What Will Rockies First 20 Games Say About Team’s Overall Success?

What Will Rockies First 20 Games Say About Team’s Overall Success?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Colorado Rockies begin their quest to end the franchise’s four-year playoff drought Thursday afternoon.

The Rockies are coming off a 68-94 season  in which they failed to clear the .500 mark for a fourth straight year, finishing last in the NL West for the first time since 2015.

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Now, Colorado will trot out what should be a high-powered offense that’s led by second baseman Brendan Rodgers (4.4 WAR in 2022), to go with a rotation that features veterans like Kyle Freeland and German Marquez, who will look to cut through the stadium’s notoriously thin air to get the Rockies back to the postseason.

It seems Colorado sportsbooks oddsmakers aren’t riding high on the Rockies chances, with the team’s over/under at 69.5 wins and +30000 odds of winning the team’s first World Series in 2023.

BetColorado.com, home to the best coverage of Colorado sportsbook apps, broke down the best and worst seasons in Rockies history to see how important (or not important) the opening 20 games of the regular season were.

Best Rockies Seasons*

Year Overall Record Record After 20 Games
200992-708-12
201891-7211-9
200790-739-12
* — Best seasons based on post-season success. 2007 team lost in World Series; 2009 and 2018 teams lost in NLDS.

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Worst Rockies Seasons

Year Overall Record Record After 20 Games
201264-9810-10
201466-9611-9
200567-956-14
199367-957-13

Are Opening 20 Games Important For Rockies?

One could say early season success is a double-edged sword for the Rockies, with the three best teams in franchise history averaging nine wins over their first 20 games, while the worst squads averaged 8.5 wins.

The Rockies' last playoff team (in 2018) was the lone club to post an above-.500 record among the three, going 11-9 before eventually finishing the year 91-72.

The Rockies were swept by the Cubs that season in the NLDS, putting a dour note on what was otherwise a solid season.

Conversely, only one of the four worst teams in franchise history had an above-.500 record through 20 games, that being the 2014 team that started 11-9 before flaming out and finishing the year with a 66-96 record.

Who’s Tasked With Guiding Rockies Forward?

In order to avoid another disappointing year in Denver, the Rockies will need veterans like Rodgers, Freeland and Marquez to be in fine form from Game 1 onward.

Reliever Daniel Bard actually had the best WAR of any Rockies pitcher in 2022, at 3.8, with the veteran right hander wrapping up the year with 34 saves in 60.1 innings.

Freeland and Marquez, meanwhile, combined for 3.8 WAR in 2022. Rodgers (4.4 WAR), Ryan McMahon (3.0 WAR) and C.J. Cron (2.1 WAR) were the stars offensively.

Now, all of them will need strong starts, as the Rockies have the fourth toughest strength of schedule in the league, according to Power Rankings Guru.

The march to October begins with a four-game road series against San Diego this weekend, before playing the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle on the road and Washington, St. Louis and Pittsburgh at Coors Field over the team’s opening 20 games.

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Author

Christopher Boan has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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