Colorado Rockies series preview: A good time to build some confidence

DENVER, CO - MAY 10: Starting pitcher German Marquez #48 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on May 10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MAY 10: Starting pitcher German Marquez #48 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on May 10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies just completed a six game homestand against the Los Angeles Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers and they were only able to go 2-4. However, starting tonight, the Rockies head out on a nine game roadtrip and it will be a time for them to shine.

Tonight, the Rockies will face the San Diego Padres in the first of a nine game roadtrip. They will only face the Padres on Monday and Tuesday before having an unorthodox off-day on Wednesday to head to San Francisco. For the two games with the Padres, there are a few things to watch for.

The Padres starting pitchers

On Monday, the Padres will have left-hander Joey Lucchesi on the mound. The 24-year old rookie is 3-2 on the season with a 2.98 ERA in eight starts. Two of those starts came against the Rockies (on April 5 and April 10) and the Rockies were baffled by the lefty. In 11 innings, Lucchesi has not allowed an earned run (but he did allow two unearned runs) but he only gave up five hits and he walked four. The Rockies had a slash line of .139/.225/.278 against him in those two starts.

The Padres starter on Tuesday is slated to be former Rockie Jordan Lyles. If you remember his tenure with the Rockies, it might surprise you that Lyles has an ERA of 3.28 on the season (his ERA with the Rockies last season, before being released, was nearly 7). He has only made one start this season, and that was on May 10 against the Cardinals. He went five innings allowing five hits, two runs (one earned), walking one, and striking out six. He has appeared 14 games this season and four of them were against the Rockies. In those four games, he has an ERA of 2.84 in 6 1/3 innings of work, allowing four hits, two runs (both earned), two walks, and five strikeouts.

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A rebound for the Rockies starters

The Rockies will have Tyler Anderson and German Marquez going for them in the series. For Anderson, his last start came against the Rockies 8-0 loss to the Angels. He was only able to go five innings, allowing six hits, four runs (all earned), one walk, and he struck out only three.

For Marquez, he has had a rough season, in general, as he enters with an ERA of 5.35. Three of his eight starts, including his last one against the Brewers, he has gone less than five innings while also giving up at least five earned runs. On Thursday, he went 4 2/3 innings, giving up a staggering 12 hits and five runs (all earned). He also walked three batters.

Both Anderson and Marquez have great opportunities to regain their form against the Padres. They will be pitching in a pitchers’ park with a subpar team and…

The Padres have a subpar offense

The Padres offense enters the series with a .226/.297/.362 slash line, which is 14th, 15th, and 14th in the National League. They have an OPS+ of 85, which is only slightly better than the Rockies when park adjusted (the Rockies are at 82).

The Padres only have three regulars who have an OPS+ above league average. First baseman Eric Hosmer has an OPS+ of 130. However, he will enter the series in a slump as he has two hits in his last 24 at-bats, which spans his last six games. Third baseman Christian Villanueva has an OPS+ of 125. He is also in a really bad slump as he doesn’t have a hit in his last 33 at bats. His last hit was on May 1. The other is outfielder Franchy Cordero, who has an OPS+ of 132. He has been hotter than the other two, of late, as he is 10 for his last 30 at bats with a double, a triple, and 4 RBI.

Their bullpen has been really good

Entering the series, their bullpen has an ERA of 3.17, which is sixth best in baseball. They have five relievers with 14 or more appearances with an ERA of 3.04 or less and four with an ERA of 2.29 or less. So, the Rockies offense needs to do damage early on the Padres starting pitching because the bullpen has been so good.

Next: A look at the Rockies in 2017 v. 2018 by the numbers

Monday’s game will start at 8:10 PM MT and Tuesday’s game will start at 1:40 PM MT. Stay tuned for coverage of the series, both here and on our Twitter page, @RoxPileFS.

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