MLB Playoffs 2017: Predicting the NL Playoff picture
NL WC 2
The Colorado Rockies have enjoyed a very fine season under another Manager of the Year candidate in Bud Black. Nolan Arenado is among the league’s MVP candidates. He is on his way to setting career-highs in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and leads the league in doubles (42) and (125).
Charlie Blackmon leads the NL in BA (.329) and has 35 home runs, 95 RBI.
How they got here
What’s impressive about Colorado is how they pitched so well in the early-going with four rookies. The Rockies had their best 81-game stretch earlier in the season. As prior history indicates, teams don’t typically win with such an inexperienced group.
The 2015 Cincinnati Reds started eight rookies culminating in 66 percent of their starts, including an ML record 64 starts to finish out the season. It was a rebuilding year, Johnny Cueto was traded mid-season, and the Reds finished in last place.
Colorado was already without Chad Bettis to begin the year due to cancer, and the team was able to stay afloat despite an eight-game swoon towards the end of June, all against their division, and losing 10 of 11.
Two weeks ago, Colorado soared after a four-game sweep of the Dodgers and a split series with the Diamondbacks.
In the second-half, the Rockies’ rotation is 18-23 with a 4.98 ERA.
Over this past week, they have dropped four in a row against the Padres and Giants.
Because of the Rockies struggling, the door is still open for the Brewers who are 1.0 game out, and the Cardinals, on the peripheral of the Central, but closer to the Wild Card at just 1.5 out. Mike Matheny’s troops still have a series remaining against the Cubs and Brewers.
As far as who wins the second Wild Card, we’re taking the Rockies, but it’s really anyone’s guess, so don’t get mad.
While they are struggling, they have been able to maintain their place above the cutoff mark just about all season. They have the chance to right their ship this weekend at San Diego, at home against the Marlins, and then face the Dodgers the final weekend.
L.A. will have the No. 1 seed wrapped up, and will likely be resting players and setting up their starting rotation, though Kershaw is slated to start Sep. 29 in Denver.
Milwaukee plays Cincinnati at Miller Park for a three-game set starting next Tuesday, before heading to Busch for their regular-season finale.
How they did
The Colorado Rockies won the season series over the Chicago Cubs 5-2. They took two of three in Colorado in May, and three of four at Wrigley in June.
The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will finish their final regular season series next week at Busch Stadium. On the year, the Cubs are 11-4 against the Cards, and 8-1 at Wrigley Field.