Because the Arizona Diamondbacks won the NL West in 2011, the road to the division crown in 2012 technically runs through them. But "technically" is about all the Giants, the D-backs' opponent on Opening Day, will concede.
As they await their season opener Friday at Chase Field, the Giants acknowledge the D-backs' place as NL West favorites by default, but they also know well the division's history as anybody's to win.
"Arizona really was on all cylinders at the end of the year," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said as his team wrapped up spring training. "Based on that, you'd have to say that they're the team to be beat for the division title, but I really think it's going to be a boat race."
Sabean tackled the Giants' offensive deficiencies in the offseason by adding outfielders Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, both of whom offer speed on the bases paths. Pagan struggled at the plate this spring, but Cabrera shined and should boost the run support for one of the NL's best sta...