NL West Preview: Colorado Rockies

Before Opening Day begins on July 23, we will be previewing and breaking down the four teams that the Los Angeles Dodgers will have to take down to clinch another postseason ticket. After all, 40 of the Dodgers 60 games will be against the NL West.

Today we will take a look at the Colorado Rockies

Ballpark: Coors Field
Manager: Bud Black (4th year)
General Manager: Jeff Bridrich
2019 record: 71-91 (4th)

Last season the Rockies embraced the model of all offense and no pitching. It did not work out for them. We didn’t expect them to be that competitive, but I’m not sure anyone had them finishing 20 games below .500. Despite giving a massive 8-year contract extension to Nolan Arenado, there was still drama surrounding him. He was rumored to want out of Colorado because it was reported he wasn’t happy with the way things were run, and he was even linked to a couple big trades that just didn’t work out. The Rockies offense was night and day when it came to their home/road splits, which has been the narrative throughout the history of their franchise. Overall they were 4th in the NL with 835 runs scored. They finished 8th in home runs, while having the best team batting average at .265 in the NL. On the other hand, the Rockies pitching was a disaster. Imagine if Gordan Ramsay was a baseball manager, there’d be a lot of yelling. The team had the worst pitching with an embarrassing 5.56 team ERA. The bullpen and starters were both major holes.

The Rockies had a pretty quiet offseason. Crickets.

Additions: Jose Mujica, Ubaldo Jimenez

Losses: Yonder Alonso, Rico Garcia, Tyler Anderson, DJ Johnson, Chad Bettis, Drew Butera, Sam Howard, Pat Valaika, Harrison Musgrave, Roberto Ramos

Offense

The Rockies have put together a lineup that you have to tip your cap to. Charlie Blackmon had been one of the best leadoff hitters in all of baseball. However, he’s been on a downward slope. With that being said, he’s still a great hitter who finished batting .314 and 32 home runs. The Rockies have arguably the best third baseman in the game who is a consistent RBI machine, Arenado drove in another 118 runs runs in 2019 and had 41 home runs. Another great player in their infield is Trevor Story who continues to improve by finishing with a career best .294 batting average, while also having 35 home runs.

David Dahl and Daniel Murphy are two proven left-handed bats to complement the stars in the Rockies lineup. McMahon has been a solid replacement at second base. The Rockies added former Dodger Matt Kemp to their team to replace Ian Desmond who opted out. Infielder Bendan Rodgers is a prime candidate to break-out, he’s one of the best prospects in baseball.

Pitching

As mentioned earlier, the Rockies pitching is awful. Kyle Freeland was their ace and looked like the future for years to come, but 2019 was a disaster. Freeland was 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA. German Marquez is the arguably the best they have now. Marquez has proven to be an effective strike-out pitcher. The right-hander did take a step back though by finishing with a 4.76 ERA. Jon Gray has been with the Rockies for awhile now, but he’s inconsistent. Jeff Hoffman was expected to be a guy the Rockies could count on, but it hasn’t worked out. Chi Chi Gonzalez and Antonio Senzatela round out the rotation. The bullpen has been a dumpster on fire. The Rockies handed Wade Davis a big contract, and he rewarded them with an 8.65 ERA. Scott Oberg is likely their closer to start the season. Jairo Díaz and Carlos Estéves flashed some upside and might be the arms to look out for. The Rockies have options in their bullpen, just not many good ones.

The Rockies have a great defense overall. However, it’s often hard to tell because the ball is flying all over the place in Coors Field. Worth noting that n 2017 and 2018, the Rockies did qualify for the postseason. This team has the experience to make a run if everything goes right. After all they did take the Dodgers to a game 163. The Dodgers have one four-game season at Coors Field, and they play the Rockies six times in Los Angeles.

The wins total set for the Rockies is 27.5, which feels spot on. I think they can reach 28 wins, I also think they’re talented enough to finish at .500. I’ll predict the Rockies to go 30-30, which would be 3rd in my standings bracket. Ultimately I believe the Dodgers and Dbacks will get the best of them, and the Rockies pitching just doesn’t have what it takes to be a legit contender. Though adding a DH can only help them. Kyle Freeland might be a sleeper in fantasy formats though. It would not be a surprise to see him return to that 2018 form. The left-hander was 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA that season. Overall, expect some high scoring games between the Dodgers and Rockies, and maybe we’ll see Matt Kemp go deep against the Dodgers one last time.

Follow me on Twitter @Klein25

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