The Colorado Rockies have been sensational this season, and continued their dominance with two straight routes against the Cleveland Indians. Now, the Rockies face the struggling Cubs on the road, in a four game set. Here is how the series will play out
The Cubs will take advantage of the pitching mismatch to take games one and two
Unfortunately for the Rockies, German Marquez will take an extra day off due to his bruised right thumb from last start. This will put an inconsistent Tyler Chatwood up against Jon Lester. The Rockies will struggle to put up runs on the road, while Kris Bryant and company will take advantage of the lesser pitching. Ultimately, the game should be a high scoring affair, in which the Cubs take the first game.
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Game two will feature German Marquez against Kyle Hendricks. After so many consecutive high scoring games, the Rockies will have a bad offensive night. Hendricks will allow three runs or less. Marquez will allow a couple runs here and there, contributing to the Cubs taking a victory by a couple runs.
Nolan Arenado will prove he is the best third baseman in baseball.
As of right now, Kris Bryant is the starting third baseman in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game. However, Nolan Arenado is statistically much better. Kris Bryant is batting .268 with 13 home runs and 50 strikeouts this season. What makes Bryant so much more appealing is the fact that his .389 on base percentage, coming off of a World Series victory. But compare that to Arenado, with a .291 average, 14 home runs, only 44 strikeouts and a .354 on base percentage, and the players seem neck and neck for the All-Star spot. Putting defense into the equation, Arenado is the undisputed best defensive third baseman in the game, and quite possibly the best defensive player in all of baseball.
Arenado has the chance to outplay Kris Bryant under a national audience.
Colorado will win games three and four to finish the series at 2-2.
Jeff Hoffman will be facing Eddie Butler in game three of the series. Hoffman, thus far, has put on a show for Rockies fans, making me rethink the Troy Tulowitski trade. That trade really was a Rockies win. He will shut down the Cubs once again. Meanwhile, Eddie Butler will come back to play his former team for the first time. I do not expect him to be ready to face one of the best and hottest offenses in baseball. This is where Arenado will have a flawless day on both sides of the field. I also expect Ian Desmond to have a really good game against a pitcher he has always done well against.
In 2015, there is no doubt the Cubs would have the upper hand in the pitching matchup in game four, as Jake Arrieta will be facing Antonio Senzatela. However, the 2015 National League Cy Young has been awful this year for the below .500 Cubbies. Meanwhile, Senzatela is in the running for Rookie of the Year award, and is the best starting pitcher for the Rockies without Jon Gray. I would plan on him dominating the Cubs’ ice cold lineup, while Arenado, Blackmon and company have a huge offensive day, scoring in the double digits.
The Rockies look prime to be one of the best teams in baseball. Going 2-2 in this series will keep them in the lead for the NL division title, along with helping Arenado become the starting third baseman in the All-Star game.