Colorado Rockies: Mid-season ranking of the 2018 starters

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CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Rockies 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Rockies 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 18: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies pithces against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on May 18, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 18: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies pithces against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the first inning at AT&T Park on May 18, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

1. Kyle Freeland

Who would have expected that the hometown kid would be the best pitcher of this Rockies rotation in only his sophomore year?

Kyle Freeland is 7-6 with a 3.29 ERA. His ERA+ is 143.

What impresses me about Freeland is that he excels in all the areas the other pitchers struggle with: first inning, pitching at home and batter handedness.

The Rockies starting rotation is giving up .85 runs in the first inning. Without Freeland, that number would be well over one. In the first, batters are hitting a meager .164 against Freeland. His first inning ERA is 2.25.

Freeland also pitches exceptionally in his home state. He actually has a better ERA at Coors than on the road. His home ERA is 2.95 while his road ERA is 3.50.

Many of the Rockies pitchers throw well against either right or left-handed batters but struggle against the other. Freeland pitches well against both lefties and righties. Lefties are hitting .232 and righties are hitting .244 against Freeland.

It’s what Freeland is doing this season that the rest of the Rockies rotation can’t that makes him the best pitcher in the rotation thus far in the 2018 season.

Next: Four quotes that explain a lot about the Rockies bullpen

In the second half of the season, will the pitchers that should be dominating like Gray and Marquez turn things around? Will the young pitchers of Freeland and Anderson continue to pitch beyond expectations?

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