Could the Colorado Rockies be the Most Dangerous Team in the National League?
The Colorado Rockies entered the series against the Atlanta Braves this past Thursday on the road with something to prove. The Rockies swept the series on the road and the Braves were red hot as of late. Colorado (68-56) is only 0.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West.
The Rockies are up 1.5 games on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Colorado is currently in a three-way tie for the top two wild-card spots with the Philadelphia Phillies (68-56) and the Milwaukee Brewers (69-57).
If the Rockies make it to the postseason, could they be the most dangerous team in the National League? Let's break down their season thus far.
Colorado is 8-2 in their last 10 games. They play well at home (31-27) and on the road (37-29).
The Rockies are the only team in the National League that can go toe-to-toe with the Chicago Cubs lineup. The Cubs average 4.78 runs a game which is the seventh best in baseball and the Rockies average 4.69 runs a game which is the 10th best in baseball.
Colorado has Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, D.J. LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, and Carlos Gonzales.
The Colorado Rockies have a very good bullpen, but they have a shaky starting rotation. The Rockies are currently ranked 24th in the MLB when it comes to runs given up per game at 5.05.
Those six players have a combined .278 batting average with 122 home runs and 382 RBI's, along with 34 stolen bases. Their on-base percentage is .341.
If the Colorado Rockies needed one pitcher to throw in a one-game playoff, it would probably be Kyle Freeland. His record is 11-7 with a 2.96 ERA. In 152 innings pitched, he has given up 132 hits and 50 runs. Freeland has walked 56 batters and has struck out 129.
Wade Davis is currently the Rockies closer. His record is 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA. Davis has pitched in 52.1 innings and he has given up 38 hits and 30 runs. Davis has walked 25 batters and has struck out 59 batters. He has 35 saves in 41 attempts.
Adam Ottavino's record is 5-2 with a 1.64 ERA. He has pitched in 60.1 innings and has given up 32 hits and 14 runs. Ottavino has walked 25 batters and has struck out 86. He has five saves in nine tries.
German Marquez's record is 11-9 with a 4.42 ERA. He has pitched in 142.2 innings and has given up 140 hits and 75 runs. Marquez has walked 48 batters and has struck out 151 batters.
The Rockies play the St. Louis Cardinals three more times, the Arizona Diamondbacks seven times, the Los Angeles Dodgers six times, and the Philadelphia Phillies four times late in the season. Those are key matchups for them down the stretch.
The National League has no dominant team this season. The Chicago Cubs currently have the best record in baseball, but they are vulnerable because they don't have great pitching either and the Cubs live and die by scoring three runs a game or they lose.
The Braves and the Phillies have flaws. The Diamondbacks have a good pitching rotation, but they don't have exactly the strongest offense in the league. The Dodgers don't have a true number two starter and they have injuries.
The Brewers have a good lineup, but there starting pitching is hit or miss. The Cardinals might be peaking too early.
Colorado could be the most dangerous team in the National League if they make the playoffs because they have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. The Rockies have players that could go on a hot streak and they will be tough to get out. Colorado just needs average starting pitching to get the job done and then they could turn it over to the bullpen.