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Chris Rusin aims to continue his strong season against the Mets at home

Chris Rusin gets the ball against Jonathan Niese and the Mets at Coors Field tonight.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies face the Mets in the second of a three game set tonight at 6:05 MT.

Left hander Chris Rusin gets the ball for the Rockies today. Unexpectedly, Rusin has been the Rockies best starting pitcher this season. Heading into spring training, he was probably eighth or ninth on the starting pitcher depth chart, but he's doing enough to gain serious back-end consideration for a rotation heading into next season. I say "a" rotation rather than "the" rotation because the 28 year-old righty also might be doing enough to collect trade interest from other clubs.

Rusin enters today's game with a 3.99 ERA, making him the lone Rockies starter with at least 50 innings pitched to have an ERA under 4.00. His adjusted ERA- is 11 percent better than league average, partly due for his good for Coors Field 4.12 FIP and 3.78 xFIP. The lone pitching metric that still needs persuading is Baseball Prospectus's DRA. It's currently 5.15 and 23 percent worse than league average. However, his 104 cFIP, which is both predictive and descriptive, thinks he'll be a slightly below league average pitcher going forward. The other starting pitchers with a 104 cFIP so far this season are Jimmy Nelson, John Lackey, J.A. Happ, Bartolo Colon, Garret Richards, and Andrew Cashner—valuable pitchers all.

Rusin faced the Mets in New York on August 11. He pitched well, as he gave up one run, though it was on eight hits, in six innings. But the Rockies weren't able to muster a run in support and lost 4-to-0.

The Mets will send lefty Jonathan Niese to face the Rockies. Niese enters today's game with a 3.50 ERA, a 4.23 FIP, and a 3.91 xFIP. His adjusted ERA- places him four percent better than league average. Baseball Prospectus's DRA thinks that Niese has been slightly better than Rusin so far this season, with a 5.06 DRA that is 20 percent below league average. However, Niese's 115 cFIP suggests that Rusin might be a better bet going forward. Considering that Niese was a part of trade rumors with the Rockies during the offseason—a move that would have cost the Rockies something—and Bridich plucked Rusin off of waivers for nothing, the Rusin pickup looks like a big win for the Rockies, whatever Rusin's future with the team is.

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK METS COLORADO ROCKIES
Juan Lagares - CF Charlie Blackmon - CF
Curtis Granderson - RF Jose Reyes - SS
Yoenis Cespedes - LF Carlos Gonzalez - RF
Juan Uribe - 3B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Michael Cuddyer - 1B DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Wilmer Flores - 2B Matt McBride - 1B
Travis d'Arnaud - C Nick Hundley - C
Ruben Tejada - SS Kyle Parker - LF
Jon Niese - LHP Chris Rusin - LHP