by the end of the series.
Description: San Francisco's Game 2 starter, righthander Ryan Vogelsong, faced the Cardinals just once this season, but shut them out over seven innings for the win.
Insight: There was speculation that Tim Lincecum could get the nod for Game 2, but he was used in relief in the NLCS opener. Vogelsong went five innings in Game 3 of the NLDS against Cincinnati yielding one run and three hits and pitched well to end the regular season. He should put up a solid performance on Monday night.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence is just 4-for-22 (.182) with seven strikeouts against St. Louis Game 2 starter Chris Carpenter.
Insight: Pence did little after being traded to San Francisco from Philadelphia, batting just .219 with a .671 OPS. The 29-year-old is 5-for-24 in this year's postseason, but has yet to produce an extra base hit or an RBI. Given his lack of success against Carpenter, he should not be in any lineups.
Description: San Francisco utility man Ryan Theriot has yet to start a game in the postseason, but if every there was a time it will be Monday against the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter. Theriot is a career .467 hitter (7-for-15) with a 1.167 OPS against the St. Louis right-hander.
Insight: Theriot is 0-for-2 with a walk in three postseason at-bats. He batted .270 during the regular season, but with little power (.637 OPS).
Description: San Francisco righthander will draw the start Monday in Game 2 of the NLCS versus St. Louis.
Insight: There was speculation that Tim Lincecum could get the nod for Game 2 but now it looks like the Giants will continue to use him out of the bullpen. Vogelsong allowed just one run on three hits in his last start Tuesday in Game 3 of the NLDS against Cincinnati.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera has served his 50-game suspension. He's been reinstated to the Giants' 40-man roster.
Insight: Cabrera won't be on the team's NLCS roster and it's unlikely he'll be available for the World Series either, assuming the Giants make it that far. He hit .346 with 11 HR and 60 RBI in 113 games this year. The 2012 All-Star Game MVP was suspended in mid-August after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Description: San Francisco starter Matt Cain didn't pitch great Thursday but he was good enough to help the Giants win Game 5 of the NLDS against the Reds. Cain allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings but San Francisco spotted him six runs.
Insight: Cain only threw five innings in a Game 1 loss so he'll finish the NLDS with a 5.06 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. It's possible Cincinnati just owns Cain -- the Giants righty went 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA against the Reds in the regular season. Unfortunately, Cain might have to face St. Louis in the NLCS, a team he went 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA and 1.63 WHIP against this season (Cain allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings in his lone start against Washington this year).
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey hit a grand slam Thursday to help the Giants beat the Reds in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Insight: Posey's fifth-inning blast put San Francisco up 6-0 but the Reds chipped away before the Giants held on for a 6-4 win. In the process, San Francisco became the first NL team to come back from down 2-0 in the division series.
Description: San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt has returned to the starting lineup for Thursday's NLDS Game 5 against the Reds. Belt didn't play until the ninth inning Wednesday in Game 4.
Insight: Hector Sanchez always catches for Barry Zito so Buster Posey moved to first base on Wednesday, allowing Belt to get the afternoon off. Despite producing at a solid .275 clip during the regular season, Belt is just 1-for-9 in the series.
Description: Giants righthander Tim Lincecum came into the game in relief of Barry Zito and pitched well Wednesday, giving up just one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Insight: Lincecum struck out six and didn't walk a batter. Based on this performance, we wouldn't be surprised if Lincecum were to replace Zito in the starting rotation should San Francisco advance to the next round.
Description: Giants lefthander Barry Zito lasted just 2 2/3 innings Wednesday in his Game 4 start against the Reds.
Insight: Zito walked four batters while giving up two runs over 76 pitches. He also gave up four hits. Zito isn't likely to pitch again unless San Francisco advances to the next round, and even then, Tim Lincecum is probably a better option to pitch during the NLCS.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong helped keep the team alive in the NLDS against the Reds with five strong innings Tuesday in Game 3. Vogelsong allowed just one run on three hits as San Francisco went on to win 2-1 in extra innings.
Insight: Vogelsong was making his first career postseason start. The right-hander went 10-5 with a 2.27 ERA in his first 21 starts this season but he posted a 10.31 ERA in a seven-start stretch from Aug. 13 to Sept. 16. He's finished up strong, though, allowing just two earned runs in his last 22 innings, including Tuesday's postseason start.
Description: San Francisco lefthander Barry Zito will start Wednesday's NLDS Game 4 versus the Reds.
Insight: The Giants had to alter their rotation after using Tim Lincecum in relief on Sunday night. Now Ryan Vogelsong will pitch Game 3 on Tuesday with Zito on the mound Wednesday for Game 4. The Reds lead the series 2-0 so there's a chance the series could already be over before Zito gets another chance to pitch.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence only hit .219 as a member of the Giants but he drove in 45 runs in 59 games with the team and has a good chance of producing in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Reds on Sunday.
Insight: Pence has a .343 average (12-for-35) with two home runs and five RBIs against Reds Game 2 starter Bronson Arroyo. The outfielder set a new career high with 104 RBIs this season but he went 0-for-4 in Game 1 as the Giants lost to Cincinnati.
Description: San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan has only faced Reds starter Johnny Cueto seven times, but in that span he has four hits against him.
Insight: Pagan and the Giants were just 3-4 against Cincinnati during the regular season but one of those three victories did come against Cueto. They'll look to make it 2-for-2 versus Cueto Saturday in Game 1 at AT&T Park.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey has won his first National League batting title with a .336 average. Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen came in second at .327.
Insight: Posey seems like a shoe-in for the NL MVP Award. His 24 homers and 103 RBI this season established new career highs and his 7.2 wins above replacement was third in the majors behind only Mike Trout and Robinson Cano, who are both in the American League. His Giants will open the playoffs Saturday in Cincinnati.
Description: San Francisco ace Matt Cain has been named the team's Game 1 starter for the Division Series.
Insight: No surprises here. Cain has been the unquestioned leader of the Giants' pitching staff in 2012, compiling a team-leading 16 wins and 193 strikeouts in 32 appearances. He'll likely be facing the Reds in the first round, a team he's 0-2 against this season.
Description: Despite struggling for most of the season, the Giants have elected to use Tim Lincecum in their starting rotation when they open the playoffs later this week.
Insight: If the season ended today, Lincecum (10-15, 5.18 ERA) would face the Reds in the first round, a team he has never won against in three career starts (0-1, 7.41 ERA). Of the four possible opponents Lincecum could face in the Division Series, the Cardinals present the most favorable matchup for the former Cy Young winner. He's 5-1 in his career against St. Louis with a 2.89 ERA.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey will receive the day off Sunday against San Diego.
Insight: Posey (.337, 23 HR, 100 RBI) has used a recent 6-for-10 stretch over his last three games to pull ahead of Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen in the race for the National League batting title. Hector Sanchez (.273, 3 HR, 34 RBI) will get the start behind the plate for San Francisco.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is not in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Padres.
Insight: San Francisco has had the division wrapped up for about a week now, so they won't have to worry about competing in one of the play-in games later this week. They can afford to rest their starters and that seems to be what they're doing here with Sandoval (.286, 12 HR, 63 RBI).
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence is only hitting .224 in 55 games with the team.
Insight: Pence has put together his first 100-RBI campaign and also has 23 homers and 85 runs scored so owners might be able to overlook his .255 batting average, but the outfielder is far from an everyday option. Sunday would be a day to sit him, since he's 3-for-22 (.125) with 11 strikeouts in his career against Padres starter Edinson Volquez.
Description: San Francisco righthander Matt Cain improved to 16-5 with a win over the Diamondbacks Wednesday night at AT&T Park.
Insight: Cain (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 6 K's) is undefeated in his last nine starts. Though Gio Gonzalez and R.A. Dickey are probably the favorites, Cain should get some consideration for the National League Cy Young Award when the season is over.
Description: The Giants have decided to leave outfielder Melky Cabrera off of their playoff roster. Cabrera received a 50-game suspension in August after testing positive for excessive levels of testosterone.
Insight: It would appear that Cabrera's tenure with San Francisco is over as he is unlikely to re-sign with the team when he becomes a free agent this offseason. It's hard to predict what kind of numbers Cabrera (.346, 11 HR, 60 RBI) will put up next year without the help of performance enhancers.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence won't start Sunday's game against San Diego.
Insight: Pence (.257, 21 HR, 96 RBI) looked awful Friday in the series opener (0-for-4, three strikeouts) but he was able to rebound nicely with a 2-for-3 effort Saturday. Even though he's hitting just .222 for the month, Pence does have eight RBI in his past 10 games.
Description: San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval will take a seat Sunday versus the Padres.
Insight: Sandoval (.289, 12 HR, 59 RBI) had been 10 for his last 16 before going 0-for-3 in Saturday's game. Joaquin Arias (.277, 4 HR, 33 RBI) will take over at third base Sunday in Sandoval's absence.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera will not be eligible to win the batting title, according to CSNBayArea.com. Cabrera was suspended 50 games in August after testing positive for a banned substance.
Insight: Cabrera (.346, 11 HR, 60 RBI) asked the league to disqualify him, saying in a statement that he has "no wish to win an award that would widely be seen as tainted." With Cabrera out of the picture, Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen (.338) looks like the favorite to win the National League batting title.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is 5-for-6 against lefty Jeff Francis with a home run and a 2.333 OPS.
Insight: Since July 1, Posey has batted .374 with a 1.076 OPS. He's having another excellent season, batting .334 for the year with 22 HR and 93 RBI and is a top-three fantasy catcher. He's a must start.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is a career .500 hitter against Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin with a pair of homers and a 1.705 OPS.
Insight: Sandoval had a bad week going just 2-for-19 over thepast five games. He's lost power this season with just eight homers and 31 extra base hits in 329 at-bats for a .762 OPS versus 23 HR, 52 extra base hits and a .909 OPS last season.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt should be in the lineup on Monday, despite going hitless in his last two games because he's a stunning 5-for-7 in his matchups with Colorado starter Alex White.
Insight: Belt is hitting a solid .288 in the second half though he hasn't shown much power. Still, this favorable matchup is worthy taking a flier.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has a 10.13 ERA in 21 1/3 innings over his last five starts.
Insight: Vogelsong was shelled again Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, allowing six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander has given up 37 hits and 24 earned runs in his last five starts as his ERA has increased from 2.27 to 3.29.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will get the day off Monday versus Arizona.
Insight: Belt is hitting a solid .286 in the second half, though he hasn't homered in any of his 140 post All-Star at bats. For the season, his slugging percentage is a measly .404 so if you're looking for power, Belt isn't your guy.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is only batting .233 in 30 games since joining the team, but he is working on a six-game hitting streak and will face Cubs starter Travis Wood Sunday, a favorable matchup for the outfielder.
Insight: Pence has six RBIs in his last four games and he carries a .417 average (5-for-12) with a homer and four RBIs into his Sunday matchup with Wood.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum has a 3.26 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
Insight: Lincecum (8-14, 5.21) registered an ugly 6.42 ERA before the break, so he appears to have figured things out. A dominant September would go a long way toward Lincecum regaining fantasy owners' trust going into next season.
Description: Despite leaving Wednesday's game with hamstring tightness, third baseman Pablo Sandoval is back in the starting lineup Thursday night against the Braves.
Insight: Sandoval (.298, 8 HR, 40 RBI) probably isn't 100 percent but with the Giants neck and neck with the Dodgers in the division, they need all the help they can get on offense right now. Look for Sandoval to continue to play through this injury.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is not in the starting lineup Thursday night against Atlanta but he will be available to pinch-hit. Posey has been out since Tuesday because of hamstring tightness.
Insight: The Giants fully expect Posey (.327, 19 HR, 79 RBI) to be back in the lineup on Friday.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval left Wednesday's game with tightness in his hamstring, but the Kung Fu Panda insisted he would be in the lineup Thursday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Sandoval missed three weeks with a hamstring injury and was activated Aug. 13. Even if Sandoval is in the lineup, fantasy owners might want to avoid his matchup with Braves starter Tommy Hanson. Sandoval is 1-for-10 with three strikeouts against Hanson.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy hopes catcher Buster Posey can play Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with tightness in his hamstring, but Posey is not a definite, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: As much as we'd like to have Posey back for Thursday's game we'd rather the Giants not force the issue and cause the catcher to miss 15 games instead of two.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is 1-for-18 (.056) against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw with five strikeouts.
Insight: Pence has apparently not yet adjusted to life on the west coast. After batting .271 in Philadelphia with 17 HR and 59 RBI, he's hitting just .222 with San Francisco including a lone homer and 15 RBI in 18 games.
Description: The Giants' acquisition of infielder Marco Scutaro has worked out well for both parties. Scutaro is hitting .347 with 13 RBIs in 12 games with the team, including a 3-for-6, seven-RBI performance Wednesday.
Insight: Something tells us that this won't last. Perhaps it's Scutaro's career .271 average and .725 OPS, or the fact that he posted a .684 OPS in 95 games for Colorado this season. Either way, he should only be considered in deeper leagues.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is 11-for-35 (.314) with three doubles and a homer against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, having accumulated the majority of those at-bats during his time as a Houston Astros outfielder.
Insight: Pence is hitting just .171 with a .446 OPS in eight games since joining San Francisco, but he had two hits and two RBIs Wednesday. Thursday presents a favorable matchup.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong bounced back from one of his worst starts of the season with one of his best, hurling seven scoreless innings and holding St. Louis to just three hits Wednesday.
Insight: Vogelsong lowered his NL-leading ERA to 2.27. The right-hander has thrown a quality start in 19 of 21 turns this season and has quietly been one of the best fantasy starters in the game.
Description: According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval said his hamstring in 90 percent after an "intense workout" Tuesday.
Insight: Sandoval will run the bases tomorrow. He may be able to return this weekend but he admitted it's better to wait a few extra days than to force a return and aggravate the injury. If he feels any pain at all in the next several days expect the Giants to hold him out until next week.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain is 1-3 with a 4.77 ERA in his last seven starts. He allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings Monday against St. Louis to drop his record to 10-5.
Insight: Cain (10-5, 3.01 ERA) was 9-2 with a 2.27 ERA on June 24 and it was looking like he had made the leap from very good to great. However, Cain's overall numbers have regressed to his previous levels.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum won again Sunday, this time in a six-inning effort against Colorado.
Insight: Lincecum (6-11, 5.43 ERA) gave up just five hits and one run over 104 pitches, though he did walk five batters. His performance has improved dramatically since the All-Star break (3-1, 2.48 in five starts).
Description: According to Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said third baseman Pablo Sandoval (hamstring) is a week away from returning from the DL.
Insight: Sandoval missed a month with a broken bone in his hand earlier this season, but his most recent injury is a lesser concern. Hopefully the third baseman can stay off the shelf for the rest of the season, but that's not guaranteed given he's not in great shape.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is not listed in the starting nine for Wednesday's game with New York.
Insight: The addition of Hunter Pence (.271, 17 HRs, 59 RBIs) forces a platoon in center field with Pagan and Gregor Blanco (.242, 5 HRs, 26 RBIs) and tonight it looks like Pagan (.275, 5 Hrs, 35 RBIs) is the odd man out.
Description: San Francisco righthander Tim Lincecum continued his strong second half with an impressive outing Monday night versus the Mets. He allowed six hits and just one run over seven frames, walking one and striking out seven.
Insight: He's still carrying an ugly 5.62 ERA for the season, but in four starts post All-Star break he's 2-1 with a 2.70.
Description: Outfielder Hunter Pence has been dealt from Philadelphia to San Francisco for Nate Schierholtz and two minor leaguers.
Insight: Pence has been inconsistent this season, posting a .271 batting average and a .784 OPS in 101 games with Philadelphia. However, he spent most of the year as the Phillies' only capable bat with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard out, a role he's not quite suited for. Perhaps moving to a Giants lineup with Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey (and eventually Pablo Sandoval) will offset going to a pitcher friendly ballpark in San Francisco.
Description: The Giants acquired infielder Marco Scutaro from the Rockies on Friday for second baseman Charlie Culberson and cash considerations.
Insight: Scutaro (.271, 4 HRs, 30 RBIs) appeared as San Francisco's starting third baseman Saturday against the Dodgers and went 1-for-3. Scutaro hit .299 with the Red Sox a season ago and he is eligible at multiple positions. There's some fantasy potential here.
Description: San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been placed on the 15-day DL. He's been bothered by a strained left hamstring.
Insight: Newcomer Marco Scutaro (.271, 4 HRs, 30 RBIs) could see a lot of action at the hot corner while Sandoval (.299, 8 HRs, 33 RBIs) is out. The Giants acquired Scutaro in a trade with the Rockies less than 24 hours ago.
Description: A strained hamstring will prevent Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval from competing Friday night against the Dodgers.
Insight: Sandoval has been injury-prone in 2012 but he has been very productive offensively when he's been healthy (.299, 8 HRs, 33 RBIs). San Francisco is expected to make a decision soon on whether or not Sandoval will have to spend time on the disabled list.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum came into Wednesday having thrown two straight quality starts, but he couldn't get a third against the Padres.
Insight: Lincecum (4-11, 5.88) allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, though he did strike out eight. Amazingly enough, the former two-time Cy Young Award winner has registered a 9.98 K/9 this season, but he's also walking 4.3 batters per nine and giving up more than a hit per inning.
Description: Lincecum has thrown two consecutive quality starts and a Wednesday matchup against a weaker-hitting Padres lineup should provide a third.
Insight: His record is an ugly 4-10, but in his last two starts, Lincecum has gone 15 innings, yielding just two runs or 10 hits and striking out 17 batters. Its time to hop back on board the "Lincecum Express." Start him today.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan's fantasy relevance has been fading in recent weeks but Sunday could be the day he gets back on track. He's hitting .533 in 15 lifetime at bats against Philadelphia's Joe Blanton.
Insight: Pagan (.282, 5 HRs, 34 RBIs) went 1-for-3 with a double on Saturday but overall he is hitting .220 with no homers and four RBIs since the start of the month.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey picked up four hits, including a double and a homer, Saturday against the Phillies.
Insight: Posey drove in three runs and is now batting .533 (16-for-30) with two homers and 13 RBIs in eight post-break games. The catcher has some serious upside beyond what he's already accomplished this season.
Description: Lincecum threw his second consecutive quality start and appears to be finding his groove. He's still not reaching 95 m.p.h. on the radar gun, but apparently has figured out how to pitch with what he's got.
Insight: In his last two starts, Lincecum has gone 15 innings, yielding just two runs or 10 hits and striking out 17 batters. Its time to hop back on board the "Lincecum Express."
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey drove in five runs Monday against the Braves.
Insight: Almost 14 months removed from his season ending injury in 2011, Posey (.302, 11 HR, 52 RBIs) appears to be completely back to his 2010 form, which bodes well for fantasy owners in the second half.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is a career .103 hitter (3-for-29) versus Bravers starter Jair Jurrjens.
Insight: Pagan was hot in May (.375), but June was a different story as he batted just .245 with a subpar .608 OPS. His bat is still cold in July, batting .229 with a .606 OPS. He should be sitting on your bench until further notice.
Description: Pitching to keep his spot in the Giants' rotation, Tim Lincecum threw a gem Saturday against the Astros. In eight innings, the two-time Cy Young winner held Houston scoreless while allowing just five hits. He finished the evening with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
Insight: Unfortunately Lincecum wasn't able to add to his win total as San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla blew the save in the ninth inning, forcing the Giants to rally for a 3-2 victory in extra innings. Lincecum's seesaw season continues. Despite an ugly 5.93 ERA, he still ranks eighth in the National League in strikeouts with 115. Lincecum's next scheduled start is Friday against Philadelphia.
Description: San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said that if Tim Lincecum has another bad outing on Saturday he could be skipped the next time the Giants go through their starting rotation.
Insight: It's put-up or shut-up time for Lincecum, who is hanging on to his position in the starting rotation by a thread right now. Luckily for Lincecum (3-10, 6.42 ERA), he'll be going up against the last-place Astros when he takes the hill on Saturday.
Description: Investigators said Thursday that there is not enough evidence to arrest Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval for an alleged sexual assault at a hotel near Santa Cruz.
Insight: Sandoval hit .307 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 51 games in the first half. He missed five weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Now that this legal matter is out of the way, Sandoval can focus fully on his job.
Description: Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera will start in the All-Star game, but he hasn't looked like an All-Star in his career against A.J. Burnett, going 2-for-21 (.095) in his career against the Pirates right-hander.
Insight: Cabrera is hitting .353 with eight homers, 44 RBIs and 10 steals, but Sunday does not present a favorable matchup to the Giants outfielder.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong didn't have his best stuff Saturday against Pittsburgh but he still managed to toss at least seven innings for the eighth straight start.
Insight: Vogelsong (7-4, 2.37) allowed three runs on eight hits against the Pirates. The right-hander has thrown at least six innings in all 16 starts this season and at least seven innings in 12 of his last 13. He's also allowed three earned runs or less in 15 of 16 starts and two or less in 11 of 16.
Description: Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez underwent season-ending back surgery on Thursday.
Insight: Sanchez is always a threat to hit .300 when he's healthy but unfortunately for fantasy owners, that doesn't occur very often. He didn't play a single game this season and since 2009, Sanchez has missed 287 of his team's 569 games.
Description: San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner followed up his first career complete game shutout with five lackluster innings Wednesday against Washington. The lefty allowed seven runs on nine hits, including three homers.
Insight: Bumgarner (10-5, 3.27) won five straight starts from April 12 to May 5, lost three straight decisions from May 11 to May 26, and won five straight decisions from June 1 to June 28. Hopefully he can reverse that trend in his next start rather than putting together another losing streak.
Description: San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner is not only 10-4 this season, but he's 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in his last three starts, including a one-hitter against Cincinnati last Thursday.
Insight: Bumgarner has faced Washington twice in his career, allowing just one total run in 13 innings pitched. It appears to be a very favorable matchup.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is getting a rest Tuesday night against Washington.
Insight: Belt (.269, 4 HRs, 29 RBIs) went 3-4 with two singles and a double in his most recent start Sunday against the Reds. The 24-year-old hit .296 in June, the highest average he's hit for in any month this season.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong tossed seven innings Sunday for the 12th time in 15 starts this season. Vogelsong held Cincinnati to two runs on three hits in a no decision.
Insight: Vogelsong (7-3, 2.26) has quietly been one of fantasy's most consistent starting pitchers this season, throwing six or more innings in all 15 starts and allowing three earned runs or less in 14 of 15.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum turned in his best outing in nearly two months Wednesday against the Dodgers. Lincecum shut out Los Angeles on four hits while walking two and striking out eight in seven innings.
Insight: Lincecum (3-8, 5.60) was facing a weak Dodgers lineup that lost Andre Ethier in the first inning, so it's hard to get too excited about this one outing. Still, it's good to see him throwing strikes and picking up his first win since April 28.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey took Monday as a day of rest, but considering he's just a .143 hitter (3-for-21) against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw maybe he should have taken Tuesday off instead.
Insight: Posey (.295, 10 HR, 40 RBI) is having another solid season with statistics comparable to his 2010 rookie season. The matchup with Kershaw, however, should be avoided.
Description: Giants minor league pitcher Brad Penny's future with the club will likely be decided soon. If Penny isn't promoted to the major leagues he can ask for his release and seek an opportunity with another team.
Insight: With how well the Giants' rotation has pitched this season (with the exception of slumping righthander Tim Lincecum), there really isn't any room for Penny in the starting rotation unless somebody gets hurt. Penny is 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA in six appearances for Triple-A Fresno so far this season.
Description: Those fantasy owners starting Matt Cain on Monday please be aware that after their no hitters, Philip Humber, Johan Santana and Jered Weaver's next outings combined for a 9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.
Insight: Cain has won his last seven starts and given up just two earned runs over his past four starts so he may be able to overcome the odds, but this fall off in performce of no-hit pitchers has more to do with distractions than throwing motion.
Description: According to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that the team will not skip Tim Lincecum's next start despite his 6.19 ERA after 14 turns through the rotation.
Insight: Just because the Giants are sticking with Lincecum (2-8, 6.19) doesn't mean fantasy owners have to. The right-hander has lost six straight decision and has given up four earned runs or more in seven of his last eight starts. Don't drop him, but don't let him get anywhere near your fantasy rotation either.
Description: Aubrey Huff is questionable for Friday's game against Seattle with a sprained right knee.
Insight: Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, Huff is "probably headed for the disabled list." Huff has done very little this season, batting just .155 with one homer, five RBI and likely a second stint on the DL. His 2010 season of .290, 26 HR and 86 RBI is but a distant memory.
Description: San Francisco will promote outfielder Justin Christian, 32, from Triple-A Fresno Friday. Aubrey Huff is expected to be placed on the disabled list with a sprained knee suffered during the celebration of Matt Cain's perfect game, and Chrisitan will likely replace him on the roster.
Insight: Christian is fifth in the Pacific Coast League with a .364 batting average in 60 games. He also has seven homers, 31 RBIs, 10 steals and a 25/25 K/BB ratio. However, San Francisco's outfield is crowded with Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and Melky Cabrera holding starting spots and Nate Schierholtz coming off the bench.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt homered for the third straight game Thursday against Houston.
Insight: Belt didn't hit a home run in his first 48 games of the season, but he's found his power stroke in the last three games. He still has a lot of potential so he's worth a look, even if he burned you in April.
Description: According to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group, the Giants will not skip Tim Lincecum's next start.
Insight: Pavlovic said Giants manager Bruce Bochy met with GM Brian Sabean Tuesday to discuss what to do with the struggling Lincecum, and the two decided the best thing to do is keep throwing Lincecum out there. The right-hander's ERA rose to an even 6.00 after his last start.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is not in Tuesday's lineup.
Insight: Pagan is getting a routine day off. He's been playing almost every day for San Francisco, and rightfully so, as he's picked up at least one hit in 48 of his last 51 games. Perhaps his numbers against Houston starter Bud Norris (1-for-8) are to blame for the day off.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan is just 1-for-8, a single, against Houston starter Bud Norris.
Insight: Pagan has been under-the-radar for most of the season, but with his latest numbers he's starting to earn notice from media and fantasy owners. He's batting .387 for the last month with a .938 OPS and a half-a-dozen steals. Tuesday, however, is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings Sunday against Texas. Lincecum walked four and struck out five.
Insight: Lincecum hasn't gotten any better after a lousy start. The former two-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed four runs or more in six out of his last seven starts. His ERA is now an even six on the year.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has been on a roll lately and that trend continued on Saturday against the Rangers. He surrendered only three hits and one earned run in 7.2 innings of work.
Insight: With the win Saturday, Vogelsong improved to 5-2 for the season and he is now 4-0 in his last five starts. Vogelsong's surprising effectiveness this season has partly been able to offset teammate Tim Lincecum's struggles (just 2-6, 5.83 ERA).
Description: Though Barry Zito has gone 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in five starts at home and 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA overall, you're taking a major risk streaming him against Texas Friday.
Insight: Zito's xFIP is 5.01 and his BABIP is .237. Both numbers suggest that Zito has been incredibly lucky this season and that a regression is in order. Also, consider the Texas was held to two runs combined in its three losses to Oakland this week, and it would seem like the top scoring offense in baseball is ready to explode this weekend.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan went 2-for-5 with his fifth homer and 12th stolen base of the season Thursday against San Diego.
Insight: Pagan has collected at least one hit in 46 of his last 48 games, including hitting streaks of 20, 11 and his current 15 game streak. He hadn't hit a homer since going deep three straight days from April 25-27, so Thursday's power display was a welcome addition to his already burgeoning production.
Description: Giants setup man Sergio Romo's availability for Thursday's game against San Diego is in question because of soreness in his left knee.
Insight: Romo enjoyed a short stint of fantasy relevance earlier in the week by picking up three saves but now that closer Santiago Casilla has been cleared to play again, it's likely he'll be heading back to his more familiar setup role. Romo has been brilliant in 2012 and leads the team in ERA at 0.54.
Description: Santiago Casilla's knee has healed and he will be available to close the game Thursday if the Giants have a lead going into the ninth inning. Casilla hasn't pitched for San Francisco since last Friday.
Insight: Casilla (1.54 ERA, 14 saves) has done great since taking over for Brian Wilson as the team's closer in mid-April. Expect him to pick up right where he left off if he gets a chance Thursday against the Padres.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan went 1-for-4 on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Insight: Pagan has collected at least one hit in 45 of his last 47 games, including hitting streaks of 20, 11 and his current 14 game streak. He's also stolen 11 bags this season, making him a must-add player.
Description: San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings, walking and striking out four, but the Giants scored six runs behind him and helped the lefty improve to 7-4.
Insight: Bumgarner has won two straight starts after losing three straight decisions. He's allowed four earned runs in four of his last six starts, but if this is his rough patch for the season, fantasy owners will take it.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (hand) is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list on June 12.
Insight: Sandoval is in manager Bruce Bochy's doghouse due to his apparent weight gain since he went on the disabled list May 3 with a broken left hamate bone. He's also under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. Still, the Giants' need for a bat in the lineup will likely override those issues.
Description: Ryan Vogelsong grabbed his fourth win of the season Monday afternoon against the Cubs. The veteran righthander worked seven innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs. He struck out three without giving up a walk.
Insight: Despite the strong outing, his ERA actually increased from 2.36 to 2.38. It's been another stellar season for the Giants righty and now we all know that last year's 13-7, 2.71 ERA effort wasn't a fluke. Vogelsong hasn't lost a game for San Francisco since May 3rd.
Description: Giants reliever Sergio Romo picked up his second save in as many days against the Cubs on Sunday.
Insight: Giants manager Bruce Bochy has called on Romo for two save chances with closer Santiago Casilla out temporarily with a sore knee. Though Romo is going back to middle relief when Casilla comes back, he's making a case that he should be owned anyway. The right-hander has allowed just one run in 15 2/3 innings this season while striking out 21 batters.
Description: Barry Zito shut out the Cubs over 8 1/3 four-hit innings on Sunday to improve to 5-2.
Insight: The victory was the 150th of Zito's career. The lefty-hander continues to defy the odds and put together an excellent season (2.98 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Sabermetrics say that his fortunes will eventually turn, but Zito keeps getting people out.
Description: Santiago Casilla is listed as day-to-day with a bruised right knee, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Casilla tied for the major league lead in saves with 10 in the month of May. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the news that Casilla only has a bruised tibia is "pretty good news for us." Bochy is hopeful that Casilla will be available Sunday. He said he'll use Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez, depending on the matchup, if a save chance should arise on Saturday. He also mentioned Clay Hensley and Jeremy Affeldt, so don't get tied to any particular Giants reliever should Casilla go down for an extended period.
Description: Giants ace Matt Cain is 3-0 over his last three starts, but don't be fooled, he's not pitching as well as earlier in the season. He's got a 4.12 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over those three wins versus a season ERA of 2.79 and WHIP of 0.93.
Insight: He's 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA and looks well on his way to making his second straight NL All-Star team, but you should be wary of this trend.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (hand) could begin a minor league rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose this weekend, according to Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Insight: Giants manager Bruce Bochy envisions 4-5 minor league games before his third baseman is ready to return. Sandoval has been out since he broke his left hamate bone on May 2. Sandoval suffered the same injury in his other hand last season, but he returned on June 15 and hit .315 with 18 homers, so look for more of the same from the Kung Fu Panda when he comes back this month.
Description: San Francisco second baseman Ryan Theriot, just back from a stint on the disabled list, is a career .667 hitter (6-for-9) against Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders.
Insight: Theriot could be worth a one-day start and is available in most fantasy leagues. He was a useful fantasy middle infielder in his days with the Cubs, but hasn't done much since 2009 to warrant fantasy attention.
Description: Matt Cain made it through 6.2 innings Sunday against the Marlins, allowing just five hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out four. He walked three batters over the 103-pitch outing.
Insight: Cain has recorded wins in each of his last four starts and hasn't produced an outing shorter than six innings in 10 starts this season. He's 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA and looks well on his way to making his second straight NL All-Star team.
Description: Melky Cabrera just won't stop hitting. He went 4-4 with a homer Sunday in the Giants' 3-2 win over Miami.
Insight: Cabrera is now batting .369 for the season and over his last 10 games he is batting an absurd .524. With the exception of possibly Paul Konerko, there isn't a hotter hitter in baseball right now than Melky Cabrera.
Description: According to Andrew Baggarly of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Giants trainer Dave Groeschner met with starter Tim Lincecum for nearly 15 minutes after he had another rough start on Friday night.
Insight: Groeschner told Baggarly in passing that Lincecum is healthy. Lincecum gave up five runs in the sixth inning and six overall against the Marlins on Friday as his ERA rose to 6.41 and his record dropped to 2-5.
Description: Melky Cabrera went 2-for-5 with a solo homer against Miami on Friday.
Insight: Cabrera is unstoppable right now. He's batting a remarkable .438 (42-for-96) since May 2 with 14 multi-hit games in that span. Still, we'd like to see him add some more power, as the home run on Friday was just his third of the year.
Description: Tim Lincecum allowed six runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Marlins on Friday. Lincecum walked four and struck out five.
Insight: The nightmare continues. Lincecum and the Giants had a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the right-hander surrendered five earned runs in the frame. He's just too risky to start right now.
Description: Tim Lincecum has allowed 16 earned runs on 26 hits in 17 2/3 innings in his four road starts this season. He'll start tonight at Miami against Josh Johnson.
Insight: Lincecum has allowed four earned runs or more in six of his nine starts this season, including four straight. He's also averaging just 5 1/3 innings per start. You might want to leave him on the bench until he gets things turned around.