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ASA PICK TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES – SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS at 15/1
Getting a perennial contender like the Giants at 15 to 1 to win it all is great value in our opinion. San Fran has won at least 84 games every year but one since 2009. They’ve been in the playoffs in 4 of the last 6 seasons. We expect them to get there again in 2017 as they return nearly every key cog from last year’s 87-75 wildcard team. In last year’s post season they gave the World Champion Cubs all they could handle as they were just 3 outs away in game 4 from forcing a winner take all game 5 (lost series 3 to 1 when Cubs came back in the 9th). They were 4th in the N.L. in run differential last season topped by only the Cubs, Nationals, and Dodgers. The pitching was as solid as always seems to be the case. They finished 4th in MLB in ERA at 3.69 and allowed the fewest walks in MLB. The top of their starting rotation with Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija, and Moore are as good a top 4 as any in the Majors. The Giants have a patient, veteran line up that was fourth in the Majors taking 572 walks. Five of the eight positions players (minus the pitcher) hit at least .275 last year. That line up was also stellar in the field ranking #1 in the Major Leagues in fielding percentage. The Giants sit in a fairly weak division with the bottom 3 (Colorado, Arizona, and San Diego) finishing with 75, 68, and 66 wins and all 3 are projected to finish below .500 again this year. It’s the Giants and Dodgers battling it out for the NL West with the 2nd place team very likely to push into the playoffs as a wildcard.