Earlier today, the Colorado Rockies announced their 2017 schedule. It wasn’t long until people started pouring through the dates and matchups to see exactly where the Rockies would be on what date.
Of course, once we saw the schedule, we started pouring through the matchups. Like you, we are already excited for the start of the 2017 season. And, like you, we’re looking to see what are going to be the expected tougher and easier parts of the 2017 schedule for the Rockies.
Article continues below ...
For right now, we can’t worry about if Walt Weiss will still be the manager or if Jorge De La Rosa will still be on the team. Those are just two of the questions the Rockies face in the offseason. We won’t worry about those today. We can only look at the schedule and do our best to forecast what will be pivotal games for the Rockies as they push toward the 2017 postseason.
With that in mind, here are five games that jump out to us on next season’s schedule…
Of course, Opening Day is always a big deal. Once again, the Rockies will open the season on the road. In a twist on the schedule, the Rockies will actually have six consecutive regular-season games against the Brewers (provided you combine the final three games of 2016 with 2017’s opening three-game series).
But there’s something else as important to this game as Opening Day itself. Colorado will return to the scene of a brutal beatdown in late August at the hands of the Brewers. Milwaukee swept Colorado and it wasn’t pretty. It also helped set the tone for a disappointing end to Colorado’s season.
Starting the season off right in Milwaukee will be a key for the Rockies. The Brewers should be a team that Colorado is better than next season. They need to establish early that they can beat the lower-ranked teams. That’s what playoff-caliber teams do.
July 3 against Cincinnati
Much like the Milwaukee meltdown, Cincinnati came into Coors Field at the end of May and dominated the Rockies. It was one of those “what just happened?” moments of the season (along with Tampa Bay’s runaway victories when the Rockies were so hot in July).
Yes, it’s a “fireworks game,” but here’s hoping the Rockies have some fireworks on the field. This will start a stretch of 13 of 16 games at home for Colorado, sandwiched around the All-Star break. Establishing home field dominance will be key for the Rockies next season. And, like beating the weaker teams on the schedule, Colorado struggled with that in 2016.
July 24 at St. Louis
Not only must the Rockies beat the bad teams on the road, they have to beat the playoff contenders as well. This Monday tilt against the Cardinals starts a string of six straight road games against St. Louis and Washington. Once the Rockies are done with that, they come right back to Denver for three games against the Mets.
Also, the stretch is right around the 2017 trading deadline so there will be plenty of intrigue during this run of games.
August 22 at Kansas City
Interleague matchups will play a big role in Colorado’s success in 2017. Playing against the Seattle Mariners and the entire American League Central division will determine much about how the Rockies fare down the stretch next season.
After a scheduled off day on August 21, Colorado plays three in Kansas City before heading to Atlanta for three games. From Atlanta, Colorado heads back to Denver to face the Detroit Tigers for three games. The Detroit matchup also marks the last Interleague matchup of the season for Colorado.
September 19 at San Francisco
Of course, at this point, the season could either be very exciting or very disappointing for the Rockies. A two-game set in San Francisco is followed by four games in San Diego, which has been a house of horror for the Rockies in recent games.
Once they survive San Diego, it’s on to the final six games of the season. The last six games could provide plenty of intrigue … and they’re all in LoDo. Starting with a Monday night matchup against Miami, Colorado will face the Marlins and Dodgers over the final six games. Both those teams should be expected to be in the postseason hunt as well next season.
Think of the possibilities for those final six games. They range from the Rockies being completely out of it to being in a death match against the Dodgers for the National League West title. The possibilities are endless, which is one of the reasons why forecasting the future is both fun and frightening at the same time.