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Giants hit All-Star break on cruise control

The San Francisco Giants always know to turn it on when the year ends in an even number.

In 2010, 2012 and 2014, the Giants won the World Series for their first trio of championships since moving to San Francisco from New York in 1958. After faltering in 2015 and missing the postseason, the Giants are hitting the All-Star break in the 2016 campaign with the best record in baseball at 57-33.

The Giants are rolling along with one of the best starting rotations in baseball, buoyed by Johnny Cueto, Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samaedzija. San Francisco also has a solid lineup with shortstop Brandon Crawford, first baseman Brandon Belt, catcher Buster Posey and outfielder Hunter Pence leading the charge.

San Francisco is leading the National League West by 6.5 games over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers, who aren’t a real threat to take the division barring collapse. While the Dodgers have all-world Clayton Kershaw (Kershaw is currently on the disabled list), the rest of the roster has a bunch of decent but older players. Kenta Maeda is a quality starter, but the Dodgers – the chief rival of the Giants – don’t have the horses to compete with the great trio on the bay.

For manager Bruce Bochy, the main objective should be trying to win home-field advantage throughout the MLB playoffs. San Francisco fans should be watching closely on Tuesday night as well, with home field being up for grabs in the World Series.

In the meantime, the Giants will continue to chug along to perhaps 100 wins. San Francisco has the look of a bear in October, when pitching is at a premium and experience can carry a team through a rough time. The Giants also play in one of the more unique ballparks in baseball and could greatly benefit from getting an extra home game or two throughout the playoffs at AT&T Park.

Ultimately, the playoffs in the National League are going to be one of the greater brawls we have seen in some time. The Chicago Cubs are currently scuffling but they will be out in full force come the postseason with Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey on the bump. The Washington Nationals can also match up with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer throwing Games 1,2 and 3 of any series. Even the New York Mets, who won the NL last year, can get it done with Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Bartolo Colon and Jacob deGrom.

San Francisco and its fans should enjoy the next two months as the Giants roll through a mediocre division to 90+ wins. Come autumn, it will be high intensity and an opportunity to grow a dynasty.

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