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Game Preview: Chacin takes on Vargas on getaway day

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Whoa, early game

Doug Pensinger

The road trip and this little two game set against the Royals comes to an end today on an early Wednesday match. After getting absolutely shackled by James Shields, the Rockies hope they can get after Jason Vargas and salvage a split and a 3-4 trip.

The veteran Vargas, acquired from the Angels in the off season, is having his best year to date. His 3.04 ERA is lower than any season of his career. He's what you would call a "crafty left hander." Slow fastball, doesn't strike many guys out, but also doesn't walk anybody. His FIP is a run worse than his ERA and his BABIP is a touch low at .269, indicating he may be getting a little lucky.

Chacin is making his third start of the year, and he's hoping to build off his start in Cincinnati. He allowed two runs early against the Reds, but settled in and pitched six strong innings. Avoid walks and induce ground balls is the name of the game for Jhoulys.

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<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>
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<thead>
<tr>
<th align="left">COLORADO ROCKIES</th>
<th align="left">KANSAS CITY ROYALS</th>
</tr>
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<tbody>
<tr><td class="td-last td-name">C. Blackmon - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Norichika Aoki - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Brandon Barnes - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Eric Hosmer - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Troy Tulowitzki - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">Billy Butler - DH</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Carlos Gonzalez - DH</td><td class="td-first td-name">Salvador Perez - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Nolan Arenado - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Alex Gordon - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Justin Morneau - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">J. Giavotella - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Drew Stubbs - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Lorenzo Cain - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Mike McKenry - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Mike Moustakas - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">C. Culberson - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Alcides Escobar - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name"></td><td class="td-first td-name"></td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jhoulys Chacin - RHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Jason Vargas - LHP</td></tr></tbody>
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Carlos Gonzalez again gets the "day off" by nabbing the DH spot. This leaves an outfield of Blackmon-Stubbs-Barnes, a fantastic defensive unit. Charlie Culberson is spelling DJ LeMahieu at second base. Not surprisingly, Michael McKenry is subbing for Jordan Pacheco after the quick turnaround.

I get the feeling that the Rockies think today's game is important, since I'd imagine they would have loved to sneak Tulo out of this game and give him two days off in a row. But after losing four out of five games, the Rockies can't afford to punt this one. Get after Vargas gents.