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Game #29: Diamondbacks vs. Rockies

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The Diamondbacks starting pitching has been very effective this time around the rotation. But can it stand up to the Rockies' offense, which on first glance, has been equally good? But wait...

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Franklin Morales
LHP, 2-1, 3.86
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Wade Miley
LHP, 2-2, 4.50

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. A.J. Pollock, CF
  2. Martin Prado - 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Aaron Hill, 2B
  6. Cody Ross, LF
  7. Gerardo Parra - RF
  8. Chris Owings, SS
  9. Wade Miley - P

Fabian already pointed out the gaudy numbers being put up by the Colorado offense this year. However, as a counter-argument, it's worth mentioning how heavily dependent this is on their park. Away from Coors, the Rockies have a mediocre line of .247/.298/.366, a .664 OPS, which is actually below the NL average (.671), though obviously, they don't get to play road games in Coors, like the rest of the league. Their home OPS is a staggering .984, which is 187 points ahead of the 2nd-placed Marlins - who are closer to the 13th-placed Pirates, than they are to the Rockies. That's largely why Colorado are 8-4 at home, and 6-8 on the road.

The more conspiratorial minded of you could insert a rant about humidors, juiced balls and home-team advantage here. Especially since the Rockies pitching doesn't show anything like the same split, as you'd expect if there was such a strong environmental factor in the park, altitude, etc. . Indeed, their home and road OPS are almost identical, .760 and .766, which is a smaller split than the 29 point average across the entire league. Also, the Rockies hit 115 points better when they are behind; the NL overall has basically no difference there. It's curious, certainly - but since this series is at Chase, probably irrelevant. Something to keep an eye on, however.

For the purposes of this series, however, it's perhaps an indication that our pitchers shouldn't feel too intimidated. The Arizona starters have been very solid, and we'll be trying for our fifth consecutive team quality start, Miley having been the only member of the rotation who didn't deliver last time through. Considering we only had a total of three in our first 24 attempts, going into the series finale against the Cubs on Thursday, that's quite some turnaround. Not that it proved particularly helpful on Saturday and Sunday, admittedly, as the bullpen and offense respectively proved feeble enough to lead to defeat. But I'm of the opinion that it all starts with starting pitching.