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Series Preview #28: Diamondbacks vs. Rockies

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It’s hard to write a series preview when you’re favorite team doesn’t have a starting rotation...

 Fans watch from the outfield lawn seating area at Salt River Fields during the Cactus League spring training baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks with the Salt River Fields logo, an outline of mountains formed out of a snake, on the jumbotron behind them Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks decent into history continued over the past weekend. A four game series against the division-leading San Francisco Giants went about as well as could be expected, given the past results the team has put up. They wont the first game behind another strong performance from Merrill Kelly, but then proceeded to lose the next three in convincing fashion. They continue to be the worst team in baseball by a considerable margin, and they seem to have zero intention of letting go of that title any time in the immediate future.

One side effect of trying to be the worst team since the early 1900’s is that there is no one in the starting rotation at this point. This series, based off the last rotation, would be Merrill Kelly, Zach Gallen, and Ryan Butcher. However, just three days later, only one of those pitchers is still on the active roster, and thus aren’t probable pitchers for two out of the three games. In other words, enjoy this write up on Merrill Kelly and three Rockies pitchers.

Game 1: Merrill Kelly (5-7, 1.27 WHIP, 89 ERA+) vs Jon Gray

Merrill Kelly’s last start wasn’t his best, giving up three runs in seven innings. It was, however, far better than anything that any other pitcher in the rotation has been able to consistently give us this season. His home ERA is more than o runs lower than his road ERA, which bodes well for this start.

Jon Gray was put on the IL on June 5th for a right flexor strain and has made two starts since coming back. One was a scoreless, ten strikeout affair and the second wasn’t significantly worse. The first was at home, in and of itself impressive, while the second was on the road, where he’s (checks notes) actually been significantly worse. That’s odd. He has made one start at Chase this season, where he went six innings, gave up five runs, four earned, and only recorded three strikeouts.

Game 2: TBD vs Antonio Senzatela (2-7, 1.40 WHIP, 99 ERA+)

Senzatela is pretty much the embodiment of an average starter this season. His ERA+ is almost spot on average, his ERA is a tick above league average, and his FIP is a little below. He has faced the Diamondbacks three times this season, one of which was a fantastic eight inning scoreless gem at the beginning of the season. The other two were shorter, but still solid, holding the Diamondbacks to three runs in each of them. Much like Gray, his road ERA is a lot higher than his home ERA, so hopefully the Diamondbacks will be able to take advantage.

Game 3: TBD vs Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-5, 1.40 WHIP, 82 ERA+)

Gonzalez has only faced the Diamondbacks once this season. He recorded a no decision, but the Rockies ended up losing the game 8-4. Like the other two pitchers the Diamondbacks are going to face this series, his road ERA is about two and a half runs worse than his home ERA. After a rough stretch, his last couple games have been good outings of one and two earned runs each, repsectively.

Conclusion

I honestly think the Diamondbacks stand a decent chance this series. The Rockies have been almost as bad on the road as the Diamondbacks. That’s not to say the Diamondbacks have been good at home, but between Kelly starting Game 1 and a 50/50 chance with two starters who have struggled on the road in the other two games, I think they might just have a chance to win two out of three in this series. If I’m right, ya heard it here first. If not, I’ll delete this article.