Cleveland Indians at Colorado Rockies: 3 things you should know

May 26, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; An overall view of Coors Field as fans react as the Colorado Rockies score in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; An overall view of Coors Field as fans react as the Colorado Rockies score in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies will host one of the toughest opponents they will see all year: The Cleveland Indians. Cleveland (29-26) is coming off a World Series appearance, but have struggled through the first third of the season. Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies (36-23) look to continue their dominance in attempt to win their first division title in franchise history.

With that in mind, here are three things you need to know heading into the two-game series at Coors Field that starts on Tuesday.

The games will be decided in the 9th inning, where the game will come down to Holland vs. Miller.

The Colorado Rockies have perhaps the best reliever in baseball: Greg Holland. He is almost guaranteed the best in the National League. However, the Indians have the undisputed best reliever in the American League. His name is Andrew Miller.

Through 27.1 innings, Miller has continued his dominance from last year, allowing only one earned run and two runs total. Meanwhile, Holland has put on a show, locking down 21 saves and only three earned runs in 21.2 innings of play. It would be great to put these two up against each other, and see what offense breaks through late in the game.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

The starters for the two-game set are Colorado’s Antonio Senzatela against Mike Clevinger, followed by Trevor Bauer against Colorado’s German Marquez. The similarities between the two pitchers in both matches are uncanny. I would also say the offenses on both sides are both equally good. Whether or not there are a lot of runs scored, expect to see the score being only a one- or two-run difference going into the final innings.

Expect to see a lot of offense between these two teams.

In a series stocked with superstar sluggers going up against inexperienced starters, the score should be pretty high-scoring.

It’s pretty simple: The Rockies have two MVP candidates in Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Supporting them, we see NL batting champion DJ LeMahieu, and sluggers like Trevor Story, Carlos Gonzalez, and Gerardo Parra. Meanwhile, the Indians will be starting Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Santana … you get the idea. Both teams have star-studded offenses, while also starting young, inexperienced pitchers.

I have faith in Senzatela and Marquez. By next year, they could join Jon Gray in a dominant three-man rotation. But this is the first time either will be playing in June during an MLB season. Most rookie pitchers really begin to struggle at this time of the year. Add all this to playing at Coors Field, and you could have a major problem when it comes to keeping the runs low.

The Rockies will win both games, unless the Indians find a way to discover a weakness in their game.

There’s a reason the Rockies are a top 5 MLB team this season. They have an outstanding defense, along with solid pitching, an elite lineup, and a shutdown bullpen. While they still are not the absolute best team in baseball, it is hard to find any sort of weakness to exploit in the Rockies organization.

The Indians took two of three against the Astros in late April, and later swept them in mid-late May. Other than that, the majority of the Tribe’s victories have been over mediocre teams. You could make an argument about how they have played well against the Minnesota Twins.

Next: A bandwagon fan's guide to Colorado's 2017 season

Simply put, the Rockies are a much better team. Cleveland has just not proved this season they can beat elite teams. They have Houston’s number, but the Indians are going to need to find another way to beat Colorado. Right now, I would expect the Rockies to come out and win two high-scoring, close ball games to increase their small lead in the NL West.