On Monday, Major League Baseball released the abbreviated 60-game schedule for all 30 teams.
Without exception, the Colorado Rockies have a challenging road ahead if they are going to win their first National League West pennant or, even more ambitious, their first World Series.
A typical 162-game season will contain several matchups or consecutive series that could prove challenging to any club, but that is why baseball is considered to be much like a marathon.
In 2020, it’s little more than a sprint.
Colorado opens the season with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers on July 24 to christen the newly constructed Globe Life Field in Arlington before a brief two-game set in Oakland.
Coors Field hosts the San Diego Padres on July 31 for the home opener before a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
The season culminates on September 27 in Phoenix to close out three games at the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While the Rockies play only one team that made the postseason in 2019 – Oakland Athletics – through the first 21 games, they have the hardest 2020 schedule of all NL clubs. Opponents had a combined .523 winning percentage last year, good for the fifth-highest in all of baseball.
By comparison, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the second easiest schedule (.482) this year in the Senior Circuit based upon 2019 records.
Colorado is also one of just seven teams, and one of only three in the NL, that will play 20 games in 20 days, from August 14 through September 2.
Making that spell of games even more challenging is the travel required at the start of those games.
After flying to Houston for two games on August 17-18, the Rockies must travel back to Colorado for two more against those same Astros on August 19-20 before leaving again to play the Dodgers in Los Angeles from August 21-23.
Oddly enough, that matchup against LA will be the first time the two sides face off and are the only series between the two foes before the new August 31 trade deadline.
With 18 games at home in the month of August, Colorado has an opportunity to jump out of the box and feel good about their dash to game 60.
In September, it’s all about the NL West as the Rockies play 19 of 24 in the division, including 7 against the Dodgers.
In a strange turn of events, the simple breakdown of the schedule many had anticipated – 10 games against the division, five home, five away, and 4 games against each interleague rival in the region – did not come to fruition.
Instead, it’s an unbalanced schedule with Colorado playing six games at Dodgers Stadium and four at Coors Field against their blue adversaries. It’s a similar scenario for the Rockies with Arizona: seven on the road and only three at home.
The bottom line is that even though the 2020 schedule might not be perfect, it’s here and it means we’re one step closer to having baseball.