How bad is the Giants’ offense? Here’s a little fantasy baseball story that’ll tell you. I have Chris Volstad of the Florida Marlins as one of the starting pitchers on my fantasy team. Not my best starter, but he’s productive enough to deserve a spot for now.
And since he’s starting against Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants, he’s a certified “must start” for me tonight. Back when I first started playing fantasy baseball in the early 2000’s, I would never have done this. Not only was I more loyal to my favorite teams back then when it came to fantasy sports (I had a bunch of players I wouldn’t select or play against the Giants for any reason, while nowadays my only rule is my teams have to be Dodger-free), but back then starting a pitcher against the Giants was tantamount to fantasy suicide.
Now, instead of worrying about going up against hitters like Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Reggie Sanders, Volstad gets to face Bengie Molina Eli Whiteside and the rest of the most powerless offense in baseball (27 homers in 52 games). Add to that the generally awful luck Barry Zito’s had and how poorly the Giants usually play in Miami, and going into tonight Volstad looks more like Johan Santana than a guy who’s gone 4-4 with a 3.71 ERA this year in 15 starts.
Of course, I have Santana too, and he gave up 6 runs (4 earned) against the Giants a few weeks ago, marking the only start in which he’s given up more than 3 runs this season (he still picked up the win, but he crushed my WHIP…OK, I’ll stop now). So expect at least four homers from the Giants tonight, if the game doesn’t get rained out.