Colorado Rockies: 3 necessities to win the series against the Giants

DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 05: Raimel Tapia the Colorado Rockies hits a 3 RBI triple in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on May 05, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 05: Raimel Tapia the Colorado Rockies hits a 3 RBI triple in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on May 05, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies are opening a series against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. The Giants are the only team below the Rockies in the National League West.

With that, the Colorado Rockies should be able to gain some ground on the Giants and, perhaps, some ground on the other three teams ahead of them in the division.

To that, there are three key things that the Rockies will need to do.

Continue the offensive onslaught

The Rockies offense has improved a lot in the month of May (hence, why you’ve seen a lot of taco’s recently).

In their five games in the month of May, the Rockies offense has averaged more than 8 runs a game (8.2 to be exact). They are hitting .274/.340/.492 in May compared to .232/.293/.404 slash line entering the month of May.

This has happened, by and large, because Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. Arenado has hit .478 with 3 homers and 6 RBI in five games in the month and he’s already raised his batting average 20 points on the season. Blackmon has hit .364 with with a homer and 5 RBI and 8 hits in the month thus far.

And on that that note…

Score early in the games

The Rockies will be facing the Giants ace, Madison Bumgarner, in the series opener on Tuesday but overall, the Giants rotation has not pitched well this year.

Bumgarner has been the best of the starters that the Rockies will face. He has an ERA of 3.92 (105 ERA+) and the other two starters, Derek Holland (who will be coming off the injured list) and Dereck Rodriguez (son of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez) each have ERA’s and FIP’s north of 5.00.

They will also want to score early because the Giants bullpen, at least thus far in the season, has been the team’s strength.

They have eight relievers on their active roster with an ERA of 3.75 or lower and four of those eight have an ERA of sub-3.00.

In fact, before their ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte (the only guy in their bullpen with an ERA higher than 3.75) allowed five runs out of the bullpen yesterday against the Cincinnati Reds, they had the second best bullpen ERA in baseball (second only to the Houston Astros with a 3.11 ERA). He very well could be the guy cut from the roster when Holland is activated on Wednesday.

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A good start from Kyle Freeland and the other starters

The Rockies Opening Day starter, Kyle Freeland, has struggled all season thus far and with the Giants on Wednesday, it should be a perfect game for the left-hander to gain some footing.

Why? Because the Giants offense is, simply put, not good.

They have two players (Buster Posey and Brandon Belt) who have more than 35 plate appearances with an OPS+ of 100 or better (league average) but neither of them are above 110 OPS+ so their best two batters are only slightly above league average right now.

Their offense is 28th in baseball in OPS+ at 70. For comparison, the Rockies offense is 25th in OPS+ at 77.

For the rest of the pitching staff, they have struggled in May as the Rockies are only 3-2 in the month and with an offense scoring more than 8 runs a games in the month, you can surmise that part of it is because the pitching staff. They have an ERA of 7.00 in the month and this is because the Rockies starters have an ERA of 9.12 with an average start of barely 5 innings.

Antonio Senzatela and Jon Gray will be starting on Tuesday and Wednesday before Freeland.

Senzatela and Gray have been the most consistent Rockies starters outside of German Marquez this season so especially because they are facing the Giants, this should be a series that the Rockies should win or even sweep.

Next. Colorado Rockies: Three interesting quotes we heard over the weekend. dark

The weather doesn’t look great for the series so stay tuned for our coverage from Coors Field, on the site and on Twitter (@RoxPileFS)

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