It’s going to be a long year at Coors Field. Heck, it may be a long decade, as the Colorado Rockies’ divisional rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, both spent the off-season strengthening their already dominant squads while the Rockies … well, while the Rockies traded Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals for four middling-at-best prospects and Austin Gomber who, if he reaches his zenith, will be a fifth starter.
Oh, and they signed C.J. Cron.
It doesn’t exactly take a master of sabermetrics to realize this squad isn’t going to be competing for the playoffs this year. But since we brought up sabermetrics, the PECOTA projection for the Rockies places them dead last in the NL West with a record of 60-102. Per PECOTA, they are the worst team in Major League Baseball.
DraftKings, however, is a different story, with the Rockies at +10000, ahead of a trio of stalwarts: the Texas Rangers at +15000 and the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates, both at +25000.
FanDuel’s bookmakers? Well, they must’ve taken a gander at PECOTA, because they have the dimmest view of the big three books, putting the Rockies at +15000, which is the worst on the board, along with the Rangers and Pirates.
Props o’ plenty
On the player prop front, DraftKings has far and away the most robust market in preseason props right now, and a few Rockies make the longshot list in a handful of categories. For instance, on the NL MVP front, Trevor Story is 13th on the board at +2500 and Charlie Blackmon is at +5000. (To salt the wound a bit, Arenado is at +1200.) German Marquez — who, it should be noted, had a 4.34 ERA last year — is listed at +3000 to win the Cy Young.
On the statistical side, Story is +2200 to win the Major League home run title and +3300 to knock in the most runs, while Marquez is at +3000 to lead the majors in strikeouts.
Lastly — and perhaps the best Rockies bet on the board — is Blackmon at +2200 to lead the majors in hits.
Clearly, judging by the team’s top players’ long odds to win any individual awards, and the team’s long odds to win the World Series, the Rockies are … well, see the first sentence in paragraph one above.
Barren on the farm
As for the future? Listen, that’s not looking so hot either. The Rockies’ farm system is abysmal, with Fangraphs having only one player in the top 100 minor leaguers, and that’s 19-year-old Zac Veen, who’s ranked 70th. MLB.com has the Rockies’ minor league organization ranked 28th overall.
As for this year’s roster? Again, no one will be confusing this team with the 1927 Yankees. Or the 1967 Yankees, for that matter. Fangraphs has projected the lineup as follows: Raimel Tapia, Story, Blackmon, Ryan McMahon, Cron, Sam Hilliard, Brandon Rodgers, and Elias Diaz.
Marquez is slated in as the No. 1 starter, followed by Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Jon Gray, and the aforementioned Gomber.
Well, at least plenty of runs will be scored at Coors Field, right? That’s entertaining, at least.
Photo: Sean Logan/USA Today