Colorado Rockies series preview: a three game series with the Royals

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 11: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 11: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Jon Gray of the Colorado Rockies
MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 11: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch during the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Tonight, the Rockies start a six-game road trip with the first leg taking them to Kansas City, Missouri for a three-game interleague series with the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals.

The Rockies will be facing the Kansas City Royals for the start of a three-game series tonight at 6:15 MST. Here are some things to look for during the three-game series.

Probable Starting Pitchers

On Tuesday, the probable starter for the Rockies is Jon Gray. On the season, he is 5-2 with a 4.74 ERA in 12 starts. In his past five starts, he is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA. He hasn’t allowed more than in any of those starts. However, during that period, batters have hit .270 off him, which is a bit higher than you’d like.

He’ll be facing Royals ace Danny Duffy. He is 7-8 with a 3.82 ERA in 20 starts. However, in three starts in August, he has struggled as he’s 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA. In July, he was much better as in six starts, he had an ERA of 3.20.

Wednesday’s probable starters

Wednesday’s match up will be between Antonio Senzatela and Ian Kennedy. Senzatela will be making his return to the starting rotation and he’ll be doing it with a changed pitch repertoire (as we noted yesterday in this article). He is taking the rotation spot of Jeff Hoffman, who was recently sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque. On the season, he is 10-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 25 appearances (18 of which have been starts). He hasn’t made back-to-back starts since July 18 and 24.

Ian Kennedy has not had a great season for the Royals. He is 4-9 with a 5.06 ERA in 23 starts. In four starts in August, he has been even worse as he is 0-3 with an 8.53 ERA and a .342 opponent’s batting average. In two of the four starts, he has gone four innings or less and he has given up more than four earned runs in three of starts so the Rockies will have to tap into his weakness.

Thursday’s probable starters

The series finale has German Marquez and Jake Junis as probable starters (RosterResource.com has Jason Vargas as the scheduled starter but MLB.com has Junis).

Marquez is 10-5 with a 4.24 ERA. In seven straight starts through August 8, he had allowed three runs or less and he went six innings or more in six of the seven starts. However, in his past two starts, he has done neither and his ERA is 8.10 in those starts.

Jake Junis is 5-2 with a 4.99 in 12 appearances (8 of which have been starts). The rookie left-hander has spent a couple stints in each Triple-A and in the major leagues. In his past two starts, he’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a .160 opponent batting average but his most recent appearance was in relief and he went 2 1/3 innings and he gave up five hits and four runs against the Cleveland Indians.

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