Welcome to Opening Day! Before the first game of the season against the Miami Marlins gets underway, it’s time to take a look at Purple Row’s staff predictions for the Colorado Rockies and the rest of Major League Baseball for the 2019 season.
Let’s begin by taking a look at just how accurate we were about the 2018 season. After ignoring the respondent who forecasted 162 wins for the Rockies, the average expected win total came out to 85. The Rockies ended up winning 91 games and very nearly their first division title. A Game 163 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was the only separation between the Rockies and the National League West crown.
This time, the staff seemed sincere with their collective predictions. Of the 11 people who answered, the majority (three) said the Rockies will win 89 games in 2019. Two said 91 and two said 93. The other four respondents were all in the 80s on a win total. The most pessimistic responder (we’ll call him Ken Bouchnerkavich) pegged the Rockies for 82 wins.
As for who will win the NL West, seven members of the staff predicted the Dodgers would once again take the title, while four believe the Rockies will finish first in the division for the first time in franchise history.
Four staff members said the Milwaukee Brewers will win the NL pennant, with two votes apiece for the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The St Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals and Rockies each received one vote (I sincerely hope Nick Walsh proves the rest of us all wrong).
Finally, we have the World Series predictions. Three members of the staff predicted a trophy for the Astros and three predicted a 28th ring for the Yankees. The Red Sox, Brewers, Dodgers, Cardinals and Rockies (thanks to Nick again) each received one vote.
Just how bold are the predictions going to get this year? Why, bolder than ever before of course.
The Rockies truly have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, even if some may fail to see it. While a Rockie has never won the Cy Young Award, this just might be rotation that contains the highest likelihood of producing a winner. In fact, one respondent predicted that two pitchers on the Rockies’ staff will finish in the top five in Cy Young voting. Another said that Kyle Freeland, German Márquez and Jon Gray will all finish with ERA’s under 4.00. Márquez and Gray could even combine for 450 strikeouts, according to one prognosticator.
What can we expect from a bullpen that struggled at times in 2018? Yency Almonte is beginning the year in the minor leagues, but there’s a prediction that he’ll become a late-inning reliever by July. There’s another prediction that Wade Davis will be the best closer in all of baseball. One respondent thinks the loss of Adam Ottavino will matter less than we expected. If Scott Oberg can follow up a breakout season with an ERA in the 2.50-3.00 range, like one respondent predicts, that would be a big help.
Nolan Arenado has had some close finishes, but this will finally be the year he wins the NL Most Valuable Player Award, says one forecaster.
One bold prediction expects newcomer Daniel Murphy to set a career high with over 30 home runs. Another prediction pegs him to win that batting title that DJ LeMahieu edged him out for back in 2016.
How about Ian Desmond? Some say he will lose his starting position (one respondent even says Raimel Tapia will oust him as the starting center fielder by the season’s second half), while some say he’ll be better than Rockies fans have seen. Some say he’ll hit .260 with 25 home runs.
Will David Dahl be an All-Star? Will he even play 150 games? Will Garrett Hampson join the 20 HR/20 SB club? Will Ryan McMahon finish third on the team in homers behind Arenado and Trevor Story? And could these three be among the four Rockies to hit 30 home runs (matching the 1996 team’s feat)? Will the Rockies post their fourth highest win total yet still fail to make the postseason? If these bold predictions are to be believed, the answer to all of these questions could be “yes!”
Some are these bold predictions are going to be right and we’re all going to wish we had come up with them ourselves! We’re in for one entertaining season!