Underrated Rockies Have Value In Season Win Total Projection

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:28 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 8:28 PM UTC

The Rockies have a lot going for them, but the attention is with Manny Machado and the rival L.A. Dodgers. Does this make Colorado undervalued in the season win total odds right now?

Colorado Rockies' World Series Odds: +2500 (BetOnline)National League Pennant Odds: +1200Season Win Total: 82.5

Offensive Upside In Revamped Lineup

The Rockies are a well-built team and, with some new or newish faces in the lineup, they could do some damage in the NL West. The problems come in many directions, including the newly reported news that Manny Machado is joining the NL West en route to San Diego.

However, the bully on the block is still just north in Los Angeles and with this division improved, I'm not sure Colorado is going to be good enough to fend off their own division and compete for an eventual wild-card spot against the talented teams not winning the other two divisions.

However, they have done their part to try and compete this season. Daniel Murphy comes over in free agency to give them a stable bat near the top of the order, and he can play multiple infield positions. He will likely start mostly at first base, but I’m sure they will use him to back up second if young Garrett Hampson needs a breather. The signing of Murphy also allows Ian Desmond to move to the outfield.

Young players such as Hampson and David Dahl might end up being the deciding factors if this team is in the playoffs, though. Murphy will likely give them a huge boost, but if Dahl hits like he did as a part-timer in 2018, the Rockies’ offense is going places.

The same can be said about Hampson, who posted a .355 wOBA over his first 48 major league plate appearances in 2018. If these young guys can keep hitting close to what they did in 2018 now as close to everyday players, the Rockies’ might threaten to have one of the top five or six offenses in the league.

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#Rockies manager Bud Black gathers the team on the first day of full-squad workouts. And Nolan Arenado just can't help himself: he just has to work on his swing. pic.twitter.com/6rOx8IUxRX

— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 18, 2019
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Rockies’ Budding Rotation

To understand how good the Rockies’ rotation was last season you really have to be a sabermetrics guru, because while as a group they posted an ERA above 4, their FIP and xFIP ranked 13th and 10th respectfully. If it weren’t for Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray falling off in the second half, they might have been top 10 in both.

FIP is based on everything a pitcher can control such as strikeouts, walks, hit by pitch and home runs allowed, while xFIP adds a layer by using a player’s fly balls allowed and multiplies it by the league-average home run to fly ball ratio to try and gauge how good a pitcher is.

Playing in Coors Field can have some negative effects on a starting rotation, but the good news is they play 81 games outside of Coors and inside it the Rockies have the ability to strikeout guys. They owned a 22.4% strikeout rate among their rotation and as a team it was even higher at 22.9%. Colorado also owned the third-highest ground ball rate among pitching staffs in 2018.

These factors should once again take the Rockies on the brink of, or in, the playoffs. If German Marquez is an ace again for this team and if Kyle Freeland can pitch close to being an ace too, this team is going to go far.

With some fat trimmed and some ammo added with Murphy, if this pitching staff repeats 2018, or gets even better, I’m betting on the Rockies finishing in the mid-80s in wins.

Season Win Total Pick: "Over" 82.5 (-150)

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