The reaction to Melky Cabrera’s drug suspension has ranged from “the San Francisco Giants are finished” to “we can overcome this and keep going.”
MoreSplashHits understands the frustration, but not the despair.
Things are not as terrible as they first seem, so MoreSplashHits will offer five good reasons why Giants fans should not lose heart after having to endure the rest of the season with Cabrera.
Here’s the first.
The schedule favors the Giants
Down the stretch, the Giants won’t face the Nationals anymore. They won’t face the Reds, Pirates or Cardinals, either.
They have one series left against a non-divisional foe, and that comes next week when the Braves come to AT&T for a four-game set.
But after the Giants return home on Labor Day from a six-game road trip to Houston and Chicago, they won’t play another game outside the division for the rest of the season.
If you took the current winning percentage of the teams left on a team’s schedule and multiplied it by the number of games played against each team. Then added those numbers together and divided it by the number of total games a team has left to play this season, you’ll come up with an average winning percentage of teams left on each teams’ schedule.
The Giants’ opponents winning percentage (we’ll call it OWP) is .467.
In the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who currently trail the Giants by five games, also have an OWP of .467. After this weekend’s series in Houston, Arizona will not play another non-NL West opponent on the road this season. If there’s one difference between the Snakes’ and Giants’ schedule, it’s that of the nine meetings left between the two teams, six will be played at AT&T Park.
Now, the Dodgers’ OWP is .505, which is the highest of any NL team currently with a .500 record or better.
You remember when the Dodgers got fat on a soft schedule in April? This is the payback.
Down the stretch, the Dodgers must face every NL team with a .500 record or better. To make matters worse, they have nine games left on the road against the Braves, Nationals and Reds.
The Giants are currently one game out in the race for the final wild-card berth. All of the other teams the Giants are battling for those wild-card spots have higher OWPs than the Giants.
The Pirates, who have really been struggling late, have the next closest OWP at .469. Next come the Braves with a OWP of .490, and then the Cardinals at .492.
The Giants have a record of 33-18 this season against all the teams left on their schedule.
Of the teams left on the Giants’ schedule, they only have losing records against two this season: The Dodgers (4-5) and Diamondbacks (4-5).
But they have a combined record of 25-8 against the rest of teams: Braves (2-1), Cubs (4-0), Astros (5-1), Rockies (8-3) and Padres (6-3).