Entering the final week of the season, the Colorado Rockies are still holding off the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. The Rockies welcome in the Miami Marlins to Coors Field for a three-game series in the hopes of extending their two-game Wild Card lead.
GAME 1 DESPAIGNE VS. CHATWOOD
Odrisamer Despaigne will start this series for the Marlins. This is his seventh start of the season, and his sixth start in his last seven appearances. As a starter, Despaigne is only allowing a .133 average to right-handed batters since the All-Star Break, second in the MLB. When hitters are ahead in the count against Despaigne, success does not follow. As a starter, Despaigne has allowed an OPS of .363 when he’s behind in the count since the All-Star Break, best in the MLB. Despite his success of limiting batters to reach base, Despaigne does not have high strikeout totals. Despaigne has a strikeout rate of just 20.8 percent with two strikes since the All-Star Break, third lowest.
In his last appearance against the San Francisco Giants, Tyler Chatwood went six innings, giving up three earned runs. Just like Despaigne, Chatwood has been difficult on right-handed batters. Righties are just hitting .175 against Chatwood since the All-Star Break, 15th in the MLB among starters. However, when Chatwood throws a non-fastball, opposing hitters are all over it. Chatwood has allowed a slugging percentage of .640 on non-fastballs since the All-Star break, fifth worst in the MLB. He is steering clear of throwing off-speed pitches with runners in scoring position, only throwing 23.9 percent in the last 30 days, fifth lowest. Chatwood does have a groundball rate of 61 percent since the All-Star Break, fifth best among starters.
GAME 2 URENA VS. ANDERSON
Jose Urena has the 13th best fastball velocity (95.4) among starters. With his electric fastball, Urena, surprisingly, does not get that many swings and misses. Instead, he has a groundball rate of 56.4 percent on fastballs since the All-Star Break, 17th best. Urena does struggle when throwing his slider. Since the All-Star Break, he has allowed a slugging percentage of .760 on low sliders, worst in the MLB. While Urena struggles with his slider, his changeup has flourished in the big leagues. Urena has recorded 21 of 34 strikeouts (61.8 percent) with his changeup versus left-handed batters, highest in the MLB.
Tyler Anderson gets the nod for the Rockies in Game 2. He has allowed a .526 average on the first pitch of at-bats, second worst among starters. When he’s behind in the count, Anderson has allowed an OPS of 1.602, second worst among starters. Despite his season struggles, Anderson has not walked left-handed hitter in 37 plate appearances. Although he’s had a tumultuous start, things have turned around recently for Anderson, as he has allowed only an OBP of .250 since the All-Star, seventh best in the MLB. Look for batters to put the ball in the air against him. In his last start, Anderson only had two groundball outs of the 17 he recorded.
GAME 3 CONLEY VS GRAY
Adam Conley gets the ball for Game 3 and he has struggled against the heart of the order. Conley has allowed an OBP of .568 against the heart of the order over the last 30 days, worst in the MLB. Despite the difficulty, Conley has thrived in other facets of the game. Conley has walked three of 106 left-handed batters this season, fifth best. On low curves and sliders, Conley have a groundball rate of 76 percent, second highest. Conley has not allowed a home run in his last seven games, but it will be a tough task Wednesday afternoon in Colorado.
The ace for the Colorado Rockies, Jon Gray, rounds out this three-game series. SInce the All-Star Break, Gray has been firing strikes on all cylinders. Gray has thrown 70.8 percent strikes to right-handed batters, sixth highest. In the last 30 days, Gray has only walked one right-handed batter. Lefties do not have much success either. Jon Gray has allowed only an OPS of .401 against left-handed batters over the last 30 days, eighth best among starters. When runners are in scoring position, Jon Gray only allows a .172 average since the All-Star Break.
Colorado can close out the Wild Card with a sweep and some help from the Brewers and Cardinals. Let’s take a quick look at some key hitters and relievers for the Marlins and Rockies:
- The Marlins are batting .363 (70-for-193) over the past 7 days (Rank: 1st of 30 in MLB; League Avg: .246)
- Justin Bour is batting .483 (14-for-29) versus starting pitchers over the last 30 days (Rank: 1st of 109 part-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .258)
- Giancarlo Stanton is slugging .721 (173 total bases in 240 ABs) since the All-Star Break (Rank: 2nd of 166 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .428).
- J.T. Realmuto is batting just .138 (4-for-29) on the first pitch of at-bats since the All-Star Break (Rank: 94th of 94 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .346)
- Opponents are hitting .000 against Brian Ellington (0-for-30) with two strikes over the last 30 days (Rank: 1st of 40 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .170)
- Nick Wittgren has allowed an OBP of .500 (15/30) since the All-Star Break (Rank: 243rd of 245 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .323).
- Kyle Barraclough has allowed an OPS of .287 (44 PAs) on non-fastballs since the All-Star Break (Rank: 10th of 216 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .617).
- Brad Ziegler has spotted his fastball inside for a strike 80.6% (25/31) of the time since the All-Star Break (Rank: 2nd of 225 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: 63.3%).
- Trevor Story is slugging 1.154 (30 total bases in 26 ABs) on the first pitch of at-bats since the All-Star Break (Rank: 1st of 94 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .577).
- DJ LeMahieu has an OBP of .438 (651 PAs) at home since the start of 2016 (Rank: 3rd of 132 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .329).
- Carlos Gonzalez has an OBP of .597 (62 PAs) versus RHP over the last 30 days (Rank: 1st of 173 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .320).
- Nolan Arenado has an OPS of 1.681 (18 PAs) when leading off an inning over the last 30 days (Rank: 1st of 161 full-time hitters in MLB; League Avg: .750).
- Opponents are hitting .107 against Rockies relievers (23-for-215) with two strikes over the last 30 days (Rank: 1st of 30 in MLB; League Avg: .170)
- Adam Ottavino has walked 7 of 28 right-handed batters (25.0%) over the last 30 days (Rank: 90th of 90 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: 8.6%).
- Pat Neshek has allowed an OPS of .211 (44 PAs) with RISP this season (Rank: 1st of 236 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .760).
- Opponents are hitting .375 against Carlos Estevez (12-for-32) on non-fastballs this season (Rank: 216th of 218 qualified RPs in MLB; League Avg: .212)
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