The Colorado Rockies are the first National League team to reach the 40-win mark this season, and they haven’t spent a day at or below .500. They’ve won seven games in a row, their longest win streak since 2014, and they’ve also won eight of their last 10 games.
If you didn’t take them serious before, you have to now. Not only that, but the Rockies have a legitimate case for being the best team in the National League.
The Rockies have at least a .500 record against every NL division, and they own a 5-4 record in inter-league play. Their real blemish against the NL was back at the end of April when they lost three of four against the Washington Nationals.
The biggest knock on the Rockies in the past was the fact that they play their home games in Colorado, the ultimate hitters park. While that is a nice advantage, they’ve had the most success on the road. They have a +44-run differential on the road compared to a +20 differential at home. Not only that, but they have a better road record than they do at home.
Obviously, the Washington Nationals are one of the best teams in baseball, but where they fall short is their bullpen. The Nats starters throw a ton of pitches every start because their bullpen is spotty at best.
The Rockies bullpen has been lights out all season. Closer Greg Holland is a perfect 23-of-23 in save opportunities. As for the starters, they’re led by rookies oddly enough. More specifically, Anthony Senzatela and Kyle Freeland.
We already know what kind of offense the Rockies have. Charlie Blackmon leads baseball in hits, triples and extra-base hits. His slash line of .336 batting average, .380 on-base-percentage, and .625 slugging percentage is the best for any leadoff batter in baseball.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado is actually in danger of losing his RBI crown to his own teammates. While he may lose that crown, he’s still on track for another Gold Glove season. Knock on wood, but Arenado has yet to commit an error this year. Let that sink in; it’s June 10th, and Arenado has zero errors on 169 chances in 549 innings, all while making plays like this.
As a team, the Rockies are statistically the second-best fielding team in baseball. They only trail the Kansas City Royals by .001 percentage points on 236 more chances.
The Rockies have a recipe for success. They score the fourth most runs per game, they’re one of the best defensive teams in baseball, and they pitch really well. They’re for real this year, and they just might be the team to beat in the National League.