Is a sortened MLB season just what some teams need to excel? In some cases, yes. Take a look at why the 60-game season may help both the Padres and Rockies.
Both the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies finished the 2019 Major League Baseball season well below .500. In fact only one game separated these two teams records last season. The Padres and Rockies haven’t found much success in recent seasons either, as the Friars haven’t made the post season since 2006. Meanwhile, the Rockies haven’t made a deep playoff run since the 2007 World Series. Both cities and fan bases are eager for these teams to become relevant in the baseball world again, as they make up two of the five teams to have never won it all.
With COVID-19 delaying the start of the baseball season, many fans didn’t know if they would be able to see their favorite ballplayers on television this season. It even looked pretty bleak at some points with the owners vs players union going back and fourth with proposals. However, they finally came to an agreement on a 60 game season. How does this shortened season help these teams? It’s easy.
It’s a grind
The 162 game MLB season is a grueling one. We’ve seen teams start off red hot, giving fans glimmers of hope and excitement, only to finish at the bottom of the league at the end of the season. Look at the 2018 Mets, a team that started 12-2 only to finish the season 77-85. Who could forget about the 2019 Mariners who finished the season 68-94 after starting off 13-2. In baseball you need to have depth, especially in the pitching staff. With no depth your team has no hope. Simple as that. 162 games is too much to handle for shallow teams. However, this season turns that truism on its head.
The Padres and Rockies each had a record of 31-29 and still had plenty of playoff hope through the first 60 games last year. The biggest reason why they fell off last year was the aforementioned lack of depth. The dog days of summer really show what a team is made of as the Padres went 25-47 in the second half of the season, while the Rockies went 27-46.
The good news for both teams is that in 2020, there won’t be a second half of the season. There will only be 60 games. If either one of these clubs starts off hot this year, they could have a chance at getting back to the post season and making a run.
The Rockies made very little noise this off season, but still have a strong core lead by superstars Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. While Charlie Blackmon is aging, he still has some good baseball left in him, as does David Dahl. Garrett Hampson looks to make some noise this season as well, as he had an outstanding final two weeks of last season. This pitching is the biggest question mark for Colorado, as they didn’t make too many moves to improve it. Pitching will be the reason why this team either breaks out of busts during the 60 games.
The Friars on the other hand have had a fairly busy offseason. They have made moves to improve both sides of the game. Outfielders like Tommy Pham and Manuel Margot provide an upgrade on defense and speed. While pitchers like Emilio Pagan and Zach Davies will provide much needed depth. With Superstars Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr returning, things are looking up for the Padres.
With both the Padres and Rockies playing in the NL West, it is hard to say that either will become the division champ. The first place Dodgers have only gotten better with the addition of Mookie Betts, and the Diamondbacks have added ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
I still think these teams have playoff hopes however, as they both performed much better in the first half of last year. Every baseball fan should be excited about the upcoming shortened season, as really all 30 teams have some sort of shot.
Colorado Rockies – more than 28 wins, less than 36 wins.
San Diego Padres – more than 29 wins less than 37 wins.
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