The All-Star break is almost over. After four days off, the Colorado Rockies will get back at it Friday in New York against the Mets.
The Rockies endured some turbulence in late June and early July. Even so, Colorado (52-39) sits 13 games over .500 and holds a 7 1/2 game lead over the Cubs and Cardinals in the National League Wild Card race.
Before Jon Gray takes the mound Friday, let’s zoom out and examine the Rockies’ post-All-Star-break schedule, which looks difficult for the first half of September but very manageable overall.
The remaining schedule doesn’t look all that daunting.
There are 71 games left in the Rockies’ regular season. Forty-six come against opponents with sub-.500 records, while 24 are against teams with records above .500. That’s not bad. Baseball Prospectus rates Colorado’s remaining schedule the ninth-easiest in baseball.
The Rockies will play a combined 15 games against the Giants and Padres, who have been outscored by a respective 99 and 128 runs this season. They’ll also play nine times against the Mets and Phillies, who have been outscored by a respective 49 and 92 runs. Put plainly: Colorado gets a grand total of 24 games against the four-worst NL teams based on run differential.
The only gauntlet comes in early September.
From Sept. 1 to Sept. 14, the Rockies face the Diamondbacks (53-36) seven times and the Los Angeles Dodgers (61-29) four times. The schedule in that two-week stretch goes vs. Arizona, vs. San Francisco, at Los Angeles, at Arizona. How Colorado navigates that stretch could go a long way in determining if it makes the postseason for the first time since 2009.
Colorado’s current playoff odds are pretty good.
Baseball forecasters think the Rockies stand a good chance of making the playoffs. FanGraphs says Colorado has a 61.2 percent chance of qualifying; FiveThirtyEight’s model has the Rockies’ playoff odds at 71 percent; Baseball Prospectus is even more optimistic than that at 76.2 percent.
The Rockies have put themselves in a good position. We’ll see how they fare over the next 71 games as they try to accomplish something they’ve failed to do in the last eight years.
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