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Colorado Rockies Predictions / 2010 Season Preview

2010 MLB Predictions/Previews: Colorado Rockies

Hard to believe that the Boys of Summer are almost back. But it’s true; teams have reported to 2010 Major League Baseball training camps and it’s time to start our team-by-team baseball gambling previews for the year. I for one can’t wait to start MLB betting online with the expert picks from CappersPicks.com.

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MLB Team Preview – Colorado Rockies

YIt’s fitting that Colorado’s season-by-season pattern is, well, rocky. One year they’re up, the next they’re down. Based on the pattern, the Rockies are due for a regression in the competitive National League West. But it’s time for the trend to stop.

Even though Colorado or, more specifically, Coors Field is known for boosting offense, the Rockies got the job done more through pitching than hitting in 2009. They cracked the top 10 in team ERA, largely on the strength of Ubaldo Jimenez’s stellar effort. Now the unquestioned ace of the staff, Jimenez has the highest average fastball velocity among major-league starting pitchers.

Thanks to his very legit natural ability, he’s a safe bet to be a rock in the rotation yet again.

Colorado has other capable starters, too; Aaron Cook eats innings with the best of ’em and Jason Hammel, a former top prospect, has settled into a similar role. Jorge De La Rosa made major strides last season, winning 16 games and striking out 193 batters in 185 innings. He was a sparkling 10-2 after the All-Star break as well. We also can’t forget about Jeff Francis, who once served as Colorado’s ace and missed all of 2009 with shoulder surgery.

He looked healthy enough in spring; maybe he can return to form after all.

The Rockies’ have a well-rounded lineup capable of running and hitting for power. Youngsters Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler will lead off and have tremendous upside. Fowler has major speed and the ability to hit for high average; Gonzalez’s blend of power and wheels reminds me of a young Carlos Beltran.

Todd Helton remains a stalwart in the middle of the order, still capable of hitting doubles and getting on base.

The key run producers are Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe. Tulowitzki blossomed into a true star last season, clubbing 32 homers and hitting .344 with a 1.043 OPS after the All-Star break. Given his first-round pedigree, his breakout doesn’t look like a fluke.

Go down the order and try to find an easy out. Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, Clint Barmes – every one of these guys can make things happen offensively. To top it off, the Rockies may have the deepest bench in the majors, with Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs, Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora and Miguel Olivo. That means an injury to one or two regulars may not hurt them at all.

At least early on this season, the Rockies’ bullpen could stumble, as Huston Street won’t be ready for Opening Day. Once he’s back, however, Franklin Morales will slide into short relief and join a solid group that includes Rafael Betancourt and Manny Corpas.

I don’t think any team measures up well with Colorado in the National League West. The Rockies can match or come close to matching the Giants’ pitching and are at the very least on par offensively with the Dodgers’ and D-backs’ lineups. 2010 looks like the Rockies’ year to win the division.

Rockies Prediction: First, National League West

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