Leading Off

An early look at 2015 season for Giants


Giants ace and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner may still be pulling confetti out of the back pockets of his Wranglers as he drives back home to North Carolina in his new 2015 Chevy truck that has all that “class winning, and leading, um, you know, technology and stuff,” in the words of the guy that presented it to him.

But it’s not too early to take a look at the 2015 baseball season.

▪ Giants fans already have been given more fuel for their fiery hatred of the Dodgers, who have been given the best odds at 15-2 to win next October’s World Series by Bovada Sportsbook in Las Vegas.

The Washington Nationals, whom the Giants beat in the National League Division Series, have the second-best odds at 8-1. Then it’s the Detroit Tigers at 10-1, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, St. Louis Cardinals and the Giants at 12-1 odds.

The A’s, who were baseball’s best team in July before losing in the American League Wild Card game in Kansas City, Mo., are 20-1.

The good news for Giants fans: It appears the Padres (75-1), Diamondbacks (100-1) and Rockies (100-1) will be no threat in the N.L. West.

▪ While Giants general manager Brian Sabean tries to crunch the numbers to keep third baseman and Senor Octobre Pablo Sandoval in San Francisco, he also has to consider the future of the team – which looks bright with five rookies who look like they’ll play their first full seasons in 2015.

Joe Panik has already entrenched himself as the team’s second baseman for years to come, and Jesuit grad Andrew Susac appears to have won a job as Buster Posey’s backup behind the plate. Juan Perez made his big-league debut in 2013 and played well late this season. He may stick as a utility outfielder next season.

Matt Duffy’s speed and glove will likely earn him a roster spot and Hunter Strickland, if he can control his emotions and add a little wiggle to his 100-mph fastball, could someday be the Giants’ closer.

Today’s poll

Poll results

Should the Kings retire a Gregg Lukenbill flannel shirt?

▪ Yes, he started the Kings’ Sacramento era: 68%

▪ No, retire player jerseys, not owners: 32%

Total votes: 163