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How the Rockies have fared through Memorial Day in franchise history

Is Memorial Day record a good indication of how the team will finish?

When the Rockies began the season 3-12 in their first 15 games, including a four game losing streak and that infamous eight game losing streak, a lot of Rockies fans were (rightfully) very discouraged and angry with the team. Nothing seemed to be going right and this optimism that a lot of us began the season with vanished very quickly. However, I had always been told, “Wait until Memorial Day. By then, you’ll have a better picture of what your team will look like.” I’ve kept that in my head while watching the team struggle and surge at various points in the season, but now we’ve officially passed Memorial Day. Here’s what we know so far:

  • The Rockies are 25-27 (.481 Win %)
  • Their longest win streak was five games (April 14-19)
  • Their longest losing streak was eight games (April 5-11)
  • They are in fourth place in the NL West, 9.5 games behind the Dodgers and four games ahead of the Giants

Here is how the Rockies have fared through Memorial Day in years past:

Rockies Memorial Day Stats

Year Memorial Day W/L (including) Memorial Day Win % Standing in NL West End of the Year W/L End of the Year Win % Difference of Win% Final Standing in NL West
Year Memorial Day W/L (including) Memorial Day Win % Standing in NL West End of the Year W/L End of the Year Win % Difference of Win% Final Standing in NL West
1993 15-36 .294 7th 67-95 .414 .120 6th
1994 22-27 .449 3rd 53-64 .453 .004 3rd
1995 (16-15) .516 2nd (77-67) .535 .019 2nd
1996 24-23 .511 4th 83-79 .512 .001 3rd
1997 27-22 .551 2nd 83-79 .512 -.039 3rd
1998 22-29 .431 4th 77-85 .475 .044 4th
1999 21-27 .438 4th 72-90 .444 .006 5th
2000 26-22 .542 3rd 82-80 .506 -.036 4th
2001 25-26 .490 5th 73-89 .451 -.039 5th
2002 26-25 .510 4th 73-89 .451 -.059 4th
2003 24-27 .471 3rd 74-88 .457 -.014 4th
2004 19-31 .380 4th 68-94 .420 .040 4th
2005 14-35 .286 5th 67-95 .414 .128 5th
2006 27-24 .529 3rd 76-86 .469 -.060 4th
2007 24-27 .471 5th 90-73 .552 .081 2nd
2008 20-31 .392 3rd 74-88 .457 .065 3rd
2009 18-26 .409 5th 92-70 .568 .159 2nd
2010 27-24 .529 4th 83-79 .512 -.017 3rd
2011 25-28 .472 3rd 73-89 .451 -.021 4th
2012 19-29 .396 4th 64-98 .395 -.001 5th
2013 27-24 .529 3rd 74-88 .457 -.072 5th
2014 27-25 .519 3rd 66-96 .407 -.112 4th
2015 18-25 .419 5th 68-94 .420 .001 5th
2016 23-27 .460 3rd 75-87 .463 .003 3rd
2017 33-20 .623 1st 87-75 .537 -.086 3rd
2018 29-25 .537 1st 91-72 .558 .021 2nd
2019* 25-27 .481 4th -- -- -- --

So, what does this table show us? For starters, the Memorial Day winning percentage is closely reflected in the final winning percentage about 56% of the time. That milestone seems to have been even more accurate in really bad seasons (i.e. 2012, 2015, and 2016) than good ones. Standings wise, the Rockies tend to finish the season where they were by Memorial Day, give or take one spot. The exception to that was 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2017. Three of those years ended with postseason berths. In 2007 and 2009 in particular, that helped feed the “Rockies always start bad” narrative, which wasn’t always true.

What it tells us

Based on how things are going right now, history suggests that the Rockies will finish somewhere around the 75-80 win mark and probably finish third in the NL West. They will need a major winning streak or two somewhere to change that course, much like 2007 and 2009. The pitching rotation has been shaky and there have been a lot of injuries. Almost everything that was a strength last year has been weaker this season. The Padres are stronger this year and the Diamondbacks are still a sneaky good team, despite having some injuries of their own and beginning to tail off a little bit. The Dodgers are seemingly uncatchable once again and the National League as a whole is much more competitive with the Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs, Braves, and Brewers all hitting the 30 win mark already.

★ ★ ★

Now, the research pretty much debunks my “wait until Memorial Day” saying since it has only been accurate a little over half the time. However, I still choose to use it as a milestone for some softer reasons. It’s right around the 50 game mark, or about a third of the way through the season. It’s a neat boundary. There are many factors at play every season besides pure wins and losses. For example, this year the Rockies had a lot of early injuries, which made it more challenging against tough teams like the Rays or the Dodgers in the early goings. They also had some personnel changes, both in roster additions and position shuffling. Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond had to spend some time getting acclimated to their new outfield roles; Daniel Murphy had to get used to the team; and Ryan McMahon had to get used to being a starting second baseman. The list goes on. This affects the chemistry of a team and sometimes it takes some players a little longer to get used to each other and their roles.

Scheduling can also play a factor. This year, the Rockies started in Florida where they have historically struggled and then came home against the Dodgers and the Braves — two playoff teams from a year ago. Add that to the injuries they had and it was not a very good recipe for early success. However, waiting any longer than Memorial Day to take the standings seriously is just too long due to the natural ebb and flow of a marathon season.

What do you think? Sound off below!


Do you think Memorial Day record is a good indicator for a full baseball season?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (47 votes)
  • 0%
    No, we should start earlier (explain below)
    (1 vote)
  • 52%
    No, we should wait longer (explain below)
    (54 votes)
102 votes total Vote Now