Rockies need to cash in on favorable April schedule

If the major league baseball season only lasted a month, the Rockies would be in great shape. The last three seasons, the Rox have posted an April record at or above the .500 mark.

2014 should be no different.

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The Rox begin the regular season in Miami. Hitters will be tested right away with an Opening Day matchup against Jose Fernandez, the best pitcher in the National League not named Clayton Kershaw.

Aside from Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton, there isn’t a household name on the Marlins. So as long as the Rockies bats don’t go into hibernation like they did last season in South Beach, a 3-1 start to 2014 seems likely.

A six-game homestand follows the Miami series as the Diamondbacks and White Sox come to Denver. The Rockies may not sweep either team, but should win both series.

Through the first 10 games, Colorado should be 7-3.

A west coast road trip plates seven games against the Giants and Padres in the middle of the month. The Rox have been historically brutal in San Francisco. But in order to stay afloat in the division, they can’t afford being swept often.

Finding a way to just win one game in the series would be a success.

Petco Park is one of few road ballparks where the Rox play well. Splitting a four-game set with the Padres would result in a respectable 3-4 road trip.

April 18-23, the Rockies host the Phillies and Giants. Philadelphia still has guys like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on the roster. But it’s not the same team that beat the Rox in the 2009 division series.

In fact, if the Rox avoid seeing Lee or Hamels, this could be the season’s first series sweep for the purple pinstripes.

The Giants series may be the most entertaining of the month. Here’s to hoping the weather plays out in Colorado’s liking. If the temperature is above 60 degrees, the Rockies win the series. Colder weather tilts the advantage toward San Francisco’s pitching staff.

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April comes to a close with visits to Los Angeles and Phoenix. If the Rockies are in a slump, this road trip has 0-6 written all over it. Figuring out a way to win two or three games here could be the difference between an average start to the season and great start.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

It may not mean much toward their record at the end of the season, but the Rox could very well be 17-10 going into May.