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Tuesday Rockpile: The Rockies Can Still Make the Playoffs If....

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This morning, Baseball Prospectus gives the Rockies26% chance of making the playoffs.  Now be honest.  If we played the rest of the season four times, do you really think the Rox would make it in once?  Those odds are better than Boston and right behind Philadelphia for 6th in the National League.  Let's just say that is accurate.  The Rockies have a shot to do this.  Just for context, let's look at the remaining schedules of the contending NL West teams (GB in paretheses).

Padres Giants(2) Rockies(7.5) Dodgers(9)
Home      26        28          28         27
Away      32        28          29         30

Not a single team will be at home more than the road the rest of the way.  The division leading Padres have the toughest disparity, though their 29-20 road record is troubling.  Of course, facing the Pirates on the road isn't tougher than hosting the Braves, so let us break it down further.

    HOME Padres Giants(2) Rockies(7.5) Dodgers(9)
Above .500     16       15         19         21
Below .500     10       13          9          6

The Mets are currently at .500.  The only NL West team that plays them is the Rockies, at Coors Field.  I marked the Mets as "Below .500" due to their horrid road record.  

    AWAY Padres Giants(2) Rockies(7.5) Dodgers(9)
Above .500      19       22          19         20
Below .500      13        6          10         10

What do all those numbers mean?  The Padres and Giants may have difficult schedules down the stretch, but so do the Rockies.  There cannot be any reliance on outside help.  The Rockies must win.  That is all.  Most importantly, they just cannot afford to give away games, especially winnable games against division rivals.  Splitting a home series against Madison Bumgarner and Jonathan Sanchez is nothing but a failure.  It means two days closer to elimination with no ground gained.  

The also must improve on the road, as Jim Armstrong points out in this well-written, insightful but strangely timed article:

A quick look at the math: The Rockies are 20-32 on the road and have 29 road games left. If they play essentially .500 ball — 15-14 — they would have to finish 22-6 at home to match last year's 92-70 record.

Note that BPro predicts 91.5 wins for the NL Wild Card.

Tommy Bennett at Baseball Prospectus also wrote on the Rockies in this fresh-off-the-presses feature (Insider).  He points out that the Rockies actually have the #1 third order winning percentage in the National League.  Better than San Diego.  Better than Atlanta.  That predicts 91 wins at the end of the season, and Bennett seems to buy in a bit:

The Rockies have faced the fifth-toughest schedule in the NL. Only one playoff contender—the Phillies—has faced a tougher slate of opponents.  In short, the Rockies have already hit rock bottom. In fact, they’ve begun to dig their way out.

It will take winning road games in the division to have any chance, but the Dodgers seem weak, the Rockies seem comfortable at PetCo, and the Giants are probably actively cursed for not acquiring a bat at the deadline.

 

Several big league Rockies and farmhands have been joining Twitter lately.  We will probably post a front page widget with links to all of them, but to my knowledge, here's the complete list for now:

Links after the jump.

Wilson takes a knee, sets his course - CharlotteObserver.com - Russell Wilson had a decent season at Tri City, but the 2010 4th round pick is headed back to North Carolina State to play football:

"I wanted to come back and play football and have a chance to play in the NFL and explore that," Wilson said. "And hopefully I'll get there and play in the NFL. And hopefully I'll play in the major leagues. You never know. Hopefully I'll play both."

Rockies’ Gonzalez named NL Player of the Week | Inside the Colorado Rockies Is there any better hitter in baseball than CoorsCargo?

Good news, bad news for Rockies' Fowler: No breaks, but DL likely - The Denver Post - Nothing is official yet, but it appears Todd Helton will be returning soon, with Dexter Fowler spending fifteen days on the disabled list.

Waiver Trade Candidates: NL West: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com Ben Nicholson-Smith postulates that  Rafael Betancourt, Joe Beimel, Randy Flores, Brad Hawpe, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora and Aaron Cook each could be waiver trade candidates if the Rockies scuffle in August.

CBC News - Edmonton - Baseball season goes up in flames - The grounds crew thought dousing a baseball field in diesel and lighting it on fire would help dry the wet soil.  They didn't count on the town catching on and closing the field as an environmental hazard.  

I am personally an engineer that works full time cleaning up diesel and gasoline leaks in soil and water.  Should any of the diesel leach deep enough into the soil to avoid incineration and reach the groundwater, it could cost well into six figures and over a decade to clean up.  Don't do it.