San Francisco Giants - 3 Studs, a Dud and a Sleeper

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Three Studs, a Dud and a Sleeper for the San Francisco Giants is no small task considering the team once again may finish near the NL West cellar.

Even still, get everything you need to know about the Giants after the jump...

Top 3 Giants

Tim Lincecum - SP

Really not too much to say here besides the fact that Tim Lincecum is a flat out fantasy beast.

He led the bigs in strikeouts (265) and the NL in ERA (2.62) while compiling a sparkling 18-5 record on a team that would have trouble taking home the NCAA Men's Baseball tourney crown.

In dynasty leagues, I'd consider Lincecum the number one fantasy pitcher, hands down. And depending on your faith in Johan Santana's health, he should merit strong consideration in any other fantasy format.

Matt Cain - SP

Remember when Cain was supposed to be the kind of starter Lincecum is for the Giants?

I do too. Unfortunately, Cain has not been able and has struggled with control since joining the rotation. But the beauty of fantasy baseball is that wins and losses are only a marginal part of success and Cain delivers enough in other areas to counteract his failures.

His durability is not an issue - a 6-foot-3, 246 pound frame will help in this regard - and has allowed him to reach the 200 IP plateau the past two seasons. More importantly, he's averaged 176 K the past three seasons and Cain's 1.36 WHIP from 2009 was just a shade higher than Lincecum's (1.17),

Depending on your take, Cain could literally be ranked anywhere from 30 to 40 in terms of fantasy pitching. Again, you'll have to sacrifice some wins, but if you're in desperate need of solid strikeout production and a decent WHIP at the backend of your rotation, give Cain a look.

Randy Johnson - SP

Despite looking like a man you'd see sipping on stale coffee in a truck stop somewhere, Randy Johnson is a bona-fide 20-year MLB veteran who knows how to get it done.

After an injury plagued 2007 (back), Johnson returned to halfway decent form for the D-Backs in 2008. Compiling a respectable 11-10 record to go along with 173 strikeouts and 1.24 WHIP is a feat that should peak your interest in his prospects for 2009.

I still rank Cain higher on this list mostly due to my concern for Johnson's health. Back issues do not go away overnight and his gangly 6-foot-10 frame and power pitching mentality only increases the chances of injury.


Aaron Rowand - OF

I'm featuring Rowand in this space because I know White Sox fans have the tendency to become nostalgic on draft day and may waste a pick on the kamikaze center fielder.

After a career year in 2007 with the Phillies (27 HR, 89 RBI, .309 AVG), Rowand received a fat pay day from the Giants and promptly fell face first back to earth. I love a gritty player just as much as you do, but crashing into the fence and getting bloodied up does not get you any extra points in your fantasy league.

Expect him to post pedestrian numbers once again and keep your memories of the 2005 White Sox World Series championship in your back pocket at the draft.


Pablo Sandoval - 1B

This kid has a major league stick that belongs in the bigs immediately. Sandoval can hit with authority to all fields and will deliver an AVG over .300, HRs somewhere in the teens and a respectable RBI total in the 75 to 85 range.

At 22-years-old, Sandoval is a great player to keep an eye on this season and could be a steal late in the draft. He could be your 1B or C for years to come if he takes full advantage of his impressive talents.

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A lot of Cains win loss probs are the lack of run support.

Olsen responds: In many cases yes, lack of run support hurts Cain's chances of posting a respectable W-L record. However, he still walks too many and can't seem to fully take advantage of all of his talents at the same time.

I agree too, The Giants staff overall walked way too many batters. Hopefully(as a Giants fan) Cain can get his Cy young this year! Thanks for the article.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for and editor of He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on March 11, 2009 1:08 PM.

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