Colorado Rockies: Predictions and thoughts for 2019

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 12: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 12: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 12, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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It could be argued the Colorado Rockies are right in the middle of their best stretch of seasons in franchise history. Especially with the extension of the All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado in 2019, it’s never been more exciting to be a Rockies fan.

The 2018 offseason was a big one for the Colorado Rockies as well as far as change goes, so the team has become quite the question mark. We’ve heard predictions of their first 100-win team and winning the division. We have also heard they will be .500 at the best.

With just a few days before Opening Day, here are some basic predictions for the upcoming season.

Surprise player: Jon Gray

This may be more of a comeback player, but a lot of people have forgotten just how good Jon Gray could be. Let’s not forget it wasn’t too long ago when Jon Gray was considered the best pitcher in Colorado. Why have people forgotten his poise as a pitcher? Because some consider his performance in clutch situations to be abysmal. Yes, Colorado trusted him with the ball in the 2017 NL Wild Card game, and he blew it despite the Rockies giving a ton of support offensively. Yes, last year, the Rockies gave him the ball with an opportunity to clinch the division, and he put up an awful performance. However, I believe this will be the year he finally steps it up and becomes the elite level pitcher the Rockies need.

Disappointing player: Ryan McMahon

It’s not like McMahon is going to be some tragic story in the Rockies’ system, but he certainly won’t live up to the large expectations the fans have given him. A lot of people believe McMahon could be a key contributor for the Rockies this year. This is simply not likely due to the amount of talented second baseman the Rockies have. McMahon and Hampson are slotted to play second base this year, with Daniel Murphy also in the mix. McMahon played well in spring training, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to tear it up the same when the regular season hits.

I fully expect Garrett Hampson to be playing the majority of the games later in the season. It’s not like McMahon will be some huge mistake player for the Rockies this year. The fans simply have built up expectations for him that will be too hard to reach.

Record/Place finish: 91-71, 2nd in the NL West, 1st NL Wild Card

This could be broken down by month to get the most accurate representation of what record they will end up. The Rockies are a streaky team that will have great and terrible months. In April (and the four games at the end of March), I think the Rockies will get off to a great start. In 31 games, we would hope to see 18-19 of those be wins.

May should be more of the same. They wrap up the tough Brewers series at the start of the month and then don’t see any elite teams for the rest of the month besides two road games against the Red Sox. If they are going to win the division, they should win at least 35 of those games in March through May.

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June and July are where the Rockies can have some tough games but still manage to be playing good baseball. With multiple series against the Dodgers and Cubs, its likely to assume these months will be tough on the Rockies. They’ll have played 91 games heading into the All-Star break, and will hopefully have around 55 wins. By the end of July, they will have played 110 games and will hopefully be around 60 wins and 50 losses.

August and September is where the Rockies need to turn it on. For one, getting hot before playoff games is the perfect way to go far in the postseason. In August and September, they play 52 games. They need to win every single game they can. If they can explode and hit 35 wins, that would put them at a 95-67 record, the best the Rockies have ever done. More realistically, the Rockies win 28 to 30 of their final games. This would still put them at roughly a 90-72 record, which should be enough to make the playoffs.

Next. Looking at Colorado's tough stretch to start the season. dark

For the first time in a long time, the division isn’t going to be incredibly competitive. That means 90 wins might actually be enough to capture a division title. However, if not, that should easily get them into the Wild Card game.

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