Are the 2020 Colorado Rockies the second-best NL West team?

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: A general view of the stadium as the Boston Red Sox face the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 27, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: A general view of the stadium as the Boston Red Sox face the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 27, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JUNE 18: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies takes a moment in the dugout during a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 18, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

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So the starting lineups are just about the same. The benches are all about the same (all three are atrocious). The bullpen gets worse with each year and the starting rotation dropped like a lead ballon in 2019 but, if you watched the Rockies in the past few years, you likely already knew this.

The thing that you likely didn’t know is that even when the Rockies made the playoffs, at least on paper, those two teams were never as good as the D’Backs are right now. At least by bWAR, it’s not even particularly close as the D’Backs are 13 percent better than the 2017 Rockies, which is by run differential, the best Rockies team since 2009.

You may not have known that, on paper, the Padres and Rockies are in a virtual dead heat heading into 2020…but, again, neither one is particularly close to Arizona or the Dodgers.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, there’s a reason why games are not played on paper or by projections and that’s because of the “human element” to games. There’s room for regression or growth from players and that can significantly change the projections.

However, when you look at the numbers with an objective view with the numbers, it is a bit easier to see why the downturn in Rockies baseball shouldn’t have been as surprising (I was one of the people who predicted a good 2019 team as well) as well as the disparity between the Rockies and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in 2019.

Next. Making sense of a Chicago Cubs-Nolan Arenado trade. dark

As a result, it’s easier to see that the Rockies, at least on paper, are not the second best team in the NL West. Honestly, the Rockies are no better than a third-place team in the weakest division in the National League…and even that is up for debate.

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