The Giants' streak of winning the World Series in even-numbered years was snapped at three when the Cubs won in 2016.
San Francisco fans will have to adjust to watching a less-formidable lineup this season. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey are the only remaining established stars, and they are both on the wrong side of 30.
Luckily, the Giants still boast one of the best rotations in baseball. Led by Madison Bumgarner, an annual Cy Young contender, and Johnny Cueto, an ace in his own right, San Francisco should be stingy in the run department this year.
The bullpen received a huge boost when Mark Melancon was lured away from other suitors. He has been one of the best closers in baseball since recording 33 saves with the Pirates in 2014.
The Cubs, Dodgers and Nationals are the three NL front runners on paper heading into the season, but the Giants are capable of joining that group.
San Francisco Giants schedule 2017
The Giants begin the season with a four-game road series starting April 2 at Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
San Francisco plays its first home game April 10 to start a three-game series against the Diamondbacks.
San Francisco Giants roster
Giants projected opening day lineup
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brandon Belt, 1B
3. Buster Posey, C
4. Hunter Pence, RF
5. Brandon Crawford, SS
6. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
7. Joe Panik, 2B
8. Jarrett Parker, LF
Giants projected rotation
1. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
2. Johnny Cueto, RHP
3. Jeff Samardzija, RHP
4. Matt Moore, LHP
5. Matt Cain, RHP
Giants projected bullpen
Closer: Mark Melancon, RHP
Setup: Hunter Strickland, RHP
Setup: Derek Law, RHP
Giants fantasy baseball sleeper
Brandon Belt, 1B — Belt finally stayed healthy last season, which resulted in 17 home runs, 82 RBIs and 41 doubles. He also carried a .275/.394/.474 slash line with 77 runs scored. Those numbers are not a fluke, and his power stats could even increase this season if he's able to stay healthy once again. He is a great value in the 10-12th rounds of standard-league drafts.
Giants top prospect(s)
Tyler Beede, SP — Infielder Christian Arroyo is another top prospect, but Beede, 23, is the most MLB ready. Last year, Beede went 8-7 with a 2.81 ERA in the minors proving he has what it takes to pitch at a higher level. It is quite possible Beede, who enjoyed an impressive spring, will take Cain's rotation spot by the end of the season.