Consistency. It is the cornerstone of any great franchise and has been the Holy Grail of baseball players for over a century.
Colorado’s 2011 season will be defined by whether or not they are able to attain that level of consistency that the best teams in the league manage to find. For years they have been exceptional at home and a dud on the road. For years they have had an abundance of quality hitting but a dearth of top-end pitching. And for years they have been a square peg trying to fit into the round hole that is National League West baseball.
25% BONUS ON ALL DEPOSITS AT BETONLINE -
The Rockies do have a great chance to dominate the West this year. But in order to do so they need to stop being one of the streakiest bets in baseball and learn to keep that even keel. But then again, don’t we all.
Here are Doc’s Sports 2011 Colorado Rockies Predictions and MLB Futures Odds:
2010 Record: 83-79
2011 Wins Over/Under: 87.5
Odds To Win 2011 NL West: 1.5/1
Odds To Win 2011 NL Pennant: 10/1
2011 Colorado Rockies Odds to Win World Series: 18/1
Pitching: The Rockies are hoping that Ubaldo Jimenez is just the tip of the iceberg. Jimenez was the breakout sensation of the 2010 season and was a Cy Young contender in the N.L. for a majority of the season. This came after several seasons where he flashed enormous potential and talent but just couldn’t seem to put it together. He is now the anchor for one of the favorites out West and the Rockies are hoping that several other Colorado starters will experience that same type of bump this year. Jorge de la Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Esmil Rogers are all young arms with great stuff, but that haven’t found a level of consistency or success that Colorado has hoped for. Each has shown signs. But if the Rockies are going to knock off the Giants this year they will need to guys to give a consistent amount of quality outings. Aaron Cook suffered a broken finger this spring, but when he comes back he could be a stabilizing force at the back of the rotation. The bullpen looks like a strength as long as Huston Street stays healthy (which is never a given). An offseason trade for Matt Lindstrom provides some insurance and there are enough tools in this box to forge a solid middle relief corps.
Hitting: Colorado has the benefit of having two of the premier players at their position anchoring the lineup. Carlos Gonzalez is on the verge of superstardom and Troy Tulowitzki is among the elite shortstops in the game. So they’re good. But the season will be determined based on how everyone else performs. Central to their success is Todd Helton, who at 37 is probably not a guy to be counted on for more than 120 games, a mark he has missed two of the last three years. They have some nice pieces around them, with Dexter Fowler, Ryan Spilborghs and Ty Wigginton as guys that are capable of providing support. They are still a big bat or two away from being a World Series threat but the foundation is in place. The biggest issue, though, is that this team needs to learn to hit on the road. They hit a league-best .298 at home, which was 10 points higher than the Rangers. That is amazing. But they also hit a league-low .226 away from home, a full five points lower than the pathetic Pirates. They need to even things out and have to learn to score on the road.
Key Stat: The last two years that the Rockies made the playoffs, 2007 and 2009, Todd Helton hit .320 and .325. The last two years they missed the playoffs, in 2008 and 2010, he hit just .264 and .256. He is their best left-handed bat and I think .300 is the magic number here. If he is over that then the Rockies probably will win close to 90 games. If he is under it then I think Colorado will have come up short.
2011 Colorado Rockies Predictions: The Rockies have been a volatile team, capable of monster winning streaks and savage losing streaks. They dumped 13 of their final 14 games to close last year and that had to have left a sour taste in their mouth. Especially because they went 20-6 in the 26 games just prior to that tailspin. They have built a core of strong, young talent but they still have enough experience to make them a legit threat.
2011 Colorado Rockies MLB Season Win Totals Predictions: Take ‘Over’ 86.5 Wins. I will roll the dice with the Rockies going ‘over’. I think that San Francisco will come back to earth and that the Dodgers are going to flop around. San Diego is an X-Factor and then Arizona is headed for the basement once again. That leaves the Rockies, who should be battling for the division crown all year long. They had 82 wins with 14 games to play last year and went in the tank. Colorado has been on a bit of an every-other-year cycle the past four years, winning 90, 74, 92 and 83 games. That sets up well for a bounce back year.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB cappers in the country and has turned a profit in four of the last five years on the diamond with his baseball picks. He closed 2010 with $6,000 in earnings over the last four months and is looking forward to a great upcoming season against the MLB odds. Click here for more information on his MLB picks.