Colorado Rockies series preview: the finale of the regular season

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies yells at a fan sitting by the on-deck circle after hitting a three run home run off of Jake Barrett #33 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Chase Field on September 11, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies yells at a fan sitting by the on-deck circle after hitting a three run home run off of Jake Barrett #33 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Chase Field on September 11, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies enter the final three games of the regular season by facing the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. The Rockies are two games up on the Milwaukee Brewers and if the Rockies win and Brewers lose to the Reds tonight, the Rockies could punch their ticket to Phoenix as they would clinch the second National League Wild Card.

The Colorado Rockies will start what is the most important series of the regular season. They will wrap up the regular season by facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Here are some things to look for in the series.

Probable Starting Pitchers

On Friday, the Rockies will face Hyun-jin Ryu. He is 5-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 24 games (23 starts). Since his clunker of a start August 30, Ryu has not allowed more than an earned run in any of his three September starts. However, he has only made it more than five innings in one of the three starts. In one of the two starts, he was removed after 4 2/3 innings because he was at 98 pitches and in his most recent start, he was removed in the third inning after a left forearm injury.

He will face Chad Bettis. After a good start to his shortened season, in his past six starts, he has not gone more than 5 1/3 innings pitched. In that span, he has an ERA of 7.82 and an opponent batting average of .318.

Saturday’s probable starting pitchers

On Saturday, the Rockies will face Clayton Kershaw. He’s 18-4 with a 2.21 ERA in 26 starts. He has not been as good lately as in two of his last four starts, he has allowed four earned runs (one of the games was against the Rockies on September 7). His ERA in that span is 3.80 and batters are hitting .286 off him.

He will face German Marquez. He is 11-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 28 starts. In five September starts, he has an ERA of 5.47 and batters are hitting .336 against him in that span.

Sunday

On Sunday, neither team has announced their probable starter. Obviously, this is because neither team knows what situation they will be in. For the Rockies, it depends on if they have clinched the Wild Card or not. For the Dodgers, it partially depends on whether or not they have sealed home field for the all of the playoffs.

If the Dodgers lose every game in the series and the Cleveland Indians sweeps the Chicago White Sox (which is a real possibility considering how hot Cleveland has been and how bad the White Sox have been all season), the Indians would then win home field advantage for the entirety of the postseason.

Also, depending on the situation for the Rockies, you could see a lot of the regular starters taking a day off on Sunday for a breather. Obviously, this would only be the case if the Rockies would have clinched the second Wild Card by then.

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Final Thoughts

The Rockies need to lay on the pedal in this series. Obviously, they want to secure their spot in the playoffs but if they get passed the Diamondbacks and into the NLDS, they will face the Dodgers. The Rockies have already faced them plenty of times throughout the season as they 9-7 against the Dodgers this year.

If they sweep the series, it should help build some momentum into the Wild Card game and, potentially, into the NLDS. If all of that happens, they will also build up confidence on three fronts: in finishing the season strong, beating the Diamondbacks, and having a good record against the Dodgers.

Next: Some notes on the Wild Card Game on Wednesday

The Rockies swept the Dodger Stadium in four games from September 7 through September 10. If a sweep happens this weekend, they would have won the last seven against the Dodgers. That would put their confidence through the roof and potentially, it could be enough to advance to the NLCS.

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