The Colorado Rockies continue their push for the National League pennant with five games remaining. The Rockies (87-70) won their 5th straight game Sept. 25 and are now just a half-game behind NL West division Los Angeles Dodgers (88-70). The 10-3 win over the Phillies also put the Rockies back in control of their playoff destiny, as Colorado is a half-game in front of the St. Louis Cardinals (87-71) for the second and final wild card spot.
While Rockies manager Bud Black twitches his neck, and peeks at the big scoreboard at Coors to check on out-of-town scores and both the Dodgers and Cardinals (who lost Tuesday night), he lauds the resiliency of the players on his roster.
Black also notes that “we didn’t have to make a big midseason trade,” subtly tweaking the LA Dodgers. “We didn’t have to go out and get (Manny) Machado or (Brian) Dozier.”
While the Colorado Rockies are trying to qualify for the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, they also have a shot to win their first-ever NL West title. The Rockies have overcome a June swoon that saw them at 38-42, and are now trying to recover from last week’s 3-game sweep to LA which knocked the Rockies out of first place.
A number of players are performing well for the Rockies, including right fielder David Dahl, who has smacked a home run each of the last two games and is batting .311 with five HR’s and 18 RBI’s in 15 September starts. Center fielder Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games Tuesday. Team hitting leaders 3B Nolan Arenado and SS Trevor Story are looking to carry the Rockies to the NL West title and earn a playoff series instead of a 1-game wild card elimination game.
Colorado concludes the season at Coors Field with two more games against the Philadelphia Phillies and a 3-game weekend series against the Washington Nationals.
The Rockies (-190) are a big favorite Sept 26 with their top pitcher on the mound.
Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies
Pivetta (PHI) +170 / +1.5 (-110) / O 10.5 (+100)
Marquez (COL) -190 / -1.5 (+100) / U 10.5 (-120)
Thursday is an afternoon game at Coors, where the beers will be flowing if the Colorado Rockies win again Wednesday. Antonio Senzatela (6-6 / 4.52 ERA) will be a mid-sized favorite over the Phillies and Jake Arrieta as the linemaker shades and adjusts the odds upward on the teams with the need to win. The Rockies will be a bigger favorite at home Friday when lefty Kyle Freeland (16-7 / 2.84 ERA) takes on the Nationals Joe Ross, who makes just his third start since June, 2017 following an arm injury.
The Dodgers and Ross Stripling (-130) play at Arizona Wednesday and face their former pitcher Zack Greinke (+120), and Los Angeles finishes at San Francisco for 3 games against their rival this weekend. St. Louis plays Milwaukee at home Wednesday before taking on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley in another meaningful series with Chicago (91-66) also just a half-game in front of the Brewers (91-67) in the NL Central. Milwaukee finishes the season at their beer ballpark with 3 games against Detroit this weekend.
A playoff game to determine the division winners and wild card teams is a definite possibility as NL baseball provides an exciting finish to the regular season. Colorado would play at Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 1 if those two teams finish tied in the NL West after Sunday’s final regular season game. The Dodgers won the head-to-head season series 12-7. The Colorado Rockies would also hit the road for a 1-game playoff if they tie for the second wild card spot, as they also lost the season series to Milwaukee and St. Louis.
-by Fairway Jay