2020 Colorado Rockies Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
It's truly stunning how fast a team can go into the toilet. The Rockies earned a Wild-Card spot in 2017 but lost that game in Arizona. The next year, Colorado tied for the NL West title through 162 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers but lost that one-game playoff. The Rox did win the Wild-Card Game, though, in an upset Chicago but were swept by Milwaukee in the NLDS.
It all went backward in 2019 as the Rockies dropped to 71-91 and fourth in the NL West. Now it sure feels as if this franchise has given up on winning anytime soon with how it has treated superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado this offseason with so many trade rumors.
Expect much of the same this year from Colorado as it will be a pretty good home team and put up plenty of crooked numbers in the thin air at Coors Field. It's simply a home-field advantage unlike any other in the sport. However, the pitching staff will be below-par yet again and the team will struggle in a big way overall on the road.
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Did I mention the Rockies have not signed a major-league free agent since the 2019 season ended? How is that even possible? Colorado opens 2020 in San Diego on March 26.
Rockies 2020 Projected Lineup
Since teams are reporting to spring camps this week, I'm presuming that Arenado will not be traded before the regular season. He signed a monster eight-year, $260 million extension last February and it looked as if the best overall third baseman in the majors (sorry, Anthony Rendon) would spend his entire career in purple.
Alas, the Rockies are looking to cut costs and are worried he will opt-out after the 2021 season - the way the franchise dangled him all over the place this winter pretty much guarantees that. All this guy does is win a Gold Glove, make an All-Star team and hit around 40 bombs and knock in 120 runs or so every year. With that contract and opt-out, though, only a few teams are going to make realistic offers. The Cubs and Cardinals are often mentioned as two. The Dodgers were on the short list but that's moot following their trade for Mookie Betts. Keep an eye on the Rangers.
Colorado probably would like to deal Charlie Blackmon too, but he'll make $21 million this season and next and has an option year in 2022 for another $21 million. Good player but not worth that.
Here's the projected lineup:
OF Charlie Blackmon (L)
OF David Dahl (L)
3B Nolan Arenado (R)
SS Trevor Story (R)
1B Daniel Murphy (L)
2B Ryan McMahon (L)
OF Raimel Tapia (L)
C Tony Wolters (L)
That's a very capable lineup through McMahon. Five of the top six should all hit at least 20 bombs - Murphy probably won't at age 34 (35 in April).
Rockies 2020 Projected Rotation & Closer
Colorado's pitching staff was second-to-last with a 5.56 ERA last year and its .277 batting average allowed was the worst. How desperate is this team for pitching? The Rox recently signed former ace Ubaldo Jimenez to a minor-league deal. In 2010, he was an All-Star and finished third in NL Cy Young Award balloting, going 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 214 strikeouts. But Jimenez has only had one good season since (2013 with the Indians) and last pitched in the majors in 2017 with the Orioles when he was atrocious.
Which Kyle Freeland will the Rockies get? The southpaw was terrific in 2018, named an All-Star and fourth in the Cy Young voting, but hugely struggled in 2019, went to the injured list twice and was even optioned to Triple-A with his confidence shattered. Fellow starters Jon Gray and German Marquez actually had decent years but both finished it on the injured list.
Here's how the rotation should shake out:
Closer Wade Davis led the National League and set a team record with 43 saves in 2018 but completely fell apart last year (8.65 ERA) and eventually lost his job. Scott Oberg (2.25 ERA) did well in Davis' spot before blood clots in his arm ended his year. Could be a committee between those two.
Rockies Futures Odds
Colorado is given a win total of 74.5 (both -110). The Rockies are +2800 to win the NL West, +6600 for the pennant and +15000 to win the first World Series in franchise history. Arenado is +1800 to lead the majors in homers. He is given an "over/under" of 40.5, with the under a slight favorite.
Rockies 2020 Predictions
Tough team to forecast because I don't happen to think that Arenado will be with the Rockies after the July 31 Trade Deadline. Most sports fans in Colorado are thinking about the Broncos by then anyway, so the Rox can deal Arenado with Broncos training camp underway and not get as much blowback locally. The PECOTA projections have the Rockies winning around 76 games so we'll lean over that total.
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