Colorado Rockies are an underdog story again in NL Wild Card Game
On the surface, the odds are again stacked against the Colorado Rockies.
The Colorado Rockies must travel to Chicago to face Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs in the National League WIld Card game. The Cubs ace is on six days rest while Colorado’s Kyle Freeland is on three days rest. Their guy has been here before and Freeland has never pitched in the postseason. The Cubs are supposed to be in the MLB playoffs this year and the Rockies aren’t. So what are they to do?
Go out and beat the Cubs. Win a ball game as they have 91 times this year, including a club-record 44 times on the road. Swing the bats as they have (4.78 runs per game) this season. Kyle Freeland will be tasked with being Kyle Freeland without his four days off, but Kyle Freeland has been special this year and I think he can reach down and do it on short rest.
With a lineup featuring Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story, and Nolan Arenado, the Rockies have power. With rising stars like David Dahl playing along battle tested vets like Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, and Chris Iannetta bolstered by players like Ian Desmond and Matt Holliday (and several more I’m forgetting), it’s hard to believe the Rockies are an underdog. Yet they are and I’m fine with that.
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Looking at ESPN’s team batting numbers for the season, the Rockies hold a lead in a majority of categories including runs, extra base hits, home runs, and OPS. What’s more have a look at these stats per MLB.com.
The Rockies in September lead almost every offensive category by a longshot, with 38 more runs, 34 more hits, 13 more doubles, 22 more home runs, and .158 higher OPS. The hotter offense is wearing black and purple and simply has to show up tonight in Chicago. I feel the Rockies are the better team, yet remain the underdog. And, until they prove it, they will always be overlooked when facing the Dodgers and Cubs.
In 2007, the Rockies had been written off plenty of times, then they were the Cinderella after winning 13 of their final 14 to become a playoff team. From there, they swept the Phillies and the Diamondbacks, becoming the National League Champion that nobody predicted in the spring. So the Rockies should embrace the underdog status and ride a hot September into a Rocktober to remember.