The Rockies are red hot right now, winning seven of their last eight games. This includes going 5-1 against the two league champions last year, Cleveland and Chicago. Now, the Rockies finish their seven game road trip with a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Expect to see a great outfield battle between Charlie Blackmon and Andrew McCutchen.
Chuck Nasty has been sensational. With a .337 batting average and 15 home runs, Blackmon has set out to be one of the best outfielders in all of baseball. He has been able to get on base phenomenally well, along with having above average power. Remind you of anyone? Try the 2013 and 2014 Andrew McCutchen, who averaged 23 home runs along with a .316 batting average in those two years. This year, Blackmon is on pace to shatter those numbers. While McCutchen isn’t in quite the form he used to be, it will still be fun to watch someone who dominated not too long ago against someone who is dominating right now.
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Blackmon has not faced Jameson Taillon or Chad Kuhl, the probable pitchers for game one and three. However, he is 6 for 12 against Gerrit Cole. I would expect he will continue to have a hot bat in these games. On the other hand, Andrew McCutchen has not seen any of the Rockies starters. Freeland, Chatwood, and Marquez may not be the best starters in the rotation, but they should do really well against McCutchen.
Why the Rockies need to take advantage of the easier series.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 28-35, last in their division. Essentially, they should be considered a team the Rockies can sweep. Especially, with how hot the bats are right now. The Rockies, at 41-24, are only 1.5 games ahead of the Dodgers and two games ahead of Arizona. Sweeping the Pirates gives the Rockies the potential to go up to a four-game lead. That is given the Dodgers get swept by Cleveland and the Diamondbacks lose both games to Detroit. Realistically, this could put the Rockies two or three games ahead in the division.
The Rockies are just seven games away from having back-to-back series’s against Arizona and Los Angeles. If they can sweep Pittsburgh and maybe win three of four against San Francisco, they would put themselves in a position to have room for mistakes. They could lose a series to either team and still lead the division.
The Rockies will continue their hot streak. They will sweep Pittsburgh to give them 10 wins in 11 games.
The Rockies have a red hot offense right now. They also have solid pitching and an elite closer in Greg Holland, who may just be the greatest Rockies closer ever. The Pirates simply just do not have enough offensive firepower to combat the Rockies.
However, I do not see any games being close. Just like they did to Cleveland and a few times to Chicago. The offense will put the game away in the first couple innings. This will be followed by solid pitching giving the Pirates no chance whatsoever to get back in the game.