Joe Camporeale, USA Today

Taking a Look at the Giants Upcoming Schedule

The next three games against the Padres could be a nice boost for the San Francisco Giants

The Giants are 9-3 against San Diego this season, and would like to continue their winning ways when the Padres come to town for a three game set beginning Monday. It appears as though the Giants may have turned things around while in Arizona over the weekend, sweeping the D-Backs, but the one caveat is that the team's top three starters were all lined up against one of the more disappointing teams in baseball, while Chase Field is also a hitter's paradise. AT&T Park, while beautiful, was built for pitchers. 

One all-star that seems to have shaken off some of the second half funk is Brandon Belt, who has recorded a hit in each of his last four games, included three multi-hit performances. He has also driven in six over that span. All of this is following a rough 0-for-18 stretch. Jeff Samardzija has also been pitching much better of late, and outside of a rough four inning outing in Chicago, has been giving the team quality innings. Since the beginning of August, The Shark has a 3.13 ERA over 43.2 innings.

With the team on their hottest streak of the second half and a team coming to town that San Francisco has fared well against in 2016, the situation that presents itself is this: The Giants have a great opportunity to create separation in the wild card race, and even potentially pick up another game or two on the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After the Padres series, the Giants will host the Cardinals for four games. St. Louis is currently two games back of the Giants, who hold the first wild card spot, but just a half-game behind the Mets, who hold the second spot. 

The Cardinals will begin their week at home against the Cubs before traveling to the city by the bay. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will be traveling to New York to face the red-hot Yankees, who are also in a wild card hunt over in the American League. The Dodgers will then travel to Arizona for four games to face the same team that just brought back the Giants offense. The Mets will be on the road in Washington taking on the Nationals for three games before an off day Thursday and three at home against the lowly Twins. 

That's the next week of games, which all leads up to the Giants and Dodgers squaring off down south for three games at the beginning of next week. Obviously all games are important at this point in the season, but a sweep of the Padres would likely give the Giants a little extra breathing room headed into the next seven games against St. Louis and Los Angeles. 

Then again, maybe it wasn't the desert that woke up the bats at all. Maybe it was that for the first time seemingly all season, the Giants were on the verge of being on the outside of the playoff hunt. The team has rebounded, and if they start playing Giants baseball once again, then they will be a force to be reckoned with in the National League postseason. 


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