Promising season ahead for the Rockies in a loaded NL West divis - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Promising season ahead for the Rockies in a loaded NL West division

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The Rockies haven't had high expectations heading into a season for a very, very long time. Sure, last year we were all excited with a refreshed bullpen and new manager at the helm but deep down every good Rockies fans had their doubts. 

Thankfully, those were quickly erased as Colorado surged towards an NL Wild Card Game berth, losing in a crazy finish 11-8 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Conveniently, that's who they're opening up against to start 2018 in what will be a tightly contested NL West division yet again.

The Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Giants all got better over the offseason making most of the Rockies moves more about keeping pace instead of gaining ground. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Colorado still boasts one of the best infields in baseball with Nolan Arenado at the hot corner and Trevor Story keeping watch at shortstop. Couple that with a hard hitting offense and a bulked up bullpen and you have a contender in the making.

But this is the point when most Rockies fans are going to say, "we've seen this before" and "they always come out hot before drifting off late." Fair enough, that has been the rule but I believe Colorado is starting to come out of that season-to-season routine. They have true young stars of the game that can be the difference when the going gets tough in August and September. 

Being that it's only April, it's hard to make accurate predictions about the National League West, especially with how tight I think this division will be come the dog days of summer, but hey, let's give it a try:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: To me this is a no-brainer. The defending National League Champions are poised to recapture the NL West crown and potentially make another run at the World Series in 2018.

2. Colorado Rockies: I'm being a bit optimistic here, the Diamondbacks are a great club built to win and contend right up until the finish. There's a good chance they could overtake Colorado for this second spot but I have a feeling that the taste of the playoffs will spur on this club and vault them into the top tier of the division.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks: Again, this could go either way. But there is a very good chance that the National League Wild Card game of 2017 could repeat itself, but instead of being played in the desert, the Rockies see some home cooking inside the friendly fences of Coors Field.

4. San Francisco Giants: Many of you are going to disagree with me here thinking that the additions of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen will be the difference makers. Those are aging super stars and until we see them perform at prime levels, I have doubts the Giants can be as good as they seem to think they can be.

5. San Diego Padres: It hurts me to always put the Padres in the basement of the division. This fan base could really use a winning season and Petco Park is too nice of a ballpark to sit empty every October. All the same, they just don't have the talent to compete in this division. 

As I said, this is a tough division to predict. There is so much talent top to bottom and it will be an all out battle till the final out in 2018. That's good! Don't be discouraged by that Rockies fans! Competition breeds greatness and the Rockies are starting to prove that they'll put their money where their mouth is to fill Coors Field late into the season. Let's hope another thrilling campaign is on the way and as always, keep it here with News-5 Sports. We'll be covering the team top to bottom for the whole year. Enjoy the season and happy Opening Day! 

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