The race for the NL West is neck and neck. And neck. With a three-way tie between the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and the Rockies, it’s time for the boys in purple to step up and figure out how to get to the playoffs. Nolan Arenado has found himself in a bit of a slump since early August, which is very unlike him. Hopefully we can see some improvement out of the third-base star. Trevor Story has already had a career season, and in order to get to Rocktober, we have to hope he can continue this trend. He’s contributing well to the offense, so the others need to step up and join him.
Someone who has been joining him in some powerful hitting is Carlos Gonzalez, a player who has been to the playoffs with the Rockies before. Charlie Blackmon has had something of a lackluster season, but the Rockies are looking to him to help get the team to the top. Kyle Freeland needs to continue to dominate, and Jon Gray needs to show that he can also be called a Rockies ace. Basically the Rockies just have to see consistent contributions from the whole lineup if they stand a chance at the playoffs.
With the roster expansion announcements, we might start to expect to see Noel Cuevas, Tom Murphy, and Pat Valaika getting some key at bats. While they might have less experience than, say, Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez, or Gerardo Parra, Bud Black still feels that he can rely on them to answer when he calls. Pat Valaika has done solid work for the Rockies as a pinch hitter, but he has yet to contribute much in the 2018 season. Despite this, he is still ready to do whatever he can in getting the Rockies over the hump and into the playoffs. Cuevas had some luck early in the season as a pinch hitter, but then went 1 for 16 before getting sent back to Albuquerque.
There, he was able to get plenty of hitting experience and feels prepared to step up to the bat. Tom Murphy had a hard time with finding his way with the Rockies, but he also hopes to do what he can to help the team win. With a good portion of the rest of their schedule played at home, in conjunction with some tough series against the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, now is the time for everyone to put their best foot forward.
With just under a month left in the regular season, it’s anybody’s guess who will win the NL West. The Dodgers are strong contenders, as they’ve won the division title five consecutive times and almost won it all last year. The Diamondbacks’ starting pitching and their bullpen have put them in a great spot, and they might be able to rely on it to get them all the way. Then there’s the Rockies, who have been painfully inconsistent all year, but who have still managed to remain resilient and stay within the race. Each team has players they can count on to help them win, but they also face obstacles in getting through the remainder of the season. These are some pretty evenly matched teams, so we’ll have to wait and see who has what it takes to finish the race strong.