Most Colorado Rockies fans have some qualms about the team entering the 2020 season but not many are as pessimistic as Sports Illustrated.
Coming off an injury-riddled, 71-win season in 2019 and a rough offseason that saw Nolan Arenado express his discontent with the Colorado Rockies front offseason due to no trades or free-agent signings of any major-league players, most Rockies fans are not sold on the Colorado Rockies entering the 2020 season. All of the above reasons are valid reasons to be a bit pessimistic on the Rockies but Sports Illustrated is more pessimistic than most fans.
They released their projections for records, standings, and the playoffs for the 2020 season and they have the Colorado Rockies being in dead-last in the National League West with a record of 66-96. That would mean that the Rockies would be the second-worst team in the National League, only ahead of the projected 100-loss Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Rockies manager Bud Black spoke to the media, including Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry and Duane DaPron, on Wednesday morning and expressed his discontent when he was told about the projections.
"“Really?” said Black. “It upsets me. Makes me mad.” He repeated himself. “It upsets me. Makes me mad.”"
Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon had some words on the projections when he was told of the 66-win projection.
"“Oh really? Good for them,” he said. “I’ll take the over.”[…]Added Blackmon: “Man, I think our guys try so hard, so I think that’s a little low. My bold prediction? 162-0.”"
SI even has the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins with better records as they project each of those teams to win 68 and 67 games. In their description of the Giants, they say that the team still “isn’t bad enough to flirt with a 100-loss season.”
However, if you objectively look at the Rockies and Giants, as currently constructed, it looks like the Giants are worse than the Rockies. Most of the Vegas over/under numbers show this as well and have the Rockies win total in the mid-70s.
If the Rockies were to trade Nolan Arenado early in the season and not get any MLB-ready players in return and if the Rockies pitching staff falls flat like it did last season sprinkled in with some injuries, then maybe the Rockies will lose 96 games…but that’s a lot of “ifs.”
SI also has the Dodgers winning a mind-boggling 107 wins and getting to the World Series for the third time in four years. However, SI projects them losing once again, this time to the New York Yankees.
Personally, I think that the Rockies are likely right around the average Vegas number and perhaps slightly above (I’d probably say 77-79 wins as of now). SI’s Tom Verducci seems to agree with that as he had a 90-second video overview of the team’s projections and he believes that they are better than the 71-win team they were last year but not close to the 91-win team they were in 2018.
Either win total would not get the Rockies into the postseason but if the Rockies see some improvement and health from a number of players that didn’t have it in 2019, the Rockies are more likely to be in the 80-89 win total and not the second-worst team in the National League.