Blake Street Stroll: Evaluating the second half of the season

USA TODAY Sports

After today's game against LA the Rockies break for the All-Star game. With the first half in the books, the Rockies are still right in the division race and far better then many thought. As the second half approaches, what does the Rockies schedule look like?

The Rockies kick off the second half of the season with a 10 game home stand against the Cubs (41-50), Marlins (34-57), and Brewers (37-55). Needless to say, this is an important stretch for Colorado. Anything less then 6-4 would be a big disappointment and a 7-3 record would be better as the Rockies look to make up ground. All three of those teams have struggled mightily this year and if the Rockies want to make noise in the division then they have to take care of poor teams.

What makes the home stand even more important is that the Rockies follow it up with a very tough 10 game road trip against the Braves (53-40), Pirates (55-36), and Mets (40-49). The Rockies always struggle at Turner Field in Atlanta and the Pirates are flat out good this year. Hopefully, Troy Tulowitzki is healthy for the Mets series because his last time at Citi Field in 2011 Tulo hit .625 with four home runs and eight RBIs in a four game Rockies sweep. A 5-5 road trip here would be acceptable, anything more would be a pleasant surprise. What can't happen is a 2-8 type of road trip.

Next, it's six at home against the surprising Pirates and the up and down Padres (41-53). 4-2 or better would be great, and with the Rockies success against San Diego this year it should be expected.

After that, the Rockies hit the road again for three in Baltimore (52-42), four in Philadelphia (46-47), and three in Miami. The Rockies aren't getting any favors with these ten game roadies. Once again, .500 or better would be a plus, but 4-6 or worse wouldn't be shocking.

Then it's six at home against Cincinnati (52-41) and the Dodgers (46-46). Then nine more on the road all in the division against San Diego, San Francisco (42-50), and Arizona (49-44). All that can be hoped for is treading water on the road and winning series at home.

Next is a nine game home stand against three good opponents. Four against St. Louis (56-35), three against Arizona and two against Boston (58-37). Against three quality opponents, Rockies fans would probably be happy with 5-4 or 6-3. Finally, it's a three game set in LA against the Dodgers to wrap up the season.

The combined record of Rockies opponents in the second half is 702-682. They play 34 at home and 33 on the road. The formula for success is very simple, take care of business at home and find a way to play close to .500 on the road. The realist in me says the Rockies will go about 31- 36 and miss the playoffs. That's with predicting all the home stands to be at or above .500 and the all road trips to be below .500. If I'm being optimistic the Rockies find a way to steal a couple road series and play really well at home and finish closer to 38-29 for the second half. That would likely give the Rockies a fairly legitimate shot to win the division.

Of course, there's always a chance that the Rockies fall apart and go something like 30-37 the rest of the way, but I think this team is good enough to compete if they stay healthy. The NL West still appears to be wide open, although the Dodgers may run away with it in the second half.

The Rockies will play 24 games against the division, including six against Arizona and LA. All 12 of those games against the two teams ahead of the Rockies will be played in September, so if the Rockies get hot at the right time and say sweep some of those series, they could make up substantial ground towards the end of the season.

All that really is certain is that the Rockies will play 67 more games after the All-Star break, it's anybody's guess what they will do with those 67, but the Rockies have showed a good bit of resiliency this year and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they are playing meaningful games in September.

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