Kevin Larson (@SABRSkeptic)
In December, I looked at the Rockies and said that they would finish the season with 84 wins in 2020. Nothing has changed with the roster since then, but I find myself feeling less and less certain about that win total. Maybe I’m just down on the front office’s “strategy” this offseason (and the Nolan rumors getting cranked to 100), but I’m reeling it back.
I’m amending my prediction to 80 wins. That should be good for fourth in the NL West behind the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Padres. Each of these three teams decided that making moves to improve the roster was a strategy worth pursuing.
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Meanwhile, FanGraphs projects the Rockies and their nearly identical roster to finish with a total of 27.6 fWAR. All you need to know is that only the Giants and Marlins are projected to finish with less fWAR in 2020. And these are with current rosters, never mind the fact that Arenado likely isn’t with this team past the July trade deadline if they can’t compete early. Their inactivity is going to cost them, even with a rebound from last season.
Bold prediction: Trevor Story will finish with a higher WAR than Nolan Arenado.
Don’t look now, but Story has slowly started to prove himself as potentially more worthy to the Rockies than Arenado. Over the past two seasons, Story has seen increases in both his fWAR (5.1 to 5.8) and bWAR (5.6 to 6.4). He was just behind Nolan in fWAR and surpassed him in bWAR. Arenado has been consistent the past few years, but Story has shown improvement after his sophomore slump in 2017 and should continue to improve.
Regardless of where Arenado finishes the season, Story will finish with both a higher fWAR and bWAR and be more worthy to the Rockies in 2020.