Seems kind of unusual to me for the Diamondbacks not to face the Rockies until after the calendar turns to May, but here we are. As Jack pointed out on Twitter, Colorado has turned things around since their 3-12 start. In the 17 games since, they’ve gone 12-5, the same record as the Dbacks have in the same span of games. However, I’d remind you that the Yankees were 9-1 coming into the series at Chase this week, and we know how that turned out for them.
Game 1: Robbie Ray (1-1, 4.18 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. Tyler Anderson (0-2, 11.34 ERA, 2.16 WHIP)
And you thought we had it bad with Zach Godley... Anderson has pitched four times this season. For those four starts, he gave up 5, 6, 5, and 5 ER, only making it five full innings once. A quick Google search tells me that as of two days ago, Bud Black had confirmed that Anderson would be making the start on Friday, but implied that he was on shaky ground going forward. Hopefully, the Diamondbacks can capitalize on the situation.
Ray was finally able to pick up the win his last time out. He made it five innings, and only gave up three runs. It might be a bit of an uphill climb for him, as he hasn’t been great against the Rockies in his career. He’s recorded a 5.77 ERA against them in his career, though that number does drop a run and a half when you only look at his starts in Coors.
Game 2: Luke Weaver (2-1, 3.73 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs. Kyle Freeland (2-4, 4.91 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
On April 22nd (retro to April 19th), the Rockies put Freeland on the IL for a blister on one of his fingers. He made his return earlier this week, and it wasn’t great. He gave up five runs on six hits to Milwaukee and took the loss. However, before he had gone on the IL, he had really only had one bad start, a seven run outing against Atlanta. Probably can expect a better outing than either of those as he finishes shaking the rust off after his injury stint.
Weaver’s last trip to the mound was marred by a couple of home runs, which were the only runs he gave up in his short, 4.1 inning game. It’s his only multi-home run game he’s had so far, but of course it is still early. Hopefully it was more of a fluke than anything, as everyone knows Coors Field is one of the worst places to have an issue with the long ball.
Game 3: Zack Greinke (5-1, 3.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) vs. German Marquez (3-2, 2.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
Marquez has struggled at home this season. Opposing hitters have a batting average so far of .342, good for an ERA 5.29. He is a very good pitcher, though, who has a 1.55 ERA away from Denver. While he has struggled so far at home, there is no reason he couldn’t put up a strong game, even with the insanity of Coors working against him.
Greinke is Greinke. He’s just one of those players who is just kind of hard to write about, simply because you know what you’re going to get nine times out of ten, so I’ll say this: look for his hitting. Since his big game against San Diego, he’s gone 2-for-10 with four strikeouts. Look to see if he’ll turn it around at a hitter friendly ballpark, against a pitcher who is struggling at home.
I like the Dbacks for this series. Friday’s game presents a real chance for the offense to have a big game, and I think they have a strong chance to take at least one of the other games. If I had to pick one, I’d say they stand the best chance to take Sunday’s game, though overall, Weaver has been strong and could easily lead the team to another victory, especially if there are still some cobwebs lingering for Freeland. I’ll stick to a prediction of two wins, however. Regardless, the Diamondbacks have a good chance to put some more ground between them and a team that was expected to be one of the top teams in the NL West this season.