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Know Your Foe: The Giants have won three championships in five years; are they any good?

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The Rockies will get their first taste of intra-division baseball starting today.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are world champions. That's obnoxious to type, but we have all had to get used to it, since they do it every other year. Luckily, 2015 counts as an "other year." If this wholly arbitrary pattern holds its course, they'll be mediocre in 2015. We can only hope.

The Giants lost a couple key players this off-season, chief among them Pablo Sandoval. The big third baseman bolted for Fenway Park and a $100 million paycheck, while burning some bridges in the process. Meanwhile, Hunter Pence broke his wrist and Matt Cain is dealing with an arm injury and is shut down for the foreseeable future. The odd year voodoo could be messing with them already.

Except for a magical three game series last season, San Francisco has always been a house of horrors for the Rockies. The bats go silent in the heavy air and the pitching struggles to get the pesky Giants hitters out. The Giants really know how to play in their park.

Hitters to watch

Buster Posey is pretty dang good. The catcher routinely puts up MVP caliber seasons, and actually won it in 2012. The career .308/.374/.487 while playing in pitcher friendly AT&T Park is superb, and he does all that while shouldering the heavy defensive duty of the catcher spot. Just like Tulo for the Rockies, Posey is the engine for the Giants.

After an injury plagued 2014, Angel Pagan is back in action. He's off to a roaring start to the year with a .972 OPS. Pagan is the perfect hitter for AT&T, capable of spraying line drives to all the gaps and take a walk when he needs to. Add in the fact that he plays a pretty mean center field, and Pagan becomes a complimentary up-the-middle threat to go along with Posey.

New addition Nori Aoki has made his presence known by hitting .400 in the early going. Aoki is a spark plug type player. Casey McGehee was brought in to replace Sandoval; a tough job, no doubt. The veteran has never had a particularly good season, outside a 2.9 WAR year for the Brewers in 2010. He has some power upside and plays a solid enough third base.

Notorious Rockie killer Hunter Pence is still on the shelf after breaking his forearm early in spring training. It's never a good thing when star players go down, but I'm okay with not seeing him this series.

2015 Offensive Stats

Name G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Off Def WAR
Angel Pagan 6 27 0 3 2 0 14.80% 11.10% 0.261 0.35 0.304 0.407 0.565 0.419 195 2.6 0.1 0.4
Nori Aoki 6 28 0 3 1 0 10.70% 7.10% 0.08 0.435 0.4 0.464 0.48 0.418 194 2.7 -0.3 0.4
Buster Posey 6 26 1 2 3 0 15.40% 7.70% 0.143 0.263 0.286 0.385 0.429 0.346 142 1.1 1 0.3
Brandon Crawford 6 23 1 3 3 0 0.00% 17.40% 0.136 0.235 0.227 0.261 0.364 0.28 94 -0.2 0.3 0.1
Casey McGehee 6 22 1 3 2 0 4.50% 22.70% 0.19 0.267 0.238 0.273 0.429 0.31 116 0 0.1 0.1
Matt Duffy 4 13 0 0 1 0 7.70% 23.10% 0.091 0.375 0.273 0.333 0.364 0.312 117 0.2 0 0.1
Justin Maxwell 5 9 0 0 2 0 0.00% 11.10% 0.111 0.375 0.333 0.333 0.444 0.341 138 0.3 -0.1 0.1
Ryan Vogelsong 2 3 0 1 0 0 0.00% 33.30% 0 0.5 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.296 106 0 0.3 0
Joaquin Arias 3 8 1 1 1 0 0.00% 25.00% 0.429 0 0.143 0.143 0.571 0.312 118 0.1 -0.1 0
Joe Panik 5 22 0 2 1 0 4.50% 22.70% 0.05 0.313 0.25 0.273 0.3 0.251 73 -0.6 0.1 0
George Kontos 3 1 0 0 0 0 0.00% 100.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 -0.2 0.1 0
Tim Hudson 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 -0.4 0.2 0
Tim Lincecum 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 -0.4 0.2 0
Chris Heston 1 3 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 -0.6 0.3 0
Madison Bumgarner 2 4 0 0 0 0 0.00% 75.00% 0 0 0 0 0 0 -100 -0.9 0.4 0
Brandon Belt 2 6 0 0 1 0 0.00% 16.70% 0 0.2 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.148 -2 -0.6 -0.1 -0.1
Gregor Blanco 6 21 0 1 0 0 14.30% 14.30% 0.056 0.2 0.167 0.286 0.222 0.221 51 -1.1 -0.2 -0.1
Hector Sanchez 5 14 0 0 1 0 0.00% 28.60% 0.071 0.3 0.214 0.214 0.286 0.219 50 -0.7 -0.8 -0.1

Pitchers to watch

The Rockies won't see Madison Bumgarner this series, so that's nice.

Chris Heston, grandson of Charlton*, will start the first game against the Rockies. The rookie got a sip of coffee last year (just 5.1 innings), but with the various injuries to the pitching staff, he has been called into duty early this year. In his first start he went six innings and didn't allow an earned run.

*Note: not a real fact

Tims Hudson and Lincecum will face the Rockies the other two games. Lincecum hasn't posted an ERA- below 126 in the last three years. Hudson relies on his old man strength to continue pitching effectively into his age 40 season. Grounders never go out of style.

2015 pitching stats

Name W L SV IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Madison Bumgarner 1 1 0 10 6.3 0.9 0 0.444 68.40% 50.00% 0.00% 5.4 2.4 3.84 0.2
Sergio Romo 0 0 0 2.1 15.43 3.86 0 0.25 100.00% 50.00% 0.00% 0 0.75 1.79 0.1
Chris Heston 1 0 0 6 7.5 3 0 0.188 66.70% 56.30% 0.00% 0 2.73 3.53 0.1
George Kontos 1 0 0 5 7.2 1.8 0 0.214 100.00% 28.60% 0.00% 0 1.9 3.1 0.1
Tim Lincecum 0 0 0 7 6.43 3.86 0 0.235 100.00% 70.60% 0.00% 0 2.75 3.27 0.1
Yusmeiro Petit 0 0 0 1.2 16.2 0 0 0.333 100.00% 33.30% 0.00% 0 -0.7 0.02 0.1
Javier Lopez 0 0 0 0.2 0 0 0 0.333 0.00% 66.70% 0.00% 13.5 2.9 4.71 0
Santiago Casilla 0 0 3 3 9 0 0 0.143 100.00% 57.10% 0.00% 0 0.9 1.7 0
Jean Machi 0 0 0 2 4.5 4.5 0 0.333 50.00% 62.50% 0.00% 9 3.4 4.6 0
Jeremy Affeldt 0 1 0 1.2 5.4 5.4 0 0.25 50.00% 50.00% 0.00% 5.4 3.5 4.22 0
Tim Hudson 0 0 0 6.1 1.42 7.11 0 0.25 100.00% 68.40% 0.00% 0 4.95 5.9 -0.1
Ryan Vogelsong 0 1 0 8.1 7.56 5.4 2.16 0.419 46.50% 31.30% 15.40% 11.88 6.14 4.9 -0.2

Probable pitchers

Game 1: Eddie Butler vs Chris Heston

Game 2: Christian Bergman vs. Tim Hudson

Game 3: Tyler Matzek vs. Tim Lincecum