Keeler vs. Saunders: Does MLB’s altered schedule enhance Rockies’ chances to contend?


Keeler: For Rob Manfred, it’s put-up or shut-up time, hermano. A few months after teasing radical alterations, fate and the coronavirus stepped in to force Major League Baseball’s hand. In a proposal sent to the players last week, the owners reportedly plopped an 82-game season onto the table with a tentative July start and a “regionalized” schedule that would give the Rockies four three-game series with their NL West rivals and at least two three-game series against each club in the AL West. So, assuming all sides can play nice, here’s the rub: Does a West-on-West set-up help or hurt Dick Monfort’s aspirations of a postseason berth in 2020?

Saunders: Well, one thing is certain: the Rockies aren’t winning 94 games this season (insert smiley face emoji here). But sticking with Mr. Monfort’s optimistic math, the Rockies will win 48 games in an 82-game season. But playing against the AL West and NL West doesn’t favor the Rox. Colorado has an all-time record of 67-96 against AL West teams, including a combined 0-4 against Houston last season. Colorado was 32-44 vs. the NL West in 2019.

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Keeler: So, help me out with some more math here. How does replacing 10 games against the Royals, Tigers and White Sox with at least 18 against Houston, Oakland and the Angels improve your playoff odds? The bottom three clubs in the AL Central were projected by Baseball Prospectus to win, on average, 73.3 games. The top three clubs in the AL West, conversely, were slated to nab 89.5 victories. While you can throw a lot of projections out the window right now, the drop in quality from what Houston and Oakland are expected to trot out to what the Royals and Tigers bring to the table remains as real as ever.

Saunders: Not being able to beat up on the Royals and Tigers is going to hurt, for sure. But in my mind, it all comes down to pitching. The only way the Rockies can become a playoff contender in this whacky new world is to pitch better. To steal a phrase from Talking Heads: “Same as it ever was.”

Keeler: You know what you can’t have, though? A bum month. A we’ll-figure-it-out-once-we-work-out-the-kinks month. A compacted schedule shrinks the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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