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Series Preview #23: Diamondbacks @ Rockies

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The Diamondbacks play 3 against the last place Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Nice beard Charlie
Nice beard Charlie
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks (34-35) @ Colorado Rockies (30-39)

Man, the last couple days have been crazy for the D-Backs. While most of the focus has been on this trade which if you go by the reaction, you would think they traded away Goldy and A.J. Pollock for some hot dogs. If you are here to comment angrily about that though, you have come to the wrong place! In the midst of the madness, Arizona is coming off a series win against San Diego where they looked great in two of the games and... well that other game is summarized well by soco here. In all three games, the starting pitching continued their recent success, leaving the team in a winnable spot each time. The offense has been spotty lately, scoring 1 run in 4 of the last 10. However, in 5 of those games at least 4 runs were scored, resulting in 5 Ws.

The Rockies are doing typical Rockies things, with solid offense and terrible pitching. We are going to play a super fun game where I tell you how many runs the Rockies scored in each of the last 7 games, and you tell me how many you think were wins. Ready? 3, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 10. You would think they probably won 4 or 5 of these, right? Not exactly. Only 2 were Rockies victories, the last 2 against the Brewers. Ouch. Colorado has really struggled, having just won 3 of the last 10 games, 2 of those wins coming against the 25-46 Brewers. That is not exactly good. The Rockies are currently last in the division, 8.5 games back of LA, just watching their 5th consecutive sub-.500 season pass by. Fun.

Good News
  • Paul Goldschmidt is still on the Diamondbacks, so that's good.
  • D-Backs relievers have been great over the last 2 weeks, with a 2.88 ERA in that time span.
  • The Rockies starting pitching has been terrible in that same time frame, with a 5.64 ERA. Expect a lot of D-back offense in this one.

Bad News
  • Carlos Gonzalez is starting to hit the ball really well for power, with 5 homers and a .600 slugging percentage his last 13 games. He still isn't getting on base a lot though, with just a .259 OBP in that time frame.

  • The Rockies offense as a whole is actually pretty solid, with 7 out of 8 regular starters having an OPS+ of 96 or higher. The offense has been led by Tulo (what a surprise) and Nolan Arenado, who has 11 homers this year. Ben Paulsen has been a bug surprise for Colorado filling in for the injured Justin Morneau, with a .967 OPS.

  • A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, and Jake Lamb are all having big slumps right now, all of them with an OBP under .250 in the last 13 games

Injury Report

On the Diamondbacks side of things, Bronson Arroyo has experienced some elbow pain lately and- oh wait. He isn't still with the Diamondbacks? Hmm I guess some under the radar trade must've happened. Too bad, I liked Bronson. Returning to players still with Arizona, Jeremy Hellickson left Sunday's game early with a back injury, but doesn't expect to miss his next start. Pitchers Enrique Burgos and Patrick Corbin are still rehabbing in AA, and I'd expect them back by the end of the month. Catcher Oscar Hernandez is rehabbing at the A-ball level with Kane Country, and I have absolutely no idea when he will be back. The Diamondbacks seem to want to keep him on the DL as long as possible, in order to not have to have him on the roster as long.

Update: Enrique Burgos is back with the big league team.

For Colorado, relievers Brooks Brown and Rafael Betancourt are on the DL. Both will not be back for this series. Outfielder Corey Dickerson has been out for a while with a foot injury, and will not play against the D-Backs. Carlos Gonzalez sprained his wrist in Sunday's game, and his status for Tuesday's game is currently unknown.

Bullpen Status

I doubt that Andrew Chafin will be used Tuesday after throwing 34 pitches against San Diego on Sunday.

Everyone should be good to go for Colorado.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Chase Anderson (3-1, 2.84 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) vs Kyle Kendrick (2-9, 5.95 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)

Chase Anderson is boring, and that's okay. He doesn't get a lot of Ks, getting at least 6 in only 3 games all year. He doesn't throw very hard, with an average fastball velocity of 91. What Chase Anderson does do is keep Arizona in games. He has allowed 4+ earned runs in just 2 games this year. Chase has also done a phenomenal job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, having allowed just 3 homers all year. Bad news is that one of Anderson's worst starts of the year came against Colorado, when he went 5.1 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Considering all his other success, I will assume this is a fluke.

Kyle Kendrick is not having a good year at all. He has actually slightly outpitched his FIP, if you're into that kind of stuff, and has not shown any sign that he is better than his ERA would say. He's giving up almost 2 homers per 9 innings, not really what you are looking to do. At home he has been absolutely terrible, with a 6.81 ERA at Coors Field this year. In his one outing against the D-Backs this year, Kendrick was crushed, giving up 8 runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. D-Backs have a huge advantage in this one.

Game 2: Allen Webster (1-1, 6.55 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) vs David Hale (2-2, 5.28 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)

Webster has made two starts for the Diamondbacks this year, and they have been different in basically every way you can imagine. In his first start, he took a no-no through 5 innings, and just allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks. A very good spot start. Last time against the Angels, not so much. He allowed 6 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks, with 2 homers allowed in the game. He was not exactly helped by Collmenter, who allowed all 3 of his inherited runners to score, but an outing like that will not win many games. Judging by Webster's performance in spring training and Reno, I would expect a game closer to the Angels start than the Giants one.

If you can tell me with a straight face that you knew the name David Hale and could give me a little bit of info about him before reading this, I'll give you 5 bucks. In 5 starts this year, Hale has been mediocre, never allowing less than 2 runs, but never exceeding 5. According to pitchf/x, Hale is a fastball, curve, change-up guy, none of which are overpowering. I would expect a decent start from Hale, where he goes about 6 innings and gives up 3 or 4 runs. This game is a toss-up in my eyes.

Game 3: Rubby de la Rosa (6-3, 4.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) vs Jorge de la Rosa (4-3, 5.47 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)

After having a battle of the Andersons with the Dodgers earlier in the year, it's time for THE BATTLE OF THE DE LA ROSAS! In this corner, we have Mr. Inconsistency, Rubby de la Rosa. It seems that the key for Rubby is not allowing the longball. There have been 5 times this year he did not allow a homer. In four of those five starts, he allowed 1 run or less and went at least 7 innings. I fear we will see bad Rubby in this one though, as Coors will make him very prone to homers.

In the Rockies corner, we have Jorge de la Rosa. Since coming of the DL near the beginning of the season, he has been very okay. His ERA is inflated by his first start where he just lasted 2 innings and gave up 9 runs, but even if you remove that start it doesn't look to good. He has shown signs of turning it around with 2 of his last 3 starts going 7 innings and 2 or less runs, but Friday's starts against MIlwaukee was very rocky (ha rockies pun) where he lasted 5 innings and allowed 6 runs on 11 hits. I'm giving Arizona the edge in this one.

X-Factors

I believe that this is the same X-Factor as last week, but I'm gonna stick with it. Diamondbacks starting pitching is the key to this series. We know how good it can be. Just a matter of consistency now.

For Colorado, their X-Factor is also starting pitching. The offense is capable, but the pitching puts them in such large holes which nothing could get them out of.

Series Prediction

I would predict that the Diamondbacks win 2 of 3 against a poor Rockies team, but that would mean that they get to a .500 record, and we all know that that is impossible.