MLB Betting: Wait Till Next Year? The Dysfunctional Rockies

Posted by Daniel Strum on Thursday,September 24, 2015 7:13, EST in

It’s only been eight seasons since the Colorado Rockies vaulted over the rest of the playoff teams in the National League and improbably found themselves staring across the field at the Boston Red Sox for the World Series as MLB betting fans might remember. Of course, these were the same Red Sox who had come back from an 0-3 deficit in the 2004 ALCS and then won the next four – and the four games of the 2004 World Series, so they had a little more postseason poise than the Rockies, who went quietly in the ’07 Series. Even so, there was cause for optimism then. Now, it’s hard to believe that was only eight seasons ago.

MLB Betting: Wait Till Next Year? The Dysfunctional Rockies

 


 

This year, the Rockies were eliminated from the playoff race on September 13. As of September 16, their record was 61-84, good for last in the National League West. How did this happen? Well, their best players, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, were healthy all year, but they didn’t do much in the first half.

Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and third baseman Nolan Arenado are both terrific defensive players but also emerged at the plate in the season’s first half. LeMahieu boosted his walk rate and power, and he also found that he could steal bases fairly easily. Arenado has moved into position as a legitimate star. While the Rockies might be out of the playoffs, he is definitely in contention for the National League home run title, as he has belted 39, tied for first with Bryce Harper. He is also first in the National League with 319 hits.

Before you credit this to that thin mountain air at Coors Field, remember that 21 of those 39 home runs have come on the road. Arenado could get some MVP votes on the middle of the ballot this year. If he can keep this up, he will be the legitimate successor to Troy Tulowitzki (who is now a Blue Jay) as the face of the Rockies and a peer with Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson when you sit down and talk about the best third basemen in all of baseball.

Carlos Gonzalez did find his power swing after the All-Star Game, and how he has 37 home runs, good for third in the National League. However, he only hits .266 (and .236 on the road, with just 15 of those 37 home runs away), making him less valuable as a trade chip.

So why did the Rockies trade the face of their franchise (Tulowitzki) to Toronto in exchange for three minor league pitchers and Jose Reyes? Tulowitzki was due $100 million over the next five seasons, but he will be 31 in October. He has only been productive and healthy in the same year one time in the last six seasons. The Rockies have liberated $52 million in payroll while absorbing Reyes’ deal and adding three real prospects to the farm system, as Jesus Tinoco, Miguel Castro an dJeff Hoffman are all competing for the closing role.

Even so, the Rockies’ future does not look that bright. Arenado might be the future star, and LeMahieu may become a fine player, but some of the other players are getting old, and the pitching has been dreadful, except for Jorge De La Rosa. It might be a good season for some retrenching there.