Why The Colorado Rockies Will Win The National League West
That's right, I said WIN THE WEST.
Sure, a lot of so-called "experts" are saying the usual things about the Colorado Rockies this year.
"Great hitting, no pitching."
Maybe they have a point. The Rockies DO have one of the youngest starting staffs in the majors, but it's one that has tremendous upside, starting with their opening day starting pitcher, Jon Gray.
Grand Junction Rockies fans remember Gray, fresh out of college, with huge potential and a lively fastball and vicious slider.
Add in left-hander Tyler Anderson, who started 19 games last season and finished 5-6 with an ERA of 3.54, Tyler Chatwood, who, at 27 is the oldest among the starters and Thomas Jefferson High School graduate Kyle Freeland, as well as minor league sensation Antonio Senzatela (41-19 2.45 ERA in the minor leagues) and you have, potentially, a formidable starting pitching line up.
The Achilles heel of the Rockies last season was their bullpen. The Rockies relievers blew 25 save opportunities last year, which, had they converted them all, would have given the Rockies 100 wins, instead of the 75 they finished with. New relievers Mike Dunn (6-1 3.40 ERA in 2016) and closer Greg Holland, who helped the Kansas City Royals to a World Series victory in 2015 are set to bolster the beleaguered corps.
But, as with all Rockies teams, offensively, the Colorado Rockies are a cut above. The team scored 845 runs last season, leading the National League and scoring 37 MORE runs than the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs, were third in home runs with 204, and led the league with a .275 batting average, including NL batting champion DJ Lamahieu's stellar .348 average.
Defensively, the Rockies have the best 3rd baseman in the game in Nolan Arenado, who has won 4 consecutive Gold Glove awards, for excellence in fielding. And overall the team ranked 8th in fielding percentage.
Add in one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in the game in Charlie Blackmon, the surprising power of Trevor Story, and the always dangerous Carlos Gonzales, and perhaps now you're getting an understanding of why I am so excited for this year's Rockies team.
No wild card for this group!
What are YOUR thoughts?