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Series Preview # 27 : Diamondbacks vs Rockies

Optimistically I predict that the Diamondbacks’ batters will average at least 4 runs per game at Chase, which could be good enough to win 3 of 4 games at Chase.

“Kuhl uniforms, Bruh.” — therealramona
“Kuhl uniforms, Bruh.” — therealramona
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Wouldn’t it be cool if each Diamondback hit as many RBI’s in this 4-game series as their career homers against these starters? Career homers against Gomber, Kuhl, Freeland, and Marquez follow:

  • 5 Christian Walker
  • 5 Ketel Marte
  • 4 David Peralta
  • 2 Carson Kelly
  • 1 Daulton Varsho

Let’s review this season against the Rockies.

  • In the first series, the Diamondbacks won 2 of 3 games at Chase, while averaging 3.0 runs scored per game. My series preview correctly predicted the Diamondbacks would win the series.
  • In the second series, the Diamondbacks won 1 of 3 games at Coors, while averaging 7.0 runs scored per game. The early 5-run lead indicated that the third game was winnable by the Diamondbacks. The last half-inning ended with Daulton Varsho at the plate and the bases loaded. Jack’s series preview provided insights when he looked under the hood at two “fairly evenly matched teams.”
  • This series includes 4 games at Chase. Optimistically I predict that the Diamondbacks’ batters will average at least 4 runs per game at Chase, which will be good enough to win 3 of 4 games at Chase.

Brendan Rodgers struggled in April and now he is amazing.

After struggling to a negative 22 OPS+ in his first 58 PAs, his OPS+ rose to 99 for the season. His batting in the first week of June was impressive. He hit three homers in one game; His third homer was a walk-off homer. In 2012 Joey Votto was the previous batter to do that in the National League per Skyler Timmins of SB Nation.

After struggling in April, his 9 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) at second base ranked him second in the Majors. His defense at second base is great.

“I’m in the process of changing some stuff. I [had] probably one of the worst first months a player could ever really have and it was frustrating.” — Brendan Rodgers

“[Brendan Rodgers] He’s one of those players who is extremely passionate about his craft.” — Kyle Freeland

The Pitching Matchups.

The Closers are great!

  • The Rockies’ closer is Daniel Bard. This season, he has 16 saves in 18 opportunities.
  • The Diamondbacks’ closer is Mark Melancon. This season, he has 11 saves in 13 opportunities.

Thursday 6:40 PM Arizona time, Austin Gomber (73 ERA+) vs Dallas Keuchel (44 ERA+).

The Diamondbacks with the best career OPS against Austin Gomber follow:

  • Ketel Marte, 2.500 OPS in 6 PAs.
  • Josh Rojas, 1.600 OPS in 5 PAs.
  • Jake Hager, 1.500 OPS in 2 PAs.
  • Christian Walker, 1.400 OPS in 5 PAs.
  • Cooper Hummel, 1.333 OPS in 3 PAs.

“Obviously, you [speaking of when pitchers slump, including himself] get tired of pitching bad, right?” — Austin Gomber, June 2022

I am excited to see Dallas Keuchel in his third start as a Diamondback. Likely, pitching at Chase will show his talent much better than pitching at Coors. For a review of his first two starts, see this AZ Snake Pit article.

Friday Chad Kuhl (124 ERA+) vs Zac Gallen (121 ERA+).

Last week, Chad Kuhl allowed 5 earned runs in 5 innings; 4 of the 5 runs resulted from a David Peralta grand slam. I’m looking forward to seeing David Peralta at the plate!

The Diamondbacks with the best career OPS against Chad Kuhl follow:

  • Ketel Marte, 2.500 OPS in 4 PAs.
  • David Peralta, .833 OPS in 12 PAs.

Despite recent Diamondback success, Chad Kuhl is not a bad pitcher. On 27 June he pitched a complete game shutout against the Dodgers.

“It [the shutout] was amazing. Him [Kuhl] and [catcher] Díaz were connected. He threw the ball really well against a good lineup.” — Jose Iglesias

Zac Gallen has electric stuff and the highest average game score in the Diamondbacks rotation. This game is advantage Diamondbacks.

Saturday Kyle Freeland (107 ERA+) vs Madison Bumgarner (110 ERA+).

The Diamondbacks with the best career OPS against Kyle Freeland follow:

  • Carson Kelly, 1.300 OPS in 12 PAs.
  • Daulton Varsho, 1.286 OPS in 7 PAs.
  • David Peralta, 1.033 OPS in 22 PAs.
  • Ketel Marte, 1.010 OPS in 38 PAs.
  • Christian Walker, .924 OPS in 24 PAs.

“Be very excited for the future [of the Rockies].” — Kyle Freeland

In his 29 June start, Madison Bumgarner allowed 1 earned run in 5 innings. If he continues to pitch like that, this game is advantage diamondbacks.

In his 4 July start, Madison Bumgarner allowed 3 earned runs in 5 innings. He was not satisfied with his pitching.

“I’m trying to figure out if it’s something [mechanical] and just not making the pitches, or if it’s mental trying to be too perfect with each one. I don’t know for sure, but we’re definitely going to try and rearrange that and fix it because [my pitching results matter;] I’m not getting paid to go five innings every time.” — Madison Bumgarner

Sunday German Marquez (80 ERA+) vs TBA (Tyler Gilbert (61 ERA+) or Thomas Henry ).

On 29 June, German Marquez exited the game early with a cut on his thumb. Apparently it was not significant because on 5 July he pitched 6 innings.

“Overall, the ability [of German Marquez] to use the fastball with movement paid off [in his 24 June start].” — Bud Black, Rockies Manager

The Diamondbacks with the best career OPS against German Marquez follow:

  • Josh Rojas, 1.667 OPS in 3 PAs.
  • Alek Thomas, 1.000 OPS in 3 PAs.
  • David Peralta, .987 OPS in 50 PAs.
  • Christian Walker, .889 OPS in 18 PAs.
  • Ketel Marte, .828 OPS in 38 PAs.

This season Tyler Gilbert is a spot starter, with one start in each of April, May, and June. On 5 July, Tyler Gilbert was called back to make a spot start. He allowed one earned run in 3.2 innings. If he pitches this game, it will indicate that he is more than a spot started and he is part of the rotation.

I am curious to see Thomas Henry’s first start in the Majors. My view of Thomas Henry is in this AZ Snake Pit Roundtable. A short summary follows:

“Although by some measures his pitching seemingly improved in 2022 AAA compared to 2021 AA, the results reflected luck as much as skill. Nevertheless, Tommy Henry will thrive on adversity and so the experience in the Majors will be beneficial even if the results are less than we hoped for.” — Makakilo