Despite struggles, Rockies should remain confident in the NL West

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The 2017 season has been an interesting one, to say the least, for the Colorado Rockies. With a Bud Black in his first season as Colorado’s manager, he, along with the Rockies superb pool of young talent, have carried the club to their best start in franchise history.

While 2017 has been kind to the Rockies for the most part, the club has hit a skid in recent time. Losers of 12 of their last 16 ballgames, Colorado has struggled in recent times despite a 50-38 overall record.

It’s clear that Colorado is not playing their best baseball at the moment, but their excellent start has them in a good position as the All-Star break approaches.

While teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals and have pulled ahead as the premier teams in the National League, Colorado should not be worried about where they’ll be standing come to the end of the season.

However, due to Colorado’s recent slide, some fans and media are already crowning the Los Angeles Dodgers the winners of the National League West.

Granted, the Dodgers possess something the other club’s in the division do not have – experience. That said, Los Angeles holds a 4.5 game lead on the Arizona Diamondbacks and a 7.5 game lead on the Rockies. While they certainly have a cushion, history has shown that no lead is ever safe.

The 2005 Cleveland Indians, ’07 New York Mets, ’11 Boston Red Sox, ’12 Texas Rangers, and ’14 Oakland A’s are all prime examples of how teams, regardless of skillset and lead, can and do collapse.

Now, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks could certainly hold strong throughout the year, but the odds of that happening is unlikely. The Rockies will get their shot.

Let’s face it; Arizona is good. But are they 19 games over .500 good? They have solid pieces in the field and on the mound, but for a team that won just 69 ballgames last season to make this kind of leap is uncommon. At some point, Arizona will cool off, much like the Rockies have done in the past couple of weeks.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, are sitting in cruise control. For nearly half a decade, the Dodgers have been one of the more consistent regular season teams in baseball. They have won 85 or more games in every year since 2012, but they too have yet to hit their dry spell. The Dodgers won all but seven games in the month of June and also set a franchise record for home runs in a month.

Colorado has overcome hurdles all season long to get to this point, and as it stands, their second half is shaping up to be a strong one.

The Rockies have not had critical components Chad Bettis and David Dahl for the entire season. Jon Gray just made his fifth start of the season Wednesday, and the club’s marquee free agent signee, Ian Desmond, missed virtually all of April and will miss the remainder of the club’s games leading up to the break due to injury.

Also, Gerardo Parra has been hurt, Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu have both regressed from their electric 2016 seasons, and the Rockies have been carried by a starting pitching staff whose oldest arm is 27-years-old.

There is still a long way to go before anything is decided this MLB season. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have been good, but so have the Rockies, and they have yet to hit their full stride.

With over 70 games left to play following the All-Star break, in addition to the impending series against the Chicago White Sox, the Rockies have plenty of time to buckle down, rest up, and lock in for a postseason push in an attempt to snap the franchise’s seven-year drought.

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