A couple of weeks ago, we simulated the Rockies season using Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA projections and a random number generator. The result was a bad team whose best position player was Ben Paulsen. We know that the season can turn out a lot of ways; in fact, one might even say there are a million different outcomes for the team.
PECOTA also asserts, in its computeristic manner, that there are a million different ways the season might turn out. The one million simulations PECOTA conducts form the basis of its playoff odds (8.9% for the Rockies, but this is not about that).
In some of these million season simulations, the Rockies are very good. Their best mark is a 106 win season! In others, the Rockies are very bad. The worst outcome is a 46 win season. To be sure, there are more bad than good seasons among the million. Our task here is to see if we can find some of the good simulated seasons by looking at some important numbers in Rockies history.
Simulation 1991 (the year MLB baseball granted Colorado a franchise): Rockies win 80 games and finish in third place in the division, behind the Dodgers and Giants.
Simulation 1993: Rockies win 75 games. In this simulation, the NL West looks like what most people expect it to look like at the end of the season. The Dodgers come out on top, followed by the Giants and Diamondbacks. The Rockies finish in fourth place, and the Padres are in the cellar.
Simulation 1995: Rockies win 80 games and finish tied with the Padres for third place in the NL West.
Simulation 2009: Rockies win 63 games, disappointing the subset of fans who really want to see the team lose 100.
Simulation 17: Rockies win 74 games and tie with the Diamondbacks for last place.
Simulation 33: Rockies win 83 games and finish in second place, behind the division winning Diamondbacks.
Simulation 38: Rockies win 83 games and finish in fourth place.
Simulation 55: it's just an abdominal strain it's just an abdominal strain it's just an abdominal strain
Simulation 2: Rockies win 73 games, like they did in 2011, despite a great year from Troy Tulowitzki.
Simulation 28: Rockies win 90 games and finish in second place, enough for a Wild Card berth.
Simulation 80,227 (first game at Mile High Stadium): Rockies win 82 games and finish in third place.
Simulation 448,335 (season attendance in 1993 minus a 0 at the end): Rockies win 75 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 47,228 (first game at Coors Field): Rockies win 84 games and finish in third place, behind the Dodgers and the Padres.
Simulation 26,436 (attendance of a randomly chosen game against the Reds in 2003): Rockies win 78 games and finish in fourth place.
Simulation 1,172 (Larry Walker's 1997 OPS): Rockies win 70 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 2,519 (Todd Helton's career hits): Rockies win 68 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 9,530 (Todd Helton's career OPS plus the 0 I took out earlier): Rockies win 71 games.
Simulation 6 (the number of batters Ubaldo Jimenez walked in his no hitter): Rockies win 69 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 370 (Andres Galarraga's 1993 batting average): Rockies win 75 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 5,280: Rockies win 84 games and finish in third place.
Simulation 5,183: Rockies win 66 games and finish in last place, obviously.
Simulation 2,001 (Coors Field's address): Rockies win 80 games and finish in fourth place.
Simulation 80,205 (Coors Field's zip code): Rockies win 72 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 1,709 (total wins in Rockies history): Rockies win 79 games and finish in fourth place.
Simulation 4,120 (total home runs the Rockies have hit): Rockies win 77 games and finish in fourth place.
Simulation 34,741 (total hits in Rockies history): Rockies win 68 games and finish in last place.
Simulation 706,043: Rockies win 87 games and take their first division crown, beating out the Padres for second place. The Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks all finish with 81 wins.
And the significance of these division winning numbers? Farmhand Matt Meier, who we recently profiled, is wearing number 70 in minor league camp, Justin Miller wore number 60 in 2015, and Rafael Ynoa wears number 43. If there is one takeaway from this, it's that the Meier, Miller, Ynoa triumvirate is the key to success in 2016.