Alright, I get it, the Colorado Rockies aren’t a major market team. With only 25 years in baseball, there isn’t a deep history lesson of the franchise. Tucked up against the continental divide, the club is sandwiched between history rich franchises from St. Louis in the Midwest, to the west coast Dodgers and Giants. The club lacks postseason awards, let alone appearances. I get it, they aren’t the headliners.
As you read this piece, Colorado sits atop the NL West with a 25-15 record. It is the best 40-game start in the young organizations history, along with the third best record in all of baseball for the 2017 season. Two and a half games better than the Dodgers and Cardinals and 5 games better than the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
Of the eleven series the club has played this season, they have only dropped two, and settled for two splits against the Dodgers. As mentioned above, the best start through 40 games in franchise history, and all without the roster operating at full strength.
Oh yeah, how many times this year can I mention that the team is still running behind in terms of a roster full of healthy ballplayers? I have zero issues reminding you like a broken record, or for the younger crowd, a scratched compact disc, and if you still don’t get the reference, a dead iPod. Week in and week out the reminder needs to be said, because, well, they STILL are not healthy. And until the team is fully healthy, I’ll be here to remind you how impressive it is that the team is still competing at a high level.
But why is all of that relevant? Because outside of a couple of sources, the Rockies are behind all three teams (Dodgers, Cardinals, Cubs) in terms of power rankings. It feels like a slap in the face for how a ballclub has performed thus far throughout the season, no matter what week the ranking is representing.
Many writers including myself believe the Cubs will figure it out soon enough, but thus far through the season, the Rockies have clearly been the better team, including taking two of the three from Chicago in a series last week. With a 2.5 game lead over L.A. in the NL West, the Rockies have clearly been better than the Dodgers, yet based on a weeks’ worth of better play, writers felt L.A. had earned its season long spot above the boys in purple. Oh yeah, they 2.5 game lead over the Dodgers also includes being one game better in the head to head match up.
The Cardinals however could be the closest equivalent to the Rockies so far this year. They have had solid pitching, timely hitting, and themselves are operating at less than full strength. The Cardinals make their way to the Coors Field over the Memorial Day weekend, setting up an important series for both ball clubs. With the Dodgers and Cubs nipping at the heels of the Rockies and Cardinals in the division races, the weekend tilt will be one to watch.
Power rankings are generally subjective, but it does tell the story of where a team stands nationally. Clearly from a national standpoint, Colorado’s impressive start to the season loses out to the potential improvement to the Dodgers and Cubs. Let me be clear, if this sounds bitter, angry, and jealous, it is. What is the point of a publication putting out weekly power rankings if they are going to rank teams based on the year before or the potential in the current year? Put your rankings out based on what is happening in the here and now, because that’s where the real baseball is being played.