Colorado Rockies: series preview with the Los Angeles Dodgers

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 05: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #35 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on August 5, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 05: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #35 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on August 5, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies start a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight in Los Angeles to start what is the most important road trip of the year. After this series, the Rockies will face the Diamondbacks for four games next week.

The Rockies head out on the road to face the reeling Los Angeles Dodgers. Here are some things to look for in the series.

The Dodgers have been terrible lately

Since August 26, the Dodgers have been a disaster. They have lost 11 of the 12 games since then and their one win was with Clayton Kershaw on the mound and they won 1-0 against the Padres. The pitching staff has an ERA of 5.40 in those games. The offense is hitting .195/.261/.306 and they’ve been averaging 2.2 runs in that span.

On August 25, the D’Backs were behind the Dodgers by 21 games. With the Dodgers being awful and the D’Backs winning 13 straight, the Dodgers lead has been halved as it is 10 1/2 games now.

The Rockies must pounce on this opportunity to, at least, maintain the second wild card spot as the closest team is the Cardinals and they are only two games back.

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Pitching Matchups

On Thursday, the probable pitchers will be Clayton Kershaw and Jon Gray. Kershaw is 16-2 with a 1.95 ERA. He was on the DL for over a month and he has only made one start since his return. In the only win for the Dodgers of late, he went six innings only allowing two hits and no runs.

In his past three starts, Gray has an ERA of 2.55 so it looks to be a potential pitchers duel.

On Friday, the scheduled starters are Yu Darvish and German Marquez. In five starts since being traded to the Dodgers, he is 2-2 with a 4.50 so he has been less than stellar.

Marquez has been good all season but in his past five starts, he hasn’t been great. He’s 1-2 with a 5.72 and a .304 opponent batting average in that span.

Saturday’s scheduled starters are Alex Wood and Chad Bettis. Wood is 14-2 with a 2.57 ERA. In his past three starts, he is 0-1 with a 3.79 ERA.

Bettis is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 5 starts. However, in his past three starts, he is 0-2 with a 7.63 ERA and he hasn’t gone more than 5 1/3 innings in any of the starts.

On Sunday, the Dodgers scheduled starter is Rich Hill and the Rockies haven’t announced their starter. Hill is 9-7 with 3.67 ERA. In his past three starts (including the game against the Pirates in which he nearly through a perfect game and a no-hitter), he is 0-3 with a 4.34 ERA.

Final Thoughts

The Dodgers bullpen in September (in which they are ) have an ERA of 7.82. They were much better before their recent skid but the Rockies, if they plan on winning the series, need to get to the bullpen early and pound their pitching staff, in general. The pitching, obviously, needs to hold up to win the series but since the Dodger’s offense has been terrible lately, the Rockies may be able to hold them to their recent skid.

Next: Ian Desmond named Roberto Clemente Award nominee

Nonetheless, depending on how the Rockies play in this series and the next with the D’Backs, we will know if this has been a make or break season for the team.

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