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Colorado Rockies game no. 25 thread: Antonio Senzatela vs. Luke Weaver

Senzatela looks to work toward his 2020 form in his sixth start of the year

The Rockies will finally play a game outside California and Colorado this year. After a 1-8 start on the road, the team will seek a turnaround in the Valley of the Sun as the two bottom teams in the NL West look to separate themselves.

Right-handed Luke Weaver has the ball for the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-12) after underwhelming starts against both the Nationals (4 IP, 4 ER) and Braves (5 IP, 4 ER). Arizona lost both games by a combined score of 11-6. Weaver faced the Rockies at Coors Field in his first start of the year, allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. The D-Backs would eventually win that game in 13 innings.

Weaver will depend heavily on his fastball (64.0%) and changeup (30.8%). He has averaged a low to mid-90’s heater in each of his six MLB seasons, and an above-average spin rate (88th percentile) allows him to pitch up in the zone with greater success. He mainly works his fastball up and away to righties, while mixing his changeup low and inside. Weaver doesn’t rack up an abundance of strikeouts (31st percentile in K%), so he may often rely on his changeup to induce ground balls and compliment his high-spin fastball. His fly ball percentage is currently the second-highest of his career, however, which could play to the Rockies’ favor. Opposing slugging percentage against his changeup has jumped from .387 to .500 this year.

Antonio Senzatela will start for the Rockies (9-15), equipped with a 5.76 ERA and 4.40 xFIP this year. He last pitched on Saturday against the Phillies, tossing five innings but allowing four runs. Senzatela’s 2021 has been a roller coaster of good and bad; he has alternated from four or more earned runs to one or fewer in all five of his starts this year. His best showing of 2021 so far was against the same Diamondbacks he will see tonight, pitching eight scoreless frames on April 7.

Senzatela’s slider use has spiked in 2021. Opponents have also posted a slugging percentage of .474 off it — far higher than .253 a year ago — and Senzatela has thrown his fastball at a career-low 47.4 percent. It will be interesting to monitor if his pitch selection moving forward will more closely resemble his 2020 percentages when he led the Rockies in bWAR.

Arizona has won seven of their last nine games, having swept the hot-hitting Reds last week and taking two of three in Atlanta over a weekend series. They took down the Padres 5-1 on Tuesday but concluded the two-game set on Wednesday with a 3-12 loss. Colorado has won five of their last eight games, and won two out of three against the D-Backs in early April—the only series between Arizona and Colorado so far.

Start Time: 7:40 p.m. MDT

TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (COL), MLB.TV

Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)