COULD IT BE? PLUS PHILS-ROX ODDS, APRIL 18-19
The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in February 2016, three years and change ago.
Our Big Four teams in the fine Mile High City have not won an NFL playoff game or a playoff series since then.
Avalanche last playoff series win: 2007-08, a first-round prevail over the Wild. That’s a drought of 10 years, with three first-round exits and eight absences from the Cup playoffs.
Nuggets last playoff series win: 2008-09, the run to the conference finals where Anthony I Can’t Inbound The Ball Carter gakked our Finals chances against the Lakers. That’s a nine-year drought, with four immediate first-round exits after the Lakers loss followed by five straight non-playoff years.
Throw in the Rockies, no playoff series wins since the ’07 World Series, and the non-Broncos trio has produced nothing in a decade. The Avs (+175 Friday night) are on the cusp of breaking that dubious streak, and if they can’t get it done in Calgary (-155 Friday night) in Game 5, the Pepsi Center should be rocking on Easter Sunday to close it out. Could it be time to taste the second round, Denver? We shall see.
Now let’s look at the Rockies’ upcoming four-game set with Philadelphia (11-6, 3-2 road). Colorado is 6-12 and has yet to win a game in five tries at Coors Field, but rides a 3-game winning streak into tonight’s series opener when handing the ball to ace Kyle Freeland (1-3, 5.40 ERA). K-Free left last Saturday’s start with a blister on his hand but looks fine tonight to face off against fellow lefty Bryce Harper (2-8, RBI lifetime vs. Freeland) and the Phillies’ 4th-highest scoring offense in the National League. One note: the Phillies started out impressively with a sweep of the Braves and a 4-0 record, but since then have not won three straight games. They come into tonight having won their last two.
Meanwhile, the Rockies have hit six home runs in their past four games at pitcher-friendly parks in San Francisco and San Diego (including a jog around the bases in three straight games for previously homerless Nolan Arenado), and clubbed six home runs during those five straight losses at Coors Field, so they’ll look to launch some long balls against Phils right-handerZach Eflin (2-1, 3.94 ERA.) Eflin was nearly unhittable his first two starts, but got tagged for three HRs and six runs his last outing at lowly Miami.
Based on the Rockies’ momentum and the odds Freeland starts looking like Freeland back at home (his 2018 Coors Field ERA was a club record), I like the Rockies (+100) as a slight underdog to Philly -110 tonight.
As for Friday night, the Rockies send out red-hot German Marquez (2-1, 2.00 ERA, 25 Ks in four starts) against righty counterpart Vince Velasquez (0-0, 2.25 ERA). Velasquez has a career ERA of 4.53 and couldn’t get out of the fourth inning in his previous Coors Field start last September, so the Rockies (-115) again seem like a good bet over the Phillies (+105)in another tight money line.