Colorado Rockies: How their ZiPS projections got even worse

The Colorado Rockies were not projected to do well in 2021 by FanGraphs’ ZiPS and now, they are projected to do even worse.

Earlier this offseason, Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs released his projections for the Colorado Rockies and they did not paint a great picture for the team, as we discussed in this article. However, they have gotten even worse in the last few weeks. How is that?

Well, the San Diego Padres acquired two starting pitchers that have won or come in second in Cy Young Award voting in the last three seasons, in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish.

While Szymborski didn’t release the projected standings before the trades, he now has the Rockies a world away from the likes of the Dodgers and Padres. With their current rosters (e.g. not including current free agents, like Justin Turner), the Dodgers and Padres are neck and neck.

Here are the projected standings for a full, 162-game schedule from ZiPs, as of January 4th.

  • Dodgers 98-64
  • Padres 98-64
  • D-Backs 77-85
  • Giants 72-90
  • Rockies 64-98

That would place the Rockies a staggering 34 games behind the Dodgers and Padres in the standings and eight games back of the Giants for fourth place. The projected chance of the Rockies making the playoffs? 0.0 percent. In other words, ZiPS believes that in 1,000 different scenarios for the playoffs, the Rockies would not make the playoffs in any of them. The Giants would make it four times in that same 1,000 opportunities.

It should be noted that it doesn’t help projections from computers that didn’t like the Rockies when they did get to the playoffs in 2017 and 2018, as ZiPS projected that they would be below .500 in both seasons.

Szymborski also notes that the 98 wins projected out of the Dodgers and Padres that it’s the most wins ever projected by the system for a first and second-place team. Therefore, he concluded that it’s “not a stretch” that it is the best division race ever projected by ZiPs in the nearly two decades that he has run the system.

It’s a gloomy outlook for the Rockies anyway you slice it and whether or not you agree with how harsh the projections are, there’s no denying that the Rockies currently look like they are no better than a fourth-place team. After all, that’s how they have played for two seasons in a row.