The State of the State: Colorado

July 18, 2023

A look at what’s happening on the Colorado sports scene: The Rockies aren’t winning anything (again). So who should you latch on to?

© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Rockies fans, here you are again. Dead last in the NL West, the worst record in the National League and going absolutely nowhere.

We know, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, when the calendar flips from July to August is approximately the time when the casual sports fans forget all about the local nine and turns their attention toward the Broncos and Buffs. And who can blame them?

But there are still a good number of baseball fans in Colorado, and there’s no reason to sit on the sideline at the exact time baseball season truly begins to heat up. Here’s a pro tip: Even at +25000, don’t put a nickel on the Colorado Rockies to win the NL West.

You already knew that, though. The decision, or at least as we see it, is whether to bet on the Dodgers or the D’Backs to win the division the Rockies have never won.  You could even throw the Giants in the mix, but for our taste, we’d go with either L.A. or Arizona. Here’s why.

Why to like the Dodgers to win the NL West (-230)…

  • As you know, Rockies fans, they are the Dodgers. Amazingly, the Dodgers have won the division in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Not only do they purchase whatever they want in terms of talent, but they have one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball. While other teams operate on a thin margin for error, the Dodgers can fix problems clear into September.
  • Mookie Betts is hot – red hot. The Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts hit .365/.471/1.039 with eight doubles, nine homers, 19 RBI and 18 runs in his last 15 games before the All-Star break. Great teams have stars step up late in summer.
  • Arizona didn’t expect to be here and now they’re fading. The D’Backs don’t have a dominant closer, either, which is critical down the stretch.  Meanwhile, this is business as usual in L.A.

Why to like Arizona to win the NL West (+400)…

  • Even Clayton Kershaw isn’t sure about Clayton Kershaw. Last week the Dodgers ace said his arm felt fine but the team is still making him rest. Kershaw called the injury “weird.” Arizona’s faithful will be keeping a close eye on exactly how “weird” this might get.
  • Zac Gallen can flat out deal; the righthander earned the starting nod in the All-Star Game on the strengths of an 11-3 record and 3.04 ERA.
  • We like big bats and we cannot lie (and Arizona has a lot of them). Of the 28 players in the NL with 15 or more home runs, four of them are on the D-Backs; Christian Walker (18), Corbin Carroll (18), Ketel Marte (15) and Lourdes Gurriel (15) provide power throughout the lineup.

Richard DeMala’s pick: Los Angeles to win the NL West (-230)