For the Colorado Rockies to have any shot of winning the National League West, pitchers Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson have to pitch better when visiting two division rivals.
Jon Gray at Dodgers Stadium
Jon Gray is finally settling into the ace role the Rockies wanted when they selected him third overall in 2013. However, Gray still has work to do to cement himself in that position. The right-handed pitcher has made four starts when the team visits the reigning National League pennant winners. Gray has never gone more than six innings in Los Angeles, holding a 1-3 record and a 4.35 in those starts. In September of 2016, he struck out 10 Dodgers, but due to his pitch count he only went four innings. The Dodgers have never “lit up” Gray. However, to be an “ace” for a playoff contending team, he needs to go deeper in starts in the city of angels.
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A starting point for Gray is trying to shut down the Dodgers’ superstar shortstop Corey Seager. Seager is 5-for-13 in his career against Gray, including a home run and hit by a pitch twice.
To take hold of the NL West, Gray will need to step up and take it from the team that’s won it the last five years.
Tyler Anderson at Chase Field
There’s a good chance Tyler Anderson makes a start for the Rockies during their season-opening series in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He and Rockies fans hope it goes better than his other two career starts at Chase Field.
Anderson has given up 11 earned runs over 9.1 innings combined in those previous two starts in the desert. However, there may be hope that Anderson may be on the right path to lowering his 7.43 career ERA at Chase Field. In a non-start on September 11, 2017 against the D-Backs, the left-hander tossed four innings allowing just a hit.
Gray and Anderson are vital to the Rockies making another playoff and possibly a division title run. The importance for pitching in these two road spots are huge for the Rockies in 2018.