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How experts, models think the Giants’ 2022 season will play out

© Matt Kartozian | 2022 Apr 1

Every team currently rests in first place, at 0-0. Clean slates, hope springs eternal, etcetera. 

But on the eve of Major League Baseball’s Opening Day it’s officially time to check in on preseason predictions.

While preseason models can set expectations for fans, they’re predictors of the unpredictable — the 2021 Giants proved that by winning 32 more games than one model forecasted. 

That’s why they play the games. Computers are just as good as the data they use, and there will never be enough data to make perfect projections. That wouldn’t be any fun, anyway. 

Here’s how various models and experts view the 2022 Giants ahead of their season opener on Friday. 

Fangraphs ZiPS Playoff Odds 

Fangraphs projects the Giants to win 84.3 games and lose 77.7. It gives SF a 45.2% chance at making the playoffs and just a 7.4% chance at repeating as National League West champions. 

In the ZiPS model, the six playoff teams in the NL would be the Dodgers, Brewers, Braves, Mets and Padres. The Phillies, Cardinals and Giants would be the next three teams vying for a Wild Card spot. 

Baseball Prospectus PECOTA 

BP’s model is even more bearish on the Giants than Fangraphs, pegging San Francisco as a 78-win team. That would be a 29-win step back from last year’s historic pace.

The same model has the Dodgers winning 101 games.

FiveThirtyEight

After 100,000 simulations of the upcoming season, FiveThirtyEight predicts the Giants will finish 84-78 — the same record as the Mets and Angels. Their model gives SF a 49% chance at reaching the postseason, an 11% chance at repeating as division champions and a 3% chance at winning the World Series. 

This forecasting is based on Elo Ratings, FiveThirtyEight’s advanced model accounts for head-to-head results, margin of victory, quality of opponent, travel distance, rest and other factors. 

Vegas Odds 

According to Action Network, which averaged odds from various sports books, the Giants are +2642 to win the 2022 Worlds Series. Those are the 13th longest odds, behind the Padres (17 to 1) and Red Sox (+2095). A $100 bet would net $2,642.

San Francisco’s over/under win total is set at 85, per Action Network, three fewer than San Diego and well behind the Dodgers’ MLB-high 98.5.

The Giants are +537 to win the NL West again, positioning them as a long shot. Vegas thinks the Giants are a third-place team.

Sports Illustrated Panel 

SI’s seven national baseball writers made their predictions for each division and Wild Card teams. Each chose the Dodgers to win the division and six of seven had the Giants in the playoffs as a Wild Card team. 

USA Today Panel 

A team of six USA Today Sports staffers projected win totals for the entire league, and Giants fans won’t be thrilled with their conclusions. 

The panel projects an 87-75 record for the Giants — better than Fangraphs and PECOTA but still not enough for the postseason. USA Today’s six NL playoff teams? The Dodgers, Brewers and Braves plus, with 89 wins apiece, the Mets, Cardinals and Padres.

MLB.com Panel

A collection of 73 MLB.com experts voted on each division winner and Wild Card teams for the upcoming season. They think the favored Dodgers will reclaim the NL West division crown, but the Giants will be among the three Wild Card teams in the league. The other two Wild Card teams: the Padres and Mets. 

ESPN Panel

ESPN’s experts ranked the Giants as the 10th best team heading into the season. They project the Giants to finish 85-77 and have a 49.4% coin flip chance at reaching the postseason. 

The Athletic 

In their panel of over 30 writers, no Athletic reporter chose the Giants to win the World Series. The Dodgers picked up nearly half their votes to win it all. As many writers (3% of voters) consider the Giants overrated as underrated. Joey Bart earned NL Rookie of the Year buzz with 9% of voters predicting the catcher to take home the award, and 6.1% of voters chose Logan Webb to win Cy Young in his fourth season on the bump. 

Senior baseball writer Keith Law pegs the Giants as an 85-77 team, third in the NL West behind Los Angeles and San Diego.

Like ESPN, The Athletic slotted the Giants at 10 in their preseason power rankings.

 

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