Sunday, September 27 will mark the end of the 2020 regular season. 16 days remain from now until then, and it’s time to do some scoreboard watching.
The Dodgers have 15 games remaining, and currently lead the Rockies by 10.5 games. San Diego has 14 games left, and is up on Colorado by seven games. It is thereby more likely (far more likely) that a wild card appearance would push the Rockies into October, instead of a top-two divisional finish.
Under the expanded playoff format for 2020, the two best teams in each division will make the postseason. Of the remaining teams, the two with the best winning percentages in the AL and NL will join in. Colorado holds a .477 percentage with a 21-23 record, behind the Marlins and Giants for one of those two spots. The Brewers are narrowly behind the Rockies (by .001 percentage points).
Here’s a rundown of those teams and their opponents to close out the regular season:
Miami Marlins (21-20, .512 winning percentage)
Remaining schedule: vs. Phillies (4 games), vs. Red Sox (3), vs. Nationals (5), at Braves (4), at Yankees (3)
San Francisco Giants (23-22, .511 winning percentage)
Remaining schedule: at Padres (3), at Mariners (2), at Athletics (3), vs. Rockies (4), vs. Padres (3)
Milwaukee Brewers (20-22, .476 winning percentage)
Remaining schedule: vs. Cubs (2), vs. Cardinals (5), vs. Royals (3), at Reds (3), at Cardinals (5)
*The Phillies and Cardinals are currently second in their divisions, but could instead be in the wild card mix with the Marlins and Brewers on their heels.
The Marlins are looking to play 19 games in 16 days, while the Brewers will try to squeeze in 18.
Positive COVID-19 tests in both the Central and East pods have caused postponements and forced many teams to go doubleheader-heavy. With a positive test postponing the Friday and Saturday games between the Giants and Padres, a similar gauntlet of innings could soon strike the West schedule. (Friday and Saturday’s Giants-Padres games postponed after positive COVID-19 test within Giants organization)
It isn’t very tasteful to view COVID-caused doubleheaders as a Rockies advantage, but assuming their schedule holds, they will be more fresh than the wild card teams ahead of them. It might be a bad thing that Colorado hasn’t played a doubleheader, however, after MLB approved seven-inning double dips for 2020. The Rockies currently hold the second-worst bullpen ERA in baseball, and the starters currently average 5.29 innings per start.
Colorado’s next matchup with San Francisco is 10 days away, and the Padres are no longer on the schedule.
RoxPile’s Aaron Hurt suggests that if the Rockies are to make a playoff push in the final games of the regular season, the All-Stars will need to play like All-Stars. He addresses the performance of Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and David Dahl up to this point.
MLB home runs leader Mike Trout visits Coors Field as Rockies search for pitching consistency | The Denver Post ($)
Kyle Freeland: “[Mike Trout] can get out just like anybody else. He just gets out a little less frequently.”
Tracy Ringolsby dishes out several statistical tables in this article. He addresses winning percentage at Coors Field and team ERA figures, along with more details on NL teams ahead of the Rockies.
Angels vs. Rockies series preview & pitching matchups | Halos Heaven (SB Nation, Los Angeles Angels)
“The Angels have only won three of 15 series this season, but this weekend they head to a place where they’ve never lost a series.”
Eric Stephen maps out the three-game set from an Angels perspective, detailing the starting pitchers for the weekend series. Jaime Barria will take the ball for the start tonight; he comes equipped with fastballs, sliders and the occasional changeup.
This will be Barria’s second career start at Coors Field after holding the Rockies scoreless for 5 1⁄3 innings on May 9, 2018. Barria’s 3.38 ERA in 2020 is his best season mark thus far in his three-year career.
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Charlie Blackmon hit the second walk-off grand slam in Rockies history on Friday night. The previous one came on August 24, 2009:
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