Colorado Rockies Could Help Shape the National League Playoff Picture

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IAugust 31, 2012

DENVER, CO - APRIL 29:  Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed home by Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Colorado Rockies after his pinch hit grand slam home run off of relief pitcher Tim Byrdak #40 of the New York Mets to tie the score 4-4 with two out in the eighth inning at Coors Field on April 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Mets defeated the Rockies 6-5 in 11 innings.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies are probably not going to make the 2012 MLB postseason.

It is a probability and not a certainty, because you never know with these Rockies and their penchant for late-season runs.

But 17 games out with 33 to play is a steeper mountain to climb than the actual Rockies. However, the team can play a major role in determining who will play in the postseason.

Colorado will host the San Diego Padres in what would qualify as a spoiler convention. San Diego is not going anywhere either. But their recent eight-game winning streak and series victory over the Atlanta Braves show they are more than willing to give teams fits.

Afterwards the Rockies will head to Atlanta for four games. As the season winds down, they will play the Giants seven times and the Dodgers three times. That would be 14 games that could directly affect front-running teams and their closest competitors.

In fact, Colorado has already made an impact on the NL West race.

By beating the Dodgers twice at Coors Field this week, they've helped open up space between the Giants and Los Angeles for the division lead. And this happened after the completion of a monumental trade that was supposed to put the Dodgers over the hump.

Troy Tulowitzki might be returning soon, according to The Denver Post, and the Rockies might be close to full strength down the stretch.

A relaxed Rockies team down the stretch is exactly what a contending team does not want to see.

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