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Dodgers NL West Spotlight: Colorado Rockies Pitching Bound to Cool Off

History suggests that the Colorado Rockies pitching won’t be able to keep up their 2020 performance.



The Colorado Rockies have spent more days in first place than the Los Angeles Dodgers. Colorado won eight of their first ten games and own the third best run differential in the NL (+23). They only trail the Dodgers by two games. It won’t last.

The Dodgers don’t fear the Rockies, nor do the wind, the sun or the rain.

Offense has never been the problem for the Rockies, but pitching always has.

Colorado Rockies Team ERA

  • 2020: 3.99 (11th)
  • 2019: 5.56 (30th)
  • 2018: 4.33 (20th)
  • 2017: 4.51 (17th)
  • 2016: 4.91 (27th)
  • 2015: 5.04 (30th)
  • Average ERA: 4.87 (25th)

This year, the Colorado Rockies pitching staff ranks 11th in the league in ERA (3.99), highlighted by German Marquez (2.25) and Kyle Freeland (2.45). They’ve been uncharacteristically good on an otherwise lackluster rotation. 

Subjected to home starts at Coors Field, both pitchers have career ERAs north of 4.00. Freeland finished fourth for the NL Cy Young in 2018, but struggled mightily the following year (6.73). Marquez also struggled through 2019 and posted a 4.76 ERA. The Rockies have shredded through scores of relievers unfit to survive pitching at elevation.

In the Rockies last five full seasons, their average ERA is 4.87 and their average rank in the majors is 25th. In the previous decade, they never finished with a sub-4.00 team ERA nor in the top 10. Each time Colorado seemingly puts together a capable staff, it unravels in September, in the playoffs, or both. One of the keys to Colorado’s success in 2020 has been above average pitching backing their perennial potent offense. Every statistic indicates the team ERA will balloon back to the recent historical average.

They’re 2-4 in their last six games thanks to giving up an average of 7.83 runs.

They might make the playoffs. The might even win their first series. They don’t have the pitching to wrestle the division away from the Dodgers.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Number one fear in life is dying without ever seeing a Dodgers Championship. Host of The Series Sweep Podcast - link on my Twitter (@EEulau).

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  1. The DodgeRs can outlast anyone, but I would never take another team lightly. Cite The horrible SF Giants who own three of the Dodgers 7 losses.

  2. Ralph I agree with you. Isn’t the first playoff series a short one? In a short series it can come down to a hot hitter or pitcher. The better teams win in a longer series a short series a bad call or bounce can hurt a team.
    Rockies pitching may come back to earth as stats indicate. They have the next 4 games against the Astros then 3 against the Dodger so its a good test.
    The Dodger bullpen has been amazing as the starters have had problems getting deep in the games. That may have helped the bullpen as pitchers can stay sharp if they can pitch every few days.
    Curious to see as he gets more starts how Urias performs. He is flying a little under the radar but has pitched well.

  3. The NL west is clearly better than last year. Since the Rockies were horrible last year, it’s not hard to improve. The Padres will continue to improve with their young talent and strong farm system. And Tatis is really fun to watch. The Dbacks started out slow but are playing above average baseball now. All of these teams seem to have programs that are working to various extents. The Giants remain below average and fairly clueless about preparing for the future. Yastremski got off to a great start, but he won’t be able to maintain that pace. He’s good, but not great. And one guy doesn’t change much.

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