Giants

MLB schedule 2020: Giants game dates, start times, five things to know

MLB schedule 2020: Giants game dates, start times, five things to know

SAN FRANCISCO -- Good morning, this is your annual reminder that the Giants will open their next season on the road. They do it every year, preferring to have more home dates during the summer, and occasionally that means opening in hostile territory. 

That will be the case in the 2020 season, with a March 26 opener coming at Dodger Stadium. It'll be the first Giants game without Bruce Bochy as manager since Oct. 1, 2006. That game was so long ago that Jason Schmidt threw the first pitch and Steve Kline threw the final one. 

There will be change, but some things remain the same. You play 162. You see every NL West team 19 times. You have at least one trip that makes you queasy just looking at it. Here's a rundown of the 2020 schedule:

Opening Day

The Giants will kick things off at Dodger Stadium on March 26 for the 10th time in franchise history. which means they'll have to stand around awkwardly as the Dodgers raise another runner-up banner. They were there a year ago and Ty Blach beat Clayton Kershaw, with Joe Panik providing all the offense. 

In all seriousness, this will be a huge day for the franchise. It will be the first game for a new manager, the roster should look quite different, and there's a decent chance that Johnny Cueto takes the ball because Madison Bumgarner is elsewhere. Opening Day 2020 will be the start of a new era for the Giants, so it's appropriate that the first pitch will be thrown at Dodger Stadium.

The Flip Side

When you open on the road, you finish at home. The Giants will be at home for the final six games of the season, with Milwaukee coming in for the final series. The 2020 season ends September 27.

Their home opener will be April 3 against the Dodgers, continuing an early-season trend. The Giants' first 15 games next season are against NL West opponents. 

The Best and Worst Trips

You know what? Next year's schedule isn't too hard on the bodies. There is a three-city trip to San Diego, Cincinnati and Atlanta in April, but it includes a day off and the latter two cities are certainly ones you don't want to visit later in the summer. 

The real scorcher comes in August, with a trip to Denver, Detroit and Philadelphia that includes the rare wraparound, meaning the Giants will play four in Philadelphia and finish on a Monday. But they have two days off on that trip, too. 

The Chicago/San Diego trip at the start of September is your best bet for tourism. If you would like to meet me, do not go on the Pittsburgh/Milwaukee trip in May. 

Interleague

The Giants visit Target Field in Minnesota for the first time and also go to Cleveland for the first time in a dozen years. The third interleague trip is a short visit to Detroit. 

They also play four against the A's, of course, with a cushy schedule around those games. For a second straight season, their visit to Oakland will be a Saturday/Sunday affair with a Friday night off. 

The Royals, Tigers and White Sox come to Oracle Park. That's not great for ticket sales. 

Oddities

The Giants and Dodgers will have a shortened All-Star break, as they'll be the only teams to play Thursday, July 16. That's kind of a bummer. 

This was the first year in Bochy's career that he had July 4 off, but his successor won't be cooking hot dogs. The Giants are in Denver on the Fourth next year. They have Memorial Day in Pittsburgh but are home for Labor Day. 

[RELATED: Giants legend Tim Lincecum spotted with frosted tips in rare sighting]

Finally, there's the part of the schedule that may be the most important, but we just don't know yet. Will the Giants end up facing Bumgarner at some point? Will another marquee name be elsewhere? Will they have traded for a star who returns home, like Andrew McCutchen to Pittsburgh last season? We'll find out over the offseason. For now, you can make your guesses ... 

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

Giants' Madison Bumgarner's road struggles continue ahead of free agency

The Giants' three-game series at Fenway Park was filled with so much history. 

Between a Yastrzemski reunion and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy's 2,000th career managerial win, there was much to be celebrated. That was until Thursday, when Madison Bumgarner took the mound.

Across five frames in the Boston Red Sox' 5-4 win over the Giants, MadBum gave up five runs and nine hits with two walks. He struck out seven, but struggled in the second frame as he approached 200 innings on the season. 

The balls that were hit off of Bumgarner's in his ninth loss of the season weren't hit all that hard. Boston beat him by putting the bat on the ball with singles from Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts, to name a few.

"This has probably been his worst year as far as luck," Bochy told reporters after the game. "I thought he threw better than what the numbers are going to show."

A pattern developed this year for Bumgarner on the road, and it wasn't a pretty one.

Away from Oracle Park this season, the four-time All-Star has a career-high 5.06 ERA with an opposing batting average of .280.

Call it tough luck, but as much as this sounds like a broken record, Bumgarner will be one of the top names in free agency this offseason, and it's no secret home/road splits are taken into account. 

[RELATED: Bochy's speech after 2,000th career win]

Bum talked about his outing after the loss, and couldn't explain some of the hits Boston got off him.

"Things don't always go your way," he said. "It's frustrating, you know. I feel really good about the way I threw."

How Giants' top five picks from 2019 MLB Draft played in first season

How Giants' top five picks from 2019 MLB Draft played in first season

The Giants continued a trend this year in the 2019 MLB Draft. For the fifth straight year, San Francisco picked a hitter over a pitcher with their top draft pick. 

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi had a clear plan this year: Find some big bats. A pitcher's name wasn't called by the Giants all the way until the eighth round this year. 

With offense on the Giants' mind, here's how the team's top five picks performed in their first crack of the minor leagues this year. 

Hunter Bishop, OF, No. 10 overall 

Bishop put up huge numbers as a junior at Arizona State, batting .342 with 22 home runs. The 6-foot-5 center fielder joined the Giants' Arizona Rookie League team over a month after his college season ended and showed a bit of rust but still hit .250 with one homer and three doubles.

He hit .250 with one homer in seven games playing in the AZL before he was promoted to Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer. Bishop spent 25 games with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and hit just .224 with three homers and nine RBI. While those aren't huge numbers, they don't tell the whole story. 

Bishop showed he could swing and miss plenty of times while swinging for the fences at ASU, but he also has a great eye at the plate. Bishop ended his first season in the minors with a .438 on-base percentage and had just one more strikeout (39) than walk (38) this year. 

[RELATED: Four Giants on MLB Pipeline's final Top 100 prospects list]

The Giants' top pick is a former high school football star and great athlete. The speed-power combination is there, and he clearly has a solid approach at the plate. 

Logan Wyatt, 1B, No. 51 overall 

After a long junior at the University of Louisville, Wyatt also only spent seven games in the AZL before joining Salem-Keizer.

Wyatt had an impressive enough showing with the Volcanoes that he spent his final 19 games in Class A Augusta. Before his promotion, though, he .284 with two homers and 10 walks to just nine strikeouts for Salem-Keizer. In Augusta, Wyatt's batting average dropped to .233, but he had a .368 on-base percentage. 

Though Wyatt doesn't have big power numbers there, many believe he could have the ability to one day be a 20-homer hitter. What he always has had, however, is a keen eye. The big left-hander ranked third in NCAA Division-I was both years he was a starter. 

Zaidi loves players that value the ability to get on base, and Wyatt fits the mold.

Grant McCray, OF, No. 87

McCray was a three-sport athlete in high school and committed to play baseball at Florida State before the Giants drafted him in the third round. Right away, his speed jumps off the page. 

The 18-year-old stole 17 bases in the AZL, but also was caught stealing 13 times. That number can come down with coaching and more reps down the road. 

McCray already is 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds with plenty of room to grow. He hit .270 with one homer, two triples, dive doubles and a .714 OPS in the Rookie League. 

Tyler Fitzgerald, SS, No. 116 overall

The Giants went with two Louisville Cardinals in their first four picks. Fitzgerald was their fourth-round pick and fits the mold of a classic college shortstop. 

While he doesn't have one tool that jumps off the page, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound shortstop is solid across the board. He showed more pop his junior year, though, hitting seven homers and raised his slugging percentage 145 points. 

Fitzgerald had a short stint in the AZL and spent the majority of his season between Salem-Keizer and Augusta. Between three levels, he hit .276 with one homer, two triples, 15 doubles and a .753 OPS. 

Garrett Frechette, 1B, No. 146 overall 

Frechette is a really intriguing prospect. The high school draft pick out of Southern California was sidelined during his senior year with mononucleosis, but reportedly launched balls into the water at Oracle Park during a pre-draft workout. 

He's a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander with raw power. But he hasn't hit a homer in the minors yet. Frechette spent 39 games in the AZL and hit .290 while knocking seven doubles and two triples. 

Before the illness and a hamate bone injury, Frechette was considered a top 10 high school player in California. He has a ways to go, but the talent is there.