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Rockies vs. Dodgers preview: Nicasio, Rockies look to clinch series

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Juan Nicasio and the Rockies look to clinch a road series against Paul Maholm and the Dodgers.

Doug Pensinger

This evening's game is the better chance for the Rockies to win a road series at Chavez Ravine as they attempt to win the series a night early. Colorado's win last night gave them a positive start on their quest to repeat last year's feat of winning the season series against the NL West bullies. The Rockies will send Juan Nicasio to the mound against LA, who will counter with Paul Maholm.

Nicasio will try to continue his strong debut to 2014, in which he has thrown 23 innings over four starts with 20 strikeouts and five walks, resulting in a 2-0 record and 4.30 ERA/3.70 FIP. La Violencia has done some of his finest work at Dodger Stadium, throwing 29 innings of 2.79 ERA ball over five starts, compiling 30 strikeouts to 6 walks in that time frame.

Nicasio's counterpart has not had similar success against the Rockies - Maholm is a career 1-8 with a 6.63 ERA against the Rockies in 58 innings spread over 10 starts. Maholm hasn't pitched well in his swingman role for LA this season either - accruing a 5.60 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and eight walks.

Since Maholm does happen to be left-handed, the Rockies are playing both Brandon Barnes and Drew Stubbs in this one, sitting human wrecking ball Charlie Blackmon - until the opportune moment presents itself, I would surmise. The Dodgers will counter with a couple of backups of their own in Justin Turner and Drew Butera, while Andre Ethier steps in for Carl Crawford.

This is a great opportunity for the Rockies to prove they're a player in the NL West this year.