Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Dates: Thursday, September 7, 2017 – Sunday, September 10, 2017
Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Despite lackluster play for the entire second half of the season, the Rockies remain a couple games up in the NL Wild Card picture. Making the Wild Card was a virtual lock a couple months ago. Now, while they still have the edge, it’s anything but a sure-thing. The bullpen has emerged as an area of concern alongside the youthful rotation. The offense can score runs, but it still boils down to Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball. The Dodgers have also only one a single game in its last dozen. That right there goes to show just how great this team was playing. They dominated the opposition through the first 125 games, but then went cold. This team is too good to fall this bad. The pitching rotation is so deep. With so many quality starters, it’s taken pressure off the pen and the bullpen—until recently—has thrived. Overall, the pen has the best ERA in the NL. Since most of the bats have gone cold, there’s a chance for the Rockies, but all these great offensive players cannot stay cold for too long.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Thursday, September 7, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( MLB Network )
Jon Gray ( Rockies ) vs. Clayton Kershaw ( Dodgers )
Injuries cost Jon Gray plenty of starts. He’s started 15 games is 6-4 with a 4.26 ERA. The righty has thrown a string of three straight quality starts together. He’s allowed three runs of fewer in eight straight contests. Gray isn’t a dominating pitcher, but he’s shown recently that he’s dependable. He’ll give you a quality start and he’ already thrown well against the Dodgers, giving up one runs in 5.1 innings in his only start against L.A. Of course, that came in April.
The best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw has started only 22 games, but already has tallied 4.9 rWAR. Despite the lost starts, the lefty has thrown 147.1 innings as he always goes deep in the game. He’s leading the NL in wins with 16 and ERA at 1.95. He’s also first in FIP and strikeout per walk ratio. Since coming off the DL, Kershaw has made three starts and has yet to give up a run. He’s allowed nine hits and two walks in 15 innings and is 2-0 while the rest of the team is losing.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Friday, September 8, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
German Marquez ( Rockies ) vs. Yu Darvish ( Dodgers )
German Marquez just keeps on keeping on for the Rockies. The Colorado rookie is 10-6 with a 4.26 ERA, having a great season for anyone pitching half of his games at Coors. Marquez, however, has slumped recently. After six straight quality starts, Marquez has only two in his last five games, allowing 18 runs 28.1 innings.
In five games with the Dodgers, Yu Darvish has been the definition of mediocre. He’s pitching to a 4.50 ERA. He’s thrown only 26 innings while allowing 30 hits and 10 walks. He is striking out 11.8 per nine innings, but he’s also walked 3.5 per contest. Over his career, Darvish has established himself as a better pitcher against righties than lefties. Just this year, he’s posted a .617 opponent OPS against right-handed batters while lefties have a .820 OPS against him. That’s a great matchup for Blackmon.
Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, September 9, 2017, 6:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Chad Bettis ( Rockies ) vs. Alex Wood ( Dodgers )
Given everything he’s gone through, the Chad Bettis story is one of the better—albeit underrated—ones of the season. The righty bounces back from testicular cancer and throws 14 innings while allowing only three runs combined in his first two outings since getting backn on the bump. For as great as the first two starts where, Bettis has allowed 13 runs in his last 15.1 innings pitched.
Alex Wood has really come into his own. He’s 14-2 with a 2.57 ERA and didn’t even start the year in the rotation. While Wood’s been a consistently strong option since taking grabbing hold of a rotation stop, he’s been more beatable lately. He’s allowed seven runs in his last two games, spanning 12 frames. This isn’t the first bump in the road. Wood tossed back-to-back questionable performances in July before three straight strong starts. He’s regressed again in his last two starts, but has had a great deal of success against Colorado. In two 2017 starts against the Rockies, Wood has allowed one run in 12 innings, striking out 17 Rockies.
Game 4 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1:10 p.m. ET ( TBS )
Tyler Chatwood ( Rockies ) vs. Rich Hill ( Dodgers )
Tyler Chatwood would be in line to make this start after getting his first start since the beginning of August this past Tuesday, but he’s not official. If Chatwood does start, he’s got some good numbers against the Dodgers. Justin Turner is only 2-for-14 against Chatwood. Joc Pederson has had the best career numbers at 5-for-10 with three extra base hits. Curtis Granderson is 2-for-8 against Chatwood, but both of those hits were homers.
Rich Hill has lost three straight starts as the Dodgers have struggled, one of which coming after nine no-hit innings. He’s been a bad luck loser. In his career, Hill has only faced the Rockies three times. In two of those three starts, Hill took the loss. He’s allowed 15 runs in 15.1 innings.