Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro (back) has yet to swing a bat this spring, according to csnbayarea.com.
Insight: Scutaro began taking grounders a few days ago. The Giants planned for the 38-year-old infielder to work on strengthening his back, abdominals and hips over the first two weeks of spring training. Scutaro gutted out 127 games last season despite dealing with several injuries and hit .297, but he had just two homers, 31 RBI, 57 runs, two steals and a .726 OPS.
Description: Madison Bumgarner will be San Francisco's Opening Day starter, according to manager Bruce Bochy.
Insight: This isn't a huge surprise. He was San Francisco's best pitcher last season, going 13-9 with a 2.77 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 201 1/3 innings. Even Matt Cain acknowledged that he should get the honor.
Description: The Giants have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Tyler Colvin. SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group
Insight: Colvin signed with the Orioles in January but the team pulled out of the deal due to concerns about his back. Baltimore did the same thing after signing Grant Balfour. Both players found another team who thought they were healthy enough to sign, as Balfour inked a deal with Tampa Bay and Colvin with San Francisco. If Colvin makes the team, he will serve as a fifth outfielder and won't have fantasy value.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval said he has dropped 42 pounds this winter, according to Rafael Rojas of MLB.com.
Insight: Sandoval is in search of a new contract, and GM Brian Sabean said in December the team would be willing to explore an extension with Sandoval provided he shows up to camp in good shape. The Giants third baseman dropped a ton of weight prior to the 2011 season and hit .315 with 23 homers, but he eventually regained everything he lost.
Description: Starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis and the Giants have reached an agreement on a minor league contract. SOURCE: Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
Insight: He still plays? Willis hasn't made more than 15 starts since 2007, which is also the last time he won more than two games in a season. Fantasy owners in need of a reliable arm should keep looking.
Description: Michael Morse's new deal with San Francisco is worth $6 million. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: He signed a one-year contract last week. Injuries and poor play limited Morse to just 88 games last season (.215, 13 HR, 27 RBI). The 31-year-old is set to be the Giants' Opening Day left fielder.
Description: The Giants have re-signed starter Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: The contract details haven't been released yet but it's likely he'll be getting less than the $5 million he made last season. Vogelsong (4-6, 5.73 ERA) will join Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner in the Giants' starting rotation.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey will not become a full-time first baseman, according to Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Insight: Posey's fantasy value as a first baseman wouldn't be anywhere near what it is as a catcher. He batted .294 with 15 HR and 72 RBI last season which is very good for a guy behind the plate, but a dime-a-dozen option at first base.
Description: The Giants have declined lefthander Barry Zito's option for next season. SOURCE: Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
Insight: Zito's tenure in San Francisco will end with a $7 million buyout. He would have made $18 million had the Giants extended him for another year. Zito starred for the Giants during their title run in 2012 (2-0, 1.69 ERA in the playoffs) but wasn't able to keep his rotation spot in 2013.
Description: The Giants have re-signed Tim Lincecum to a two-year deal.
Insight: He'll get $35 million and a full no-trade clause. Lincecum has gone 20-29 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 383 2/3 innings over the last two seasons after going 62-36 with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and two Cy Young Awards from 2008-11. However, he still struck out 190-plus batters in the last two years and lowered his ERA 81 points from 2012 to 2013.
Description: The Giants aren't expected to re-sign starter Tim Lincecum before he becomes a free agent. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
Insight: The Giants are only offering him a two-year deal and Lincecum thinks he may be able to get more than that on the open market. If San Francisco submits a qualifying offer to Lincecum, whatever team signs him will have to surrender a draft pick. Aside from a no-hitter in mid-July, Lincecum didn't have an impressive season (10-14, 4.37 ERA in 32 starts).
Description: Now that Hunter Pence has been taken care of, the Giants will turn their attention to re-signing Tim Lincecum. SOURCE: Hank Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: They're hoping to sign the two-time Cy Young winner to a multi-year deal. Lincecum wasn't great this year (10-14, 4.37 ERA) but he pitched better than he did last season (10-15, 5.18). Obviously, Lincecum is headed for a big pay cut after making over $22 million in salary this season.
Description: Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner will not make another start this season.
Insight: The Giants are eliminated from contention and don't want to risk the 24-year-old throwing any more innings this season. He has been San Francisco's ace, going 13-9 with a 2.77 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 201 1/3 innings. Bumgarner has been in the range of 201-209 innings and 191-199 strikeouts in each of the last three seasons.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has a 4.73 ERA in 51 1/3 innings since returning from a broken hand.
Insight: Vogelsong lost most of his season to the injury and has been awful on the mound. He fell to 3-6 with a 5.90 ERA in 97 2/3 innings after giving up five runs in five innings to the Yankees Saturday.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was hoping to return to action sometime this weekend but he's still out with an inflamed pinkie. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, Comcast Bay Area
Insight: Tony Abreu will grab the start at second base Saturday against the Yankees. He's been out since last Sunday and with so little time remaining in the season, we can't say for sure if Scutaro will play again in 2013.
Description: Matt Cain held the Mets to one run in seven innings Wednesday in a start at Citi Field.
Insight: The Giants ace has been terrific since coming off the DL earlier this month (1.29 ERA in 21 innings). Despite his recent success, it's mostly been a disappointing year for Cain. His 4.06 ERA is his highest since 2006.
Description: San Francisco second baseman Marco Scutaro is hoping to be back in the lineup later this week. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, Comcast Bay Area
Insight: There was speculation that Scutaro could be done for the season after his latest finger injury but his MRI came back clean. Nick Noonan is filling in at second base Wednesday against the Mets.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Mets and could be shut down for the year depending on the results of the MRI on his left pinkie, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Scutaro has been dealing with a sore lower back and issues with the tendon damage in his finger he suffered back in June.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence hit two more home runs Sunday.
Insight: Pence is 12-for-25 with six home runs and 19 RBI over his last six games and is now hitting .295 with 25 home runs, 92 RBI, 86 runs and 21 steals this season, making him one of fantasy's top all-around players. This is Pence's first 20-20 season and sixth straight with at least 22 home runs. With one more blast he'll set a new career high.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence launched his fifth career grand slam Saturday in a 19-3 win over the Dodgers.
Insight: He finished the night with seven RBI. Pence didn't hit for a high average in his first season with San Francisco (.219 AVG in 59 games) but that hasn't been the case in 2013. Pence's .293 average in 149 games for the G-Men is his highest since 2011 (.314 in 154 games for Philadelphia and Houston).
Description: San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt bashed five hits Saturday in a blowout win against Los Angeles.
Insight: Belt's six RBI on Saturday were a career-high. He's had a monster September, hitting .391 in 46 at bats this month. Despite his recent success, he's still available in about half of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro is 8-for-21 (.381) with four doubles lifetime against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke.
Insight: Scutaro is still hitting .299 for the season, but he has batted .267 with a .631 OPS in 66 games since suffering a finger injury in mid-June. He decided to play through the injury instead of taking 6-8 weeks off.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey (finger) took batting practice Saturday, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Posey suffered a small fracture at the tip of his right ring finger but he plans to play through the injury. He also threw and hit off a tee Saturday so he should be able to rejoin the lineup in the next few days.
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence is a career .500 hitter (5-for-10) with four extra base hits and a 1.700 OPS against Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy.
Insight: Pence has been on a roll of late batting .450 this week and .326 over the past month. He has had a strong all-around fantasy season with 34 doubles, five triples, 19 home runs, 73 RBI, 78 runs, 21 steals and a .287/.339/.471 slash. He's a must-start.
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence is a career .375 hitter with a pair of homers and a 1.382 OPS against Patrick Corbin.
Insight: Pence has been on a roll of late batting .429 this week and .305 over the past month. He has had a strong all-around fantasy season with 33 doubles, five triples, 18 home runs, 72 RBI, 75 runs, 21 steals and a .283/.334/.461 slash. Start him.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey has a small fracture in his right ring finger, but he'll try to play through it after a couple of days rest, according to Comcast Bay Area reporter Andrew Baggarly.
Insight: Hector Sanchez has been filling in at catcher, but obviously he can't put up the MVP-type offensive numbers that Posey can. Posey is batting .309 with 14 HR and 69 RBI this season.
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence has hit .370 with three home runs over his last 12 games.
Insight: Pence went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer, three RBI and three runs scored Wednesday against San Diego. He has had a strong all-around fantasy season with 33 doubles, five triples, 18 home runs, 71 RBI, 74 runs, 21 steals and a .284/.333/.462 slash.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval exploded for four hits, including three homers, six RBI and three runs scored Wednesday against the Padres.
Insight: Sandoval came in with monster numbers against Thursday's starter Eric Stults so fantasy owners were expecting a big game, and he didn't disappoint. Sandoval had as many home runs Wednesday as he hit in his previous 80 games.
Description: A finger injury could sideline Giants catcher Buster Posey Wednesday against San Diego. SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Posey got crossed up by Madison Bumgarner behind the plate and had to leave Tuesday's game early. Hector Sanchez (.250, 2 HR, 14 RBI) would draw the start at catcher if Posey is unavailable on Wednesday.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Angel Pagan will only play two games in a row before getting a day off for the time being, according to Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Pagan had surgery to repair a torn right hamstring in late June and returned to the lineup Friday night. Fantasy owners should also expect Pagan to take it easy on the basepaths, which will seriously limit his fantasy value.
Description: San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) has been activated from the DL and is leading off Friday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Pagan had surgery to repair a torn right hamstring in late June. He hasn't played a game since May 25 and likely will take it easy on the basepaths to protect his hamstring, which will limit his fantasy value.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey is not in the starting lineup Tuesday.
Insight: Posey is getting the night off and should be back in the lineup Wednesday. The catcher has followed up his MVP season in which he hit .336 with 24 homers, 103 RBI and a .957 OPS with a .307 average, 14 homers, 65 RBI and an .856 OPS.
Description: San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong owned the Pirates Sunday at AT&T Park.
Insight: Pittsburgh could only manage two hits while Vogelsong was on the mound. Sunday was Vogelsong's first victory since May (he missed two months with a broken hand). He'll try to make it two in a row next time out against Arizona.
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Sunday against the Marlins.
Insight: Pence is 15-for-42 (.357) with four doubles, one triple, a homer and 13 RBI over his last 10 games and has produced a .282 average, 15 homers, 64 RBI, 65 runs and 18 steals this year. Pence only stole 13 bases in the previous two seasons combined after swiping a career-high 18 in 2010.
Description: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey won't be on the field Sunday against Miami.
Insight: Posey (.304, 14 HR, 61 RBI) didn't play on Friday night either. Manager Bruce Bochy hinted that he'd be giving Posey a rest earlier in the week, so at least fantasy owners had a few days to prepare for this. Once again, Hector Sanchez will make the start at catcher for the Giants.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey could sit out Sunday's game in addition to Friday, according to SFGate.com.
Insight: San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said that in deciding when to rest Posey, he looks nots only at how many games he caught, but how many pitches, and Posey has caught a lot of pitches this season. "We’ve played some long games," Bochy said. "The first six weeks the pitching struggled a little bit and we had some long games there. It’s a different game when you catch 125 or 130 pitches than 200 pitches. It takes a toll on you. It’s not the same type of game."
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence is 10-for-24 (.417) with two doubles and five RBI over his last six games, but he owns a .071 (1-for-14) average against Nationals starter Dan Haren.
Insight: Earlier this season, we would have suggested you roll with Pence against the dreadful Haren, but the Washington right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts and has never had a problem sending Pence back to the dugout.
Description: San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-4 Wednesday after starting out 5-for-43 in August, and he has strong numbers against Thursday's starter Dan Haren of the Nationals.
Insight: Sandoval, who has just one homer in 48 games since the start of June, is 5-for-13 with a double and a triple against Haren. With a .261 average and a .694 OPS, Sandoval has been largely disappointing this season, but he should be active Thursday for fantasy owners.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt remained scorching hot Wednesday against the Nationals.
Insight: Belt went 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI and is hitting .415 with four homers and nine RBI in 13 games this month. He already has as many homers in August as he hit in June and July combined.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum needs to work on his encore performances. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits over six innings Wednesday at Washington.
Insight: Lincecum limited Milwaukee to one hit over eight scoreless innings in his last outing. He was also bombed July 22 in the start following his no-hitter. The right-hander remains a frustrating fantasy option.
Description: San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) is ahead of schedule and could begin playing in rehab games by the end of this week, according to SFGate.com.
Insight: Pagan had surgery to repair a torn right hamstring in late June and was given a 10-12 week timetable. A week ago the Giants said Pagan was expected to return by Sept. 1, but he could be back sooner if he starts his rehab assignment later this week.
Description: Giants starter Chad Gaudin allowed one unearned run on two hits and struck out six over five innings Saturday against the Orioles.
Insight: Gaudin started the season in the bullpen and posted a 2.05 ERA in 18 appearances; he has been just as effective in 11 starts, going 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and a 55/22 K/BB in 62 1/3 innings. It's the best Gaudin has pitched in his entire career, which has spanned 11 years and nine teams.
Description: The Giants have activated righthander Ryan Vogelsong from the 60-day DL.
Insight: It took a little over two months for his broken hand to heal. Vogelsong was excellent during the Giants' run to the World Series last season (14-9, 3.37 ERA) but he hasn't been as sharp so far in 2013 (2-4, 7.19 in nine starts).
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt ended July in a 1-for-19 slump and struck out four times in his final game of the month, but he is 9-for-20 with two homers, five RBI, five walks and seven runs in August.
Insight: With a homer Thursday against the Brewers, Belt pushed his OPS to .800 for the first time all season.
Description: Updating a previous report, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong will indeed be activated from the disabled list on Friday. SOURCE: John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: There was some discussion about Vogelsong needing another rehab start but apparently that's not the case. A broken hand caused Vogelsong to miss a little over two months. Guillermo Moscoso will head back to the bullpen when Vogelsong is activated.
Description: Barry Zito has indeed lost his spot in the starting rotation. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, Comcast Bay Area
Insight: It was bound to happen. Zito hasn't been pitching well and the Giants needed to make room for Ryan Vogelsong, who is set to come off the DL sometime in the next week. Zito was supposed to start Sunday against the Rays but now righthander Guillermo Moscoso will make the start instead.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain fired eight innings, struck out seven and allowed one run on six hits Thursday night at Philadelphia, and his team got him two runs in the top of the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win for the right-hander.
Insight: After getting nine days off between starts due to the All-Star break, Cain has come out and thrown 20 innings with a 1.80 ERA in three starts. He's still just 7-6 with a 4.57 ERA, however, due to struggles from the stretch. He has allowed eight homers with men on base this season and he had a 27.9 percent line-drive rate and a .318 BABIP with RISP prior to Thursday's start. It doesn't help that he has walked 0.91 more batters per nine innings than last year either.
Description: San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval exited Wednesday's game against the Phillies because of a bruised heel. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, Comcast Bay Area
Insight: Joaquin Arias replaced Sandoval in the top of the sixth inning. It doesn't sound like the injury is serious but we wouldn't be surprised if Sandoval gets the night off Thursday in the series finale.
Description: San Francisco lefthander Barry Zito is in danger of losing his place in the starting rotation.
Insight: Manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't even commit to having Zito make his next start Sunday against the Rays. Even if Zito (4-8, 5.09 ERA) pitches Sunday, he'll almost certainly be pushed out of the rotation when Ryan Vogelsong returns from a broken hand sometime next week.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum struck out 10 batters and allowed two runs in seven innings Sunday versus the Cubs, but his team scored just one run.
Insight: It was a nice bounce-back effort after Lincecum followed up his no-hitter by giving up eight runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings Monday against the Reds. The right-hander can still miss bats -- he has 137 K in 127 innings this year -- but batters have hit him hard when making contact.
Description: Giants closer Sergio Romo allowed the game-winning homer Saturday against the Cubs.
Insight: Romo was charged with the loss for the second time in as many nights. He's already allowed four runs since the All-Star break though only two of them have been earned (4.15 ERA in 4 1/3 innings). The Giants are fading fast (1-6 in their last seven games) and Romo's struggles certainly won't help them get back in the NL West race.
Description: San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner racked up seven strikeouts in eight innings of shutout work Saturday against Chicago.
Insight: Bumgarner has been in cruise control for the last month, collecting a 1.80 ERA in his last eight outings. He's gone at least seven innings in each of those appearances. Bumgarner has won five times in that span, though the Giants' stagnant offense has prevented him from winning his last two starts.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has a paltry .718 OPS and is hitting .269 with nine homers and 48 RBI this season, but he has had success in the past against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: Sandoval is 6-for-11 (.545) with one homer against Jackson and has gone 4-for-9 over his last two games. Make sure he's in your lineup Friday.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (hand) will throw live batting practice Saturday, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Vogelsong confirmed he is targeting Aug. 9 as a tentative date for a return to the rotation. The right-hander suffered a fractured right hand when he was hit with a pitch while batting on May 20. He was awful before his injury, going 2-4 with a 7.19 ERA and a 5.78 FIP in his first nine starts.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum is drawing trade interest from the Tigers. SOURCE: Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports
Insight: Detroit wants to convert Lincecum to a reliever, which probably won't sit well with the two-time Cy Young winner. Lincecum, who threw a no-hitter over the weekend, will become a free agent this winter. He's a longshot to return to the Giants next season.
Description: Since going 0-for-8 with five strikeouts on July 8 against the Mets, San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt has picked up six hits, including a double, a triple and a homer, in 17 at-bats over his last five games. He also has walked five times and scored five runs in that span.
Insight: Belt went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI Saturday at San Diego and is hitting .261 with 10 homers, 38 RBI and a .787 OPS this season.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is heating up after an extended slump and has a favorable matchup ahead of him Sunday.
Insight: Sandoval went 3-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs Saturday at San Diego and is 8-for-18 (.444) with four doubles, one home run, five RBI, four walks and four runs over his last five games. He batted just .085 (4-for-47) with 13 K from June 25 to July 8. Sandoval will face Eric Stults Sunday, who he has gone 9-for-15 (.600) against.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum shockingly threw his first career no-hitter Saturday at San Diego.
Insight: Lincecum carried a 4.61 ERA into the game and ended up striking out 13 batters and walking four in nine scoreless frames. He now has the sixth-most strikeouts in the National League. While this was a nice one-night surprise, Lincecum owners should use this as an opportunity to sell him -- while he does have a 3.34 FIP, his line-drive rate is 26.6 percent, second worst in baseball.
Description: Jeff Francoeur could make his Giants debut on Saturday.
Insight: The Giants are expected to call him up from Triple-A Fresno before the game. After spending his first five seasons with the Braves, Francoeur has now played for five teams in his last five seasons.
Description: Matt Cain's struggles this season could be related to bone spurs in his right elbow. SOURCE: Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Bone spurs can be an annoyance but it's not necessarily something that would land a pitcher on the disabled list. Manager Bruce Bochy has no plans to take Cain out of the rotation so it looks like he's going to pitch through it. ESPN's Curt Schilling thought Cain looked tired on Wednesday so maybe the All-Star break will give him a little time to regroup.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (hand) threw a bullpen session Thursday, his first since suffering a fractured pinky on May 20, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News.
Insight: Vogelsong threw 30 fastballs in his bullpen and was happy with the session. "Hand is good, arm is good, he said. "Just got to get my timing back." Vogelsong is likely to throw a couple more bullpens before making one or two rehab starts. He's expected back by the end of July or beginning of August.
Description: A matchup with Jason Marquis on Thursday might be just what San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval needs to break out of his month-long slump.
Insight: Sandoval is batting just .147 in July but he does own a .400 lifetime average versus Marquis. The struggling third baseman really needs a confidence booster before the All-Star break and this seems like a matchup he can take advantage of.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence seems to have mastered the art of hitting Jason Marquis. In 29 at bats, Pence carries a .414 batting average against the Padres righthander.
Insight: That's encouraging but it doesn't change the fact that Pence is hitting just .083 in the month of July. This slump probably hasn't helped his bid to win the final spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Description: Giants beat writer Alex Pavlovic said he's heard there have been in-house discussions regarding the health of pitcher Matt Cain in recent days.
Insight: Cain (5-6, 5.06 ERA) lasted just 2/3 of an inning and allowed three earned runs Wednesday against the Mets, one start after giving up eight earned in 2 1/3. The right-hander had strung together some impressive outings before the last two, but he hasn't been right for the majority of the season. His 2.97 BB/9 is 0.88 higher than last season and his 1.29 HR/9 is a career high.
Description: Giants pitcher Matt Cain followed up last Friday's career-worst outing with another clunker, going 2/3 of an inning and yielding three walks, two hits and three runs before being pulled after just 36 pitches.
Insight: Cain's record before Wednesday's start was a mediocre 5-5 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.14 WHIP after he gave up eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings last Friday. This is not the pitcher fantasy owners paid top dollar for.
Description: In his first start since June 20, Giants right-hander Chad Gaudin struck out nine and gave up one run on four hits in seven innings Sunday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Gaudin took a line drive off his pitching arm in his last start was placed on the DL with a contusion. He began the season as a long reliever but has gone 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts since joining the rotation.
Description: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford won't be able to help fantasy owners much Sunday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Crawford has only tacked on one hit against Clayton Kershaw in 14 career at bats. Crawford is already in the midst of a 1-for-18 slump so starting him Sunday against Kershaw would just be adding insult to injury.
Description: San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence faces a bad matchup Sunday against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Insight: Bad might be a bit of an understatement. Pence is 2-for-32 (.063 AVG) in his career against Kershaw. He's had a terrible month (0-for-18) and we don't expect Kershaw to do him any favors on Sunday.
Description: Giants lefthander Madison Bumgarner grabbed his team-leading ninth win of the season Saturday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Bumgarner (9-5, 3.05 ERA) only let up two runs in seven innings with both runs coming on a two-run homer by Tim Federowicz in the fifth inning. He's 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last six starts.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is 6-for-8 (.750) in his matchups against Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Insight: Pence is batting .276 with 13 homers, 42 RBI, 47 runs, 13 steals and an .794 OPS over the first three months of the season, making him a good all-around fantasy contributor. We like him in today's matchup.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro is questionable for Friday's game against the LA Dodgers due to a sore back.
Insight: Scutaro also missed games on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday due to the back injury. He's just 2-for-21 over the past six games, so it appears to be effecting his swing. He's been a solid fantasy option this season and despite the slump is still batting .312 with a .773 OPS.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is a must-start Thursday with Mike Leake on the hill for the Reds.
Insight: Sandoval has gone 7-for-10 with two doubles and two homers against the Reds hurler. Make sure he's in your lineup, because he'll probably provide a Fourth of July fireworks display Thursday against Leake.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong (hand) played catch for five minutes from 70-80 feet Monday, according to SFGate.com.
Insight: Vogelsong broke his right pinky back on May 20 when he was hit by a pitch. That he played catch Monday was surprising because he had a swollen hand and couldn't straighten his pinky just a few days ago. He's hoping to return in 4-5 weeks.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has never had much trouble producing against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: Pence has a 12-for-35 (.343) history against Arroyo. That includes four doubles, a triple, two homers and three walks. Pence hit .284 with 13 homers, 42 RBI, 47 runs, 13 steals and an .818 OPS over the first three months of the season, making him a good all-around fantasy contributor.
Description: Giants pitcher Matt Cain has posted a 1.82 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and a 30/6 K/BB in 34 2/3 innings over his last five starts.
Insight: The old Cain has returned. The righty allowed three hits and one run while walking one and striking out five in eight innings Saturday against the Rockies. Cain's two biggest issues over his first 12 starts, when he had a 5.45 ERA, was his 1.57 HR/9 and 2.91 BB/9; over his last five starts, his HR/9 is 0.78 and his BB/9 is 1.56 BB/9.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum allowed 10 hits and four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Lincecum is 4-8 with a 4.64 ERA in 95 innings. He has a 26.6 percent line-drive rate, one of the worst in the league. Anyone hoping the right-hander would return to Cy Young form has been sorely disappointed.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer Wednesday against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Insight: Posey came in with poor career numbers against Kershaw, but he was able to get one out of the yard against the Dodgers lefty in the fourth inning. Posey is hitting .314 with 10 homers and 45 RBI, which is similar to where he was last year on this date (.298, 10 HR, 40 RBI). Posey hit .385 with 14 homers and a 1.102 OPS in the second half last year, and fantasy owners can only hope he does it again.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey hasn't done much against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, going 7-for-38 (.184) with 10 strikeouts over his career.
Insight: Posey is having another fine season (.308, 9 HR, 43 RBI) as he battles the Cardinals' Yadier Molina for the NL All-Star catcher position. However, today's matchup isn't likely to help his cause.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is a career .069 hitter (2-for-29) with seven strikeouts against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Insight: Pence (.292, 12 HR, 40 RBI) continues to be a solid, if unspectacular, producer. He plays every day and by season's end will once again be a decent fantasy value. The Giants could have trouble scoring runs against Kershaw as the heart of the order, Buster Posey and Pence don't hit him very well.
Description: Giants right-hander Chad Gaudin, who was placed on the disabled list Monday, said he expects to be activated when he's eligible on July 6, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Gaudin took a line drive off his pitching arm in his last start and has a contusion. He shouldn't be out longer than July 6.
Description: Giants outfielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) had to be carted off the field back to the clubhouse during his rehab assignment Thursday, according to Joe Ritzo, broadcaster for the San Jose Giants.
Insight: Pagan was unable to run out a grounder to second base in the ninth inning. He limped to first before falling to the ground. It's safe to say he won't be returning this weekend after this setback. Pagan hasn't played since May 25 due to a strained right hamstring.
Description: Madison Bumgarner had his ups and downs Wednesday against the Padres, but ultimately he got his seventh win of the season.
Insight: He gave up a pair of homers and four walks but other than that, he was pretty solid. Wednesday was Bumgarner's third win in a row. He's logged a combined 18 strikeouts over his last two outings.
Description: San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford sprained the index and middle fingers on his right hand Tuesday, is not in Wednesday's lineup and is doubtful for Thursday, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Crawford is dealing with some swelling and couldn't grip a ball Wednesday.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong had all five pins removed from his right hand Tuesday, according to MLB.com.
Insight: Vogelsong broke his right pinky back on May 20 when he was hit by a pitch. The right-hander was only expected to have two or three pins removed Tuesday, but all five were taken out. That could accelerate the pace of his recovery.
Description: Padres starter Eric Stults is coming off a two-hit complete game effort in his last start and is 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA and a 22/1 K/BB over his last four starts, but Giants catcher Buster Posey hasn't had much of an issue against the lefty.
Insight: Posey, who is hitting .436 with 11 RBI over his last 10 games, has gone 6-for-10 with two doubles, a homer and two BB against Stults.
Description: Giants pitcher Matt Cain struck out 10 batters with zero walks and allowed six hits and two earned runs over seven innings Tuesday against the Padres.
Insight: Cain allowed his first two home runs since May 16, but both were solo shots. He gave up 13 home runs over his first nine starts and still has a 1.42 HR/9, but his HR/9 over his last six starts is just 0.47.
Description: San Francisco second baseman Marco Scutaro remains out of the lineup with a pinky injury.
Insight: Scutaro has been sidelined since getting hit by a pitch last Tuesday. At this point it might make more sense for the Giants to go ahead and put Scutaro (.332, 2 HR, 15 RBI) on the disabled list.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is a career .154 hitter (4-for-26) with three times as many strikeouts as hits against Padres starter Edinson Volquez.
Insight: Pence (.297, 11 HR, 38 RBI) continues to be a solid, if unspectacular, producer. He plays every day and by season's end will once again be a decent fantasy value. He's currently on an eight-game hitting streak, but that will be severly tested on Monday in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Giants lefthander Madison Bumgarner was phenomenal Friday in a win against the Braves.
Insight: He scattered two hits over seven shutout frames. Friday was the third time Bumgarner (5-4, 3.30 ERA) has reached double-digit strikeouts this season. Bumgarner's 1.01 WHIP is the ninth-lowest in the National League.
Description: Giants starter Barry Zito allowed 11 hits and eight runs in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday against Pittsburgh.
Insight: Zito has had some solid starts this season, but when he has been bad, he has been really really bad. The left-hander is actually 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in eight starts at home, but has gone 0-4 with an 11.29 ERA and a 2.51 WHIP in five road outings.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that infielder Marco Scutaro as "mallet finger" tendon damage in his left pinky, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. However, Scutaro wants to play through the injury.
Insight: Scutaro was hit by a pitch on his left hand Tuesday night. X-rays came back negative, but the second baseman is unable to straighten his pinky. If Scutaro keeps playing, there's a chance he'll develop a lifelong finger deformity, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro (hand) doesn't have a fracture, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, but he might have tendon damage.
Insight: Scutaro was hit by a pitch on his left hand Tuesday night. X-rays came back negative, but the second baseman is unable to straighten his pinky. He'll see a hand specialist Wednesday and definitely will miss at least one game.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits with two walks in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday at Pittsburgh.
Insight: Lincecum limited Toronto to three hits and one run over seven innings to win his last start, but it was only a brief moment of relief for fantasy owners. Lincecum has given up line drives at a career-high rate of 25.5 percent this season and has allowed a career-high contact rate on pitches in the strike zone.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left foot.
Insight: Sandoval aggravated his injury while running to first base last Saturday. Giants president Larry Baer said earlier Tuesday that Sandoval had a hairline fracture, but he was incorrect. Manager Bruce Bochy expects the third baseman to return after the minimum amount of time on the DL, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt clubbed his seventh home run of the season Sunday against the D-Backs.
Insight: It came off left-hander Tyler Skaggs. The first baseman is hitting .310 in 42 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season, but this was his first home run against them. He has seven home runs overall, but his struggles against righties (despite being a lefty hitter) are hurting his fantasy value.
Description: Giants righty Chad Gaudin fired six innings and allowed five hits and two runs with a walk and seven strikeouts Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Gaudin has won both of his starts since joining the rotation. He owns a 2.32 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP this season working primarily in middle relief and should hold onto a rotation spot until Ryan Vogelsong returns next month.
Description: Giants 2B Marco Scutaro went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, a walk and two runs scored Sunday versus Arizona.
Insight: Scutaro batted .420 with a 1.033 OPS and a 3/10 K/BB in May and after Sunday's game is 10-for-29 (.345) in June. The infielder has gone 164-for-472 (.347) with a 30/34 K/BB since joining the Giants last season.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval's MRI Sunday showed that his foot strain wasn't made more severe Saturday, but he is expected to go on the DL, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Sandoval aggravated his injury while running to first base Saturday. The third baseman is currently in a walking boot and will have a second opinion on his foot. According to Baggarly, Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't sound as if he thought going day-to-day with Sandoval is a good idea.
Description: According to Comcast Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval will have a precautionary MRI on his left foot.
Insight: Sandoval aggravated a foot injury that was bothering him earlier in the week. It's doubtful that Sandoval (.289, 8 HR, 37 RBI) will end up on the DL, though he's unlikely to play in the series finale Sunday at Chase Field.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) still isn't ready to return to the lineup. He's out for an 11th straight game Friday, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group.
Insight: Pagan hasn't played since May 25 due to a strained right hamstring. The team has opted to keep him off the DL for some reason.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey crushed four hits Sunday against St. Louis.
Insight: Two of the four hits went for extra bases. He's having another excellent season, hitting .308 with seven homers and 31 RBI. The 2012 NL MVP leads all major league catchers in slugging (.514) and is second in OPS (.904).
Description: San Francisco outfielder Angel Pagan will not play again Sunday, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Pagan hasn't played since last Saturday due to a strained right hamstring. He did some running Sunday and said it was his "best day so far." The team must think he'll be ready to return this week if they haven't placed him on the DL yet.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain had an odd start Saturday against the Cardinals, allowing nine hits and seven earned runs in the third inning but retiring all 15 batters he faced in his other five innings.
Insight: Cain has had a down year, going 4-3 with a 5.45 ERA. He has had trouble with his location and allowed 13 homers in 74 1/3 innings. The right-hander gave up 30 homers in 441 innings combined over the previous two seasons and never allowed more than 22 in a season during his career.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) was given a cortisone shot Wednesday and manager Bruce Bochy is hopeful, but not optimistic that he'll be available for Friday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won last Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but he hasn't played since due to bursitis in his hamstring.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum allowed five earned on seven hits and walked four over 4 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Athletics in his latest debacle.
Insight: Lincecum has lost three straight starts and is 3-5 with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. While Lincecum still has flashed strikeout stuff over the past two years, he has proven that he can't get hitters out consistently with a 90-mph fastball. It's time to move on.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has homered in two straight games and is batting .381 with six RBI over his last five.
Insight: Pence hit just .219 in 59 games with the Giants after coming over from the Phillies in a trade last season, but he has rebounded. The veteran is hitting .284 with nine homers and eight steals in 53 games. He hasn't stolen double-digit bases in a season since 2010.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) was given a cortisone shot Wednesday and manager Bruce Bochy anticipates having the outfielder available Friday against the Cardinals, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but he hasn't played since due to bursitis in his hamstring. If he's not ready to play Friday, he will likely be placed on the DL.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (hamstring) is out of the lineup for the fourth straight game Wednesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but he hasn't played since due to bursitis in his hamstring. Fantasy owners should consider him day-to-day.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan's MRI only showed bursitis in his hamstring. He might pinch-hit Tuesday. SOURCE: Andrew Baggarly, CSNBayArea.com
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but said he felt the injury even before that at-bat and will miss his third straight game Tuesday. Fantasy owners should consider him day-to-day.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Oakland due to a continuing hamstring injury and is questionable for Tuesday's game against Oakland.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but said he felt it even before the final at-bat. Consider him day-to-day and should avoid a stint on the disabled list.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Oakland due to a continuing hamstring injury.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but said he felt it even before the final at-bat. He is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and the Giants are hopeful he'll be able to return shortly. Consider him day-to-day.
Description: The Giants will bring up Mike Kickham from Triple-A Fresno to start on Tuesday for injured Ryan Vogelsong, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Insight: Kickham hasn't done much at Fresno to excite fantasy owners. He's 3-4 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.481 WHIP, but does have 54 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched and won his last three starts yielding just three earned runs.
Description: Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is not in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against Colorado due to a hamstring injury.
Insight: Pagan (.262, 3 HR, 24 RBI) won Saturday's game with a walkoff inside-the-park home run, but said he felt it even before the final at-bat. He is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and the Giants are hopeful he'll be able to go Monday.
Description: San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner bounced back from his worst start of the season with seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball against the Nationals Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Bumgarner gave up nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 4 2/3 at Colorado his last time out, but he otherwise has been tremendous this season. Overall, the left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is just 2-for-15 versus Nationals left-hander Zach Duke.
Insight: Sandoval was 4-for-18 in the four-game series in Colorado, a disappointment for fantasy owners who expected four high-scoring games and plenty of offensive production. The Giants scored 17 runs between Thursday and Friday, but just two over the weekend. Despite the mediocre Saturday and Sunday, Sandoval is hitting .302 for the season with seven homers and 32 RBI. This matchup, however, is likely to continue his weekend drought.
Description: San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan is a career .500 hitter in 10 at-bats versus Washington starter Zach Duke.
Insight: Pagan left Sunday's game with flu-like symptoms, so it's not known whether he'll be healthy enough to go on Monday. Andres Torres (.224, 1 HR, 4 RBI) would likely take his place in the outfield, but he's 1-for-7 against Duke.
Description: San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum has a 6.00 ERA over his last four starts.
Insight: Lincecum has cut down on his walks after issuing 11 free passes in his first two starts, but he's still extremely hittable. He has allowed line drives at a 27 percent rate and has been lucky to only have a .306 BABIP. The right-hander's chase rate is down to just 24.8 percent, his lowest his his rookie year. With Lincecum's fastball down to 90.2 mph, batters can let his changeup, which he is throwing at the same velocity as he always has, pass by out of the zone.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy is giving Ryan Vogelsong one last chance to prove he belongs in the starting rotation. SOURCE: Alex Pavlovic, Mercury News
Insight: Vogelsong (1-4, 8.06 ERA) has thrown just one quality start in eight tries this season. He'll make his scheduled start Monday against Washington but we're not sure what will happen after that.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is hitting .444 with six RBI during his current six-game hitting streak and homered in two of the last three games. However, he has an unfavorable matchup with Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin on the hill Thursday.
Insight: Belt is 25-for-96 (.260) with five homers against right-handers this season, compared to 5-for-26 (.192) against lefties, but Chacin, a righty, has held him hitless in 10 career at-bats.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has homered in three of the last four games and is 7-for-17 with two blasts and three walks against Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin.
Insight: Sandoval suffered a broken hamate bone in his hand in each of the last two seasons and missed all of May in 2011 and most of May last year, so he's already ahead of the curve this season with 154 at-bats, a .312 average, seven longballs and 30 RBI on May 16.
Description: Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed six hits and eight runs (three earned) in two innings Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The Giants made a couple of errors behind him, and he compounded them by serving up two homers.
Insight: After eight starts, the right-hander is 1-4 with an 8.06 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. He has allowed six or more runs in each of his last four starts. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, manager Bruce Bochy said after the game that there is no guarantee Vogelsong will take his next turn in the rotation.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has homered in three straight games.
Insight: He was 0-for-4 Tuesday against the Blue Jays went hit a three-run blast off Brad Lincoln in the top of the ninth with the Giants trailing 10-3 to salvage his night for fantasy owners. The stocky third baseman is hitting .316 with seven homers and 29 RBI in 38 games.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey is not in Wednesday's getaway day game against the Phillies.
Insight: No injury, just the normal day game after a night game off. He's batting .282 with 4 HR and 19 RBI. Solid, but not the production we are used to from the 2012 NL MVP. The day off should do him some good.
Description: Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw dominates most hitters in baseball, but Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is not one of them. Sandoval is 10-for-33 (.303) in his career against Kershaw.
Insight: Kershaw hasn't allowed a homer and struck out Sandoval seven times, but the Kung Fu Panda clearly doesn't have a problem putting good wood on the ball against Kershaw often enough to help fantasy owners.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is just 3-for-24 with 11 strikeouts in his career against Clayton Kershaw.
Insight: Belt has homered in two of the last three games and driven in six runs in that span. He also has a higher batting average against lefties, both in his career (.272) and this season (.294), but Kershaw is the best lefty in the majors.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is in Tuesday's starting lineup, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.
Insight: Sandoval left Monday's game after his elbow "tingled," but he felt fine today. Sandoval has a bone spur in his right elbow that is causing an irritated nerve, so he'll likely deal with recurring soreness all season, but he has opted to play through it rather than undergo surgery.
Description: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitless in eight at-bats versus Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill with half of the at-bats ending in strikeouts.
Insight: Crawford is one of this season's biggest fantasy surprises. He's batting .281 with five homers, 14 RBI and an .885 OPS. Great numbers for any shortstop. This matchup, however, is an unfavorable one.
Description: After five starts, Giants hurler Ryan Vogelsong's ERA sits at 6.23. The right-hander allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits (three homers), walked three and struck out six in five innings Sunday versus San Diego.
Insight: Vogelsong has been very good over the past two seasons, but while his K/9 and BB/9 in 2013 are nearly identical to last year, he has given up a startling seven homers in 30 1/3 innings and stranded just 65.5 percent of runners.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is a career .423 hitter (11-for-26) against Padres starter Jason Marquis with a 1.269 OPS.
Insight: Pence is off to a productive start with four homers and 13 RBI. He's rarely an exciting fantasy option, but he plays every day and accumulates solid fantasy totals. Sunday is a good matchup for the Giants' outfielder.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will miss his second game in a row Monday night against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: It makes sense since Belt is hitting just .167 against lefties this season and Wade Miley (2-0, 2.79 ERA) will be throwing for Arizona. Then again, Belt isn't hitting much better against righthanders (.188). Joaquin Arias (.188, 0 HR, 2 RBI) will make his third start of the season at first base.
Description: San Francisco starter Barry Zito tossed seven shutout frames Sunday in a 5-0 win over San Diego.
Insight: If you take away Zito's meltdown against the Brewers last week (2 2/3 IP, 8 H, 9 ER), the 34-year-old would be 3-0 with an ERA of 0.00. Zito's next start is scheduled for Saturday against the Padres.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum looked like his old self Saturday against the Padres. He fired 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out eight to improve to 2-0.
Insight: Lincecum was facing the weak-hitting Padres, but it was good to see him put up a 58-37 strike-to-ball ratio. He has walked just three batters over his last 11 2/3 innings after issuing 11 free passes in his first 11 frames. With reduced fastball velocity making his changeup less effective, Lincecum's margin for error is greatly reduced from his Cy Young seasons.
Description: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence should not be started on Friday as he's a career .125 hitter when facing Padres right-hander Edinson Volquez with 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats.
Insight: Pence is off to a productive start with a team-leading four homers in his first 65 at-bats. He's rarely an exciting fantasy option, but he plays every day and accumulates solid fantasy totals. Friday night is not a good matchup for the Giants' outfielder.
Description: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 3-for-4 effort Thursday against the Brewers.
Insight: Crawford had a double and a solo homer, his third of the season. The shortstop hit just .248 as a rookie and owns a .266 average and .734 OPS in 1,107 minor league plate appearances, so he likely won't keep this up.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain didn't walk a batter and allowed seven hits in six innings Thursday afternoon, but three of those were two-run homers.
Insight: Cain allowed all seven runs over the first three innings but settled down and held the Brewers scoreless over the next three. He has allowed 25 hits, five homers and 18 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings this season. However, two of his four starts were quality outings in which he threw 13 innings and gave up two earned.
Description: San Francisco slugger Pablo Sandoval hasn't had much success against Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo throughout his career (2-for-15, five strikeouts).
Insight: Sandoval's 10-game hitting streak could be in jeopardy with Gallardo getting the start on Thursday. The Kung Fu Panda enters the day with 14 RBI for the season. That's the third-highest total in the National League behind Brandon Phillips and John Buck (19 each).
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito was shelled for eight hits, two homers and nine runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday night against the Brewers.
Insight: Zito didn't allow an earned run over 14 innings in his first two starts, but it all came crashing down Tuesday. Look for the Giants left-hander's ERA to settle somewhere in the 4.10-4.20 range this season.
Description: Giants starter Tim Lincecum gave up four runs in the first inning Sunday against the Cubs but held Chicago scoreless over the next four.
Insight: Lincecum gave up six hits and two homers in five innings but he walked just one after issuing 11 free passes over his first 11 innings this year. Lincecum has a 5.62 ERA and 1.56 WHIP after three starts.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Andres Torres won't be in the lineup Sunday against Chicago. It's probably because he's been such a poor hitter against Cubs righthander Edwin Jackson throughout his career.
Insight: Torres is just 2-for-13 against Jackson with five strikeouts. He whiffed three times against the Cubs on Saturday and hasn't hit a home run since October. Torres shouldn't be a part of your team's fantasy plans in 2013.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain was much better Friday than his second start. He held the Cubs to two runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out six.
Insight: The two runs came on solo homers that were carried out by the wind. Cain has allowed two runs and 11 hits in 13 innings in his first and third starts but gave up seven hits and nine runs in 3 2/3 his second time on the hill.
Description: Good news for Marco Scutaro owners: Scott Feldman is pitching today for Chicago.
Insight: Scutaro has owned Feldman in the past (.400 lifetime). Of course, most of those at bats came when Feldman was in Texas, which is generally considered one of the more hitter-friendly environments in major league baseball. On the other hand, Scutaro has had a very tough time at Wrigley Field in his career (.083 AVG in 24 at bats). That's a little alarming but with a good chunk of the league getting an off day on Thursday, Scutaro should still be worth a start.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt had a pair of hits in five at-bats Wednesday against the Rockies.
Insight: Belt came into the game with just two hits in his first 22 at-bats this season. He had a big spring in each of the past two years and owns an impressive minor league resume but has failed to carry it over to the regular season.
Description: Giants lefty Barry Zito has yet to allow a run over his first 14 innings this season. He won his second straight game Wednesday against the Rockies by scattering seven hits over seven innings.
Insight: Zito has an 8/4 K/BB. The lefty got off to a similar start last season, posting a 1.67 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in April, but he eventually regressed to a 4.15 ERA for the season. Zito basically has had the same season in three of the last four years -- 4.03 ERA, 4.31 FIP, 1.35 WHIP in 2009; 4.15 ERA, 4.25 FIP, 1.34 WHIP in 2010, 4.15 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 1.39 WHIP last season.
Description: Giants catcher Buster Posey is 5-for-8 against Colorado starter Jeff Francis with a home run and a 1.792 OPS.
Insight: Posey got the night off on Tuesday, so should be ready to go Wednesday afternoon. He's also got slightly better power numbers during day games than night games with an OPS of .893 in the sunlight and .866 in artificial light.
Description: Giants righty Matt Cain got demolished Sunday in a 14-3 loss to St. Louis.
Insight: Cain lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and nine runs over 66 pitches. It wasn't pretty but every one is entitled to a bad game once in a while. We're expecting Cain to fare much better Friday when he takes the mound at Wrigley Field.
Description: Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong allowed five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings Saturday against the Cardinals. He walked two and struck out six.
Insight: Vogelsong took a 2-1 lead into the top of the fifth but allowed three in that inning and one in the sixth. Vogelsong is two years into his resurrection as a useful starter after spending four full seasons out of the big leagues -- 3.05 ERA over 369 1/3 innings in the last two seasons -- so we really don't have the same concerns we had last year at this time.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs Saturday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in his right elbow that is causing irritation but it only bothers him when he throws the baseball. He is 5-for-18 (.278) with two homers and four RBIs and has yet to strike out in five games.
Description: In a battle of former aces Wednesday night in Chavez Ravine, Giants righthander Tim Lincecum was slightly more effective than Los Angeles' Josh Beckett.
Insight: Lincecum went the minimum five innings for his first win of 2013. He gave up just two runs on three hits but his control of the strike zone was nonexistent (seven walks). It's not a very encouraging start to the season for a player coming off an awful 10-15 campaign in 2012.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will miss Wednesday's game with an illness.
Insight: Belt played through the illness Monday but he missed Tuesday's game. The young first baseman hit .410 with eight homers this spring, but he also hit .378 with three homers last spring and underwhelmed during the regular season. He's worth rostering in all leagues, but he has a lot to prove early in the year.
Description: An illness will keep Giants first baseman Brandon Belt out of the lineup Tuesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Insight: Belt played through the illness Monday but he'll need a rest Tuesday. The young first baseman hit .410 with eight homers this spring, but he also hit .378 with three homers last spring and underwhelmed during the regular season. He's worth rostering in all leagues, but he has a lot to prove early in the year.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is in the lineup for Monday's season opener.
Insight: Sandoval (.283, 12 HR, 63 RBI in 2012) has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve over the past couple of weeks. there was concern that he would need to rest it before the season began, but evidently he's ready for the opener.
Description: San Francisco outfielder Hunter Pence is just a .043 hitter (1-for-23) versus Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw with six strikeouts.
Insight: Pence went over 100 RBI for the first time this past season and became one of the Giants' clubhouse leaders during the team's playoff run in October, but he should not be in fantasy lineups on Monday.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) left Friday night's game with elbow discomfort and is now a question mark for the season opener.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve this spring. He could easily start the season on the disabled list.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) will return to action as the DH Friday night in the team's spring game against Oakland.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve this spring. He couldn't make it through a light throwing session just last week but recovered quickly.
Description: The Giants signed catcher Buster Posey to an eight-year, $167 million contract extension with a team option for 2022, according to ESPN.
Insight: Posey is the reigning NL MVP and has won two World Series titles in his three seasons. The deal is the longest in Giants history and the most money ever guaranteed to a player with fewer than three years of service time. He should once again be a top-two fantasy catcher.
Description: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Pablo Sandoval (elbow) is pain-free and could be ready for Opening Day, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years and has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve. He couldn't make it through a light throwing session just three days ago but appears to have recovered quickly.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has seven home runs this spring.
Insight: Of course, Belt also hit .378 with three homers last spring and only hit .254 with four homers in the first half. He finally has the first base job locked down, but he has yet to carry over his minor league power to the majors.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (elbow) tried to play catch Saturday but couldn't make it through a light session, according to CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Sandoval has a bone spur in the back of his elbow that has been there for several years. It's unclear if that is contributing to his irritated ulnar nerve. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said surgery "has not been discussed at all," but admitted that Sandoval could start the season on the DL "if he's not making improvement tomorrow."
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is optimistic he will be ready for Opening Day, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Sandoval has been dealing with an irritated ulnar nerve in his elbow that caused him to lose some sensation in his fingers.
Insight: Sandoval has suffered a broken hamate bone in each hand over the last two seasons but we wouldn't necessarily call him an injury risk. That is a fluke injury that just happened to occur twice for the same player in consecutive seasons.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has slugged four homers in spring training and is batting .417 in 36 at-bats.
Insight: Of course, Belt also hit .378 with three homers last spring and only hit .254 with four homers in the first half. Belt finally has the first base job locked down but he has yet to exhibit the power to be a reliable fantasy option.