The Colorado Rockies were mocked for giving former National League MVP Kris Bryant a huge free-agent contract this spring because the Rox were expected to be downright terrible after finishing 74-87 last year. However, Bryant has been very good in the early going and the Rockies are in first place (as of this writing) in the NL West. Are they legit World Series contenders? Oddsmakers MLB say no as they are still +8000 long shots to win their first-ever title.
World Series Odds To Win After 2 Weeks
The early NL MVP right now? Probably Colorado’s CJ Cron. Entering Wednesday, he is among MLB leaders in total bases (36, 1st), home runs (six, 1st), extra-base hits (nine, T-1st), slugging percentage (.837, 5th), OPS (1.199, 5th) and RBI (14-, T-2nd). Cron’s 36 total bases through 11 games were the most by a Rockies player through the first 11 games since Trevor Story’s 40 total bases in 2016.
Maybe this is real as since Aug. 1 of last season, Cron is slashing .335/.400/.678 with 20 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs, 63 RBI, 23 walks and 57 strikeouts in 65 games. Over that span, he leads the NL in RBI, ranks second in total bases (162), third in home runs and fifth in hits.
Colorado designated hitters are slashing .366/.429/.634 and rank first in the majors in average, second in hits (15) and total bases (26) and home runs (three, T-1st). Cron spends some time at DH. Remember, the Rockies only had the DH in American League parks in 2021.
The Rockies’ bullpen has been fantastic, leading MLB ERA and saves. Probably not sustainable, but there is also plenty of reason to believe that this isn’t coming completely out of nowhere. Rather, it is the continuation of an upward trend that stretches back to before the All-Star game in Denver last year.
The Rockies have played the most home games in the majors so regression might be coming. Starting Friday, they are on an eight-day, seven-game road trip to Detroit (April 22-24) and Philadelphia (April 25-28). Randal Grichuk, acquired this spring from Toronto, thinks Colorado has the ingredients to be in the thick of things come the end of the 2022 season.
“I feel like once I got traded over, and spent some days in spring training, I felt like we do have a very talented roster and that we have a chance to surprise some people this year,” he said.
One of the early disappointments is the Minnesota Twins, who were supposed to be playoff contenders after adding the likes of Carlos Correa, Gary Sanchez and pitcher Sonny Gray but they are last in the AL Central and +4000 to win the World Series.
Gray has landed on the injured list already with a hamstring injury. He threw 4 2/3 innings of two-run ball against the Seattle Mariners in his Twins debut last weekend. Gray struck out four batters and issued two walks in that contest but then exited last Saturday’s start against the Red Sox after 1 1/3 innings with the hamstring issue.
The Twins have been plagued with injuries in the early going of the season. Gray joins a group on the injured list that includes outfielder Alex Kirilloff and relievers Jorge Alcala. The Twins are also without starters Randy Dobnak (finger) and Kenta Maeda (Tommy John surgery), both of whom are dealing with injuries that popped up last September.
Star outfielder Byron Buxton hasn’t played since last Friday due to a knee injury but isn’t on the injured list. Buxton was hurt on a last-second slide into second base after the Red Sox had misplayed his pop fly to shallow left field to lead off the game. So far this season, Buxton is hitting .250/.308/.750 with three doubles, three homers, four RBI, five runs and a steal in seven games.
Buxton signed a seven-year, $100 million extension with Minnesota in November, despite a checkered injury past. Since he made his major league debut on June 14, 2015, he has played in just 500 of the Twins’ 978 games and has been on the injured list 11 times in his career.Minnesota opens a home series vs. the White Sox on Friday. Perhaps Buxton is back then.