The Kryptonite for these top 10 MLB teams

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 04: Manager David Ross #3 of the Chicago Cubs walks to the mound to remove Craig Kimbrel #46 during the ninth inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field on August 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 04: Manager David Ross #3 of the Chicago Cubs walks to the mound to remove Craig Kimbrel #46 during the ninth inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field on August 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Kryptonite for Top 10 MLB Teams

Colorado Rockies (8-3)

It’s hard to know which to believe in less, the Rockies pitchers or the Rockies hitters.

At this early stage of the season, that pitching staff looks awfully good. Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, and Jon Gray – four guys who have worn the ‘potential’ label since their emergences – all have ERAs under 3.40 in a combined 10 starts.

After opening with five strong performances on the road – four of them victories – that staff came home to Coors Field. The raw numbers have gone up – the Rocks are giving up four and a half runs per game at home, two per game more than on the road, and just as would be expected. But they’ve pulled out four home wins.

That’s largely thanks to offensive weaknesses. The Rockies have been more opportunistic than explosive. Nolan Arenado is batting just .244, and Trevor Story’s .275, while entirely acceptable, is hardly the stuff of legend. To date right fielder Charlie Blackmon has been the fuel guy. His .378 average is seasoned by a team-high 12 RBIs, all of them in the past eight days.

As a team, the Rockies aren’t especially hitting for power, and they’re also not getting on base at any noteworthy rate. They stand ninth in on-base average (.324) and in slugging average (.420), both of which belie their standing as the NL West leader. The key has been depth. They’re hitting .266 as a team, second in the majors behind only the Chicago White Sox.

Since being shut out 1-0 by Lance Lynn in the season opener, Colorado has scored five runs or more eight times in 10 games.

Still, buying into the Rockies as serious World Series contenders requires accepting a lot on faith. In descending order of probability, those assumptions include that the bats or Arenado and Storey will come around, that Blackmon will stay hot, and that the pitching staff will prove as reliable over the long haul as it has in the first two weeks.