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Rockies open interleague play with 2-game set vs. Angels

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, host the Rockies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies open up their interleague slate with a pair of games against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels were favorites to win the division prior to the season, but they now sit in second place behind the Houston Astros. The Angels enter with a 15-17 record. They are in second place in the division.

Hitters to Watch

Mike Trout. Trout has been among the very best players in baseball since 2012. If we take FanGraphs’ WAR model, he has been the very best. At just 23 years old, Trout has already accumulated more fWAR (31.8) than any single Rockies outfielder the team has ever had, besides Larry Walker. Trout doesn’t steal as many bases as he used to. He swiped 49 in his rookie season. But as a trade off he has added power. It will be really interesting to see how the Rockies pitch to Trout. The team-wide pitching philosophy is to keep the ball down in the zone. But that is Mike Trout’s sweet spot. Pitchers should generally stick to their own strengths regardless of opposition, but it’ll be tough willingly throw balls down in the zone to Trout.

Other hitters to watch are leadoff man Kole Calhoun, who has turned himself into one of the most valuable outfielders in the American League. Albert Pujols isn’t what he used to be, but he still has a great deal of raw power and an excellent batting eye. The Rockies will also probably see a couple of former organizational players in Chris Iannetta and Taylor Featherston. Iannetta, whose on-base percentage is just barely above the Mendoza line, has been miserable at the plate this season. Featherston is a Rule 5 draftee and is part of an unimpressive second base coalition.

Hitting stats

Player G PA HR R RBI BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR WAR
Mike Trout 32 135 9 26 19 13.30% 21.50% 0.289 0.338 0.307 0.407 0.596 0.422 179 2.6 2.3
Kole Calhoun 29 121 3 14 18 7.40% 21.50% 0.138 0.358 0.294 0.35 0.431 0.343 125 -0.5 0.8
Johnny Giavotella 31 108 1 12 12 8.30% 12.00% 0.084 0.305 0.274 0.34 0.358 0.313 104 0.3 0.7
Carlos Perez 4 14 1 1 3 0.00% 21.40% 0.286 0.4 0.357 0.357 0.643 0.43 184 0.3
Albert Pujols 30 123 5 14 12 7.30% 13.00% 0.159 0.228 0.23 0.293 0.389 0.299 94 0.6 0.3
Collin Cowgill 26 52 1 4 2 7.70% 21.20% 0.149 0.229 0.191 0.255 0.34 0.264 70 -0.1 0.2
David Freese 32 129 5 13 19 6.20% 20.20% 0.179 0.253 0.231 0.295 0.41 0.31 102 0.2 0.1
Efren Navarro 12 20 3 5.00% 25.00% 0.053 0.286 0.211 0.25 0.263 0.231 48 -0.2 0.1
C.J. Wilson 6 3 0.00% 0.00% 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.296 92
Grant Green 3 6 3 0.00% 33.30% 0.5 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.296 92 -0.1
Taylor Featherston 13 16 3 1 12.50% 18.80% 0.1 0.083 0.2 0.083 0.151 -7 0.5
Hector Santiago 6 1 0.00% 100.00% -100
Jered Weaver 7 2 0.00% 50.00% -100
Drew Butera 10 21 3 0.00% 9.50% 0.211 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.169 5 -0.3 -0.1
Erick Aybar 32 128 9 11 5.50% 15.60% 0.017 0.283 0.235 0.283 0.252 0.246 58 -0.9 -0.3
C.J. Cron 23 86 1 5 6 2.30% 23.30% 0.085 0.242 0.195 0.221 0.28 0.221 41 0.4 -0.5
Chris Iannetta 23 79 5 2 11.40% 31.60% 0.014 0.156 0.101 0.203 0.116 0.162 0.1 -0.6
Matt Joyce 28 99 1 3 7 5.10% 23.20% 0.075 0.171 0.14 0.182 0.215 0.174 8 -1.1 -1.2

Pitchers to Watch

The Rockies will likely face two lefties in Anaheim in C.J. Wilson and Hector Santiago. Each has posted an ERA under 3.00 so far this season. Wilson primarily throws four and two-seam fastballs, both of which sit in the low 90s. His primarily third pitch is a slider, but he also mixes in a changeup and a cutter every now and then. Santiago is also a fastball pitcher. He relies mostly on a four-seamer. Santiago includes a cutter, a changeup, a slider, and a curveball to his repertoire. He’s also known for throwing a screwball from time-to-time, although he’s only thrown one so far this season.

The Angels have a solid bullpen that has posted a 3.30 ERA thus far in 2015. Using a park adjusted measure, the bullpen has been 14 percent better than league average in terms of run prevention. Former Rockies closer Huston Street now serves as the Angels closer. He’s been striking out about a batter an inning on his way to saving 10 games so far this season.

Pitching stats

Player W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
C.J. Wilson 1 2 6 6 40 6.08 2.25 0.45 0.246 72.10% 43.90% 4.30% 2.7 3.27 4.25 0.9
Garrett Richards 3 1 5 5 31.2 8.24 4.55 0.28 0.213 78.00% 53.80% 3.30% 2.27 3.43 4.34 0.6
Joe Smith 1 15 14 9 2.57 0.372 76.20% 42.90% 0.00% 3.21 2.22 3.41 0.4
Hector Santiago 2 2 6 6 35 7.97 4.63 1.03 0.237 87.00% 34.00% 8.90% 2.57 4.57 4.88 0.3
Huston Street 2 1 10 13 12.2 9.24 3.55 0.306 68.80% 22.20% 0.00% 3.55 2.28 4.25 0.3
Nicholas Tropeano 1 1 1 6 7.5 1.5 0.278 100.00% 50.00% 0.00% 1.98 3.6 0.2
Fernando Salas 1 14 13 7.62 1.38 0.69 0.268 66.20% 40.00% 5.90% 4.15 3.15 3.96 0.2
Cesar Ramos 1 13 8.2 7.27 3.12 0.261 90.90% 54.50% 0.00% 1.04 3.26 4.06 0.1
Jered Weaver 1 4 7 7 43.1 4.36 1.04 1.66 0.291 72.10% 38.70% 12.70% 4.98 4.99 4.61 0.1
Ryan Mattheus 1 1 18 9 100.00% 100.00% 0.00% 2.15 2.15
Cam Bedrosian 2 3 6 6 0.333 100.00% 33.30% 0.00% 3.81 5.2
Mike Morin 1 15 12 6.75 1.5 1.5 0.156 55.60% 41.20% 11.10% 4.5 4.56 4.48
Drew Rucinski 1 2 1 4.2 3.86 7.71 0.5 69.20% 44.40% 0.00% 7.71 4.86 6.35
Vinnie Pestano 1 11 8.1 8.64 4.32 2.16 0.261 76.10% 28.00% 13.30% 4.32 5.79 5.17 -0.1
Adam Wilk 1 2 9 4.5 4.5 0.2 100.00% 50.00% 50.00% 4.5 10.65 5.54 -0.1
Jose Alvarez 1 11 16 9 3.38 1.69 0.108 78.10% 45.00% 17.60% 3.38 5.46 4.5 -0.3
Matt Shoemaker 2 3 6 6 31.1 8.9 2.01 2.87 0.298 70.00% 25.80% 21.70% 6.61 6.18 4.07 -0.3

Probable starters

Tuesday (8:05 MT): Kyle Kendrick vs. C.J. Wilson

Wednesday (8:05 MT): Jordan Lyles vs. Hector Santiago