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What’s to come as the Rockies hit the road

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Rockies take on the Dodgers and Diamondbacks for a seven-game road trip

After starting on a scorching 11-3 pace, the Rockies have won just 2-out-of-11 games, includes three straight series loses to the Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Astros. The Rox can’t seem to get on the same page when it comes to pitching and offense. Antonio Senzatela pitched possibly his best game yet against the Astros on Tuesday, but lack of run support led to a loss. On the other hand, Germán Márquez’ start on Thursday was arguably his worst start thus far, yet the Rockies outhit Houston 14-10 with big knocks by Ryan McMahon and Nolan Arenado. They ultimately lost 10-8, but now hit the road against two NL West rivals.

Find a way to #BeatLA

First up, the Rockies will head to L.A. for a three-game series against the Dodgers starting Friday. With the Rockies’ hot start long gone, the Dodgers (19-8) have taken sole possession of first place in the NL West by four games. Before Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Mariners, L.A. was riding a seven game-winning streak.

Right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling — whom the Rockies are scheduled to face on Sunday — leads the Dodgers’ pitching staff in wins. Stripling is 3-1 in five starts, while his ERA sits at a high 5.61. For Game 1 and Game 2, the Dodgers will put Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.31 ERA) and Dustin May (1-1, 3.00 ERA) on the mound, respectively.

The Rockies’ pitching staff will need to get their command under control, as they have given up a total of 27 runs in their most recent series against the Houston Astros. The offense started to get going back at home in that series, but they still only put up 16 runs over the four games.

The Dodgers have one of the top lineups in all of baseball, and with Mookie Betts batting leadoff and receiving MVP-status praises, the Rox will have their work cut out for them. Betts leads the Dodgers in RBI (21) and home runs (9), while his OPS is 1.023.

On to Arizona

With the new playoff format allowing the top two teams from each division into the postseason, it is seemingly a race for second among the Rockies, Padres, and Diamondbacks.

The Rockies end their road trip in Arizona for an important four-game set against the Snakes.

The D-backs got off to a rough start and entered August with a 3-5 win-loss record. In that stretch, they had a combined .196 team batting average. The team has since turned things around and are 13-13 as of Friday morning and ranked fourth in the division.

The pitching staff is led in wins by Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen. Each of them has recorded four quality starts, while Kelly has recorded three wins. Gallen, however, leads D-backs’ pitching with his 2.40 ERA and 36 strikeouts.

Offensively, Arizona has three players batting over .300 with at least 86 at bats — Starling Marte (.349), Ketel Marte (.337), and David Peralta (.318).

The Diamondbacks have yet to decide on a starting pitcher for Game 2 on Tuesday; however, the pitching matchups for Games 1, 3, and 4 are as follows:

  • Game 1: Ryan Castellani vs. Merrill Kelly
  • Game 3: Jon Gray vs. Robbie Ray
  • Game 4: Kyle Freeland vs. Zac Gallen

Takeaways

Every game counts always, but even more so now that we are approaching the halfway point of the season. With only 35 games left to play, the Rockies need to find their groove again where starters are pitching deep into games and players aren’t stranding base runners. They have a lot of kinks to work out, but if the team continues on the path they are on, the Rockies will miss out again on playing in the postseason. More than anything, the team needs players to stay healthy and see Carlos Estévez, Chi Chi González, David Dahl, and Chris Owings come back from the Injured List ready to help dig their way out of fourth place. This NL West road trip is very important, and hopefully the Rox are able to turn a page and make up some ground in the division.