9-9 - Lynn is lethal as Rangers return to .500 after 3-2 win over Rockies | Lone Star Ball (SB Nation, Texas Rangers)
The final line: 9 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks. Masterful.
The Colorado bats ran into a buzzsaw named Lance Lynn on Friday night. After scoring 25 runs in the past four games, the Rockies are still hitting well.
Colorado currently ranks in MLB’s top-three in each figure on the batting slash. Their weighted on-base average leads the National League. They have the seventh-lowest strikeout percentage in baseball. It seems every batting statistic, no matter how basic or advanced, shows the Rockies can downright hit.
Lynn just threw the sixth complete game of the year—against those same Rockies.
Credit lies in the resumé Lynn has put together for 2020; his pitching numbers rival the Colorado team batting stats. He has the third-best ERA in baseball among qualifying pitchers. He’s struck out 36 batters, good for MLB’s fourth-highest total. Texas has won nine games this year, and Lynn has started four of them.
Lest we forget the player that opposed Lynn; two starts into his MLB career and Ryan Castellani holds a 1.04 ERA over 8 1⁄3 innings pitched. The four horsemen in the starting rotation could very well turn into five if Castellani further dominates his debut season.
After taking into account just how masterful Lynn’s stuff has been this year, Rockies fans can be comforted knowing Lynn won’t pitch again for the remainder of the series. Saturday reasons as a better matchup for Rockies hitters, and the Opening Day starter will pitch the top of the first:
Germán Márquez holds a 2.08 ERA, which is the best mark of those aforementioned ‘horsemen’. Márquez held the Mariners to two earned runs over seven innings in his last start. Saturday will be his second home start of the year.
Colorado is about to embark on a seven-game stretch against the Astros and Dodgers. This could be the toughest week of the regular season for the Rockies, and Márquez currently lines up to pitch in only one of those games. Pitcher List thereby tabs him with a ‘great’ schedule. He will face Texas today; after one outing against Houston, he will look to face Arizona.
Kyle Freeland is on the ‘poor’ schedule list, as he will look to open the Houston series and pitch on the road in Los Angeles next Saturday.
Like Márquez, Kyle Gibson’s last start was against the Mariners. On Monday, Gibson allowed four earned runs over 4 1⁄3 innings. He will oppose Márquez tonight.
Gibson has five different pitches, and he goes to work with a steady mix of sinkers and sliders. The right-hander spent seven years with the Twins before signing with the Rangers last winter. Tonight’s start will be his first appearance inside Coors Field.
Márquez last pitched on August 9th. He will throw with two extra days of rest, as Bud Black elected to keep Castellani in the rotation for Friday’s start after a team day off.
Noah Yingling of RoxPile addresses the key contributors to Colorado’s offensive statistics. “By OPS+, the Rockies have five players with an OPS+ over 110.” “On the other hand, the Rockies have seven players with an OPS+ under 90.” An OPS+ of 100 is considered average.
Yingling supplements the OPS+ figures with Statcast data, and lists out who has been hitting the ball hard. In perhaps no surprise to anybody, Charlie Blackmon has been doing well in everything.
Cody Bellinger’s multi-homer night puts Dodgers in first place | True Blue LA (SB Nation, Los Angeles Dodgers)
Cody Bellinger blasted two home runs, and in one night raised his OPS by .096. Clayton Kershaw followed up a four-run performance over 4 1⁄3 innings with seven innings of one-hit ball against the Angels on Friday night.
The Dodgers have climbed atop the NL West standings for now—but we could be in for a showdown next weekend if the Rockies maintain some forward momentum of their own.
The Astros currently rank 15th in weighted on-base average after ranking first a year ago; if there is ever a time to face the reigning AL champions, next Monday through Thursday could be it. A solid showing over those four games could give the Rockies a strong push for their first series with the Dodgers, as they both fight it out for first place.