The defending NL Champion Colorado Rockies are back in the playoff hunt. The Rockies have fallen as far as 19 games below .500 this season, yet a weak division and a recent surge have them back in the race. Colorado is six games back of first-place Arizona entering Wednesday's games. Last year at this time, the Rockies were 6.5 games back, and we all know how that ended up.
Before you say that 21 wins in 22 games can't happen again, consider this: it doesn't have to. The NL West is one of the weakest divisions in recent memory and the Rockies' remaining schedule is very favorable. They have six games remaining against division-leading Arizona and a long list of winnable games (seven games with the Giants and six with the Padres, along with home dates against the Astros and Dodgers and a trip to Atlanta). Plus, Colorado is 43-33 since June 2 (best in the NL West) and 24-14 since the All-Star break (one of the best marks in all of baseball). If Arizona plays .500 ball the rest of the way, the Rockies need to finish 20-8. That's a nice clip, but not out-of-this-world. These guys are playing with confidence and why not? They overcame longer odds last year.