SB Nation Blog
The Opponent in one sentence
The Rockies had playoff hopes coming into the year but have disappointed and find themselves among the worst teams in the entire National League.
Red Sox 1, Rockies 1
Down. Colorado is coming off a walkoff victory on Monday, but that is coming on the heels of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals immediately before that. Going all the way back to August 6, the Rockies have lost 13 of 20.
8/27: Rick Porcello vs. TBD, 8:40 PM ET
The Red Sox may only have two “real” starters in their rotation right now, but the good news is both will be ready to pitch in this series. Porcello gets the nod to start things off in the Rockies, a matchup that has the potential for disaster. We all know the issues for Porcello are hard contact and home runs. The latter isn’t as big of an issue in Coors as it used to be, with the fences being moved back and humidors slowing things down. It is still an offensive paradise, though, because the huge field gives a lot of room for BABIP prowess. It other words: It’s real easy to get hits. That can spell trouble for Porcello, who is going to need to keep the ball on the ground in this start. It’s not easy to revert back to old ways from a half-decade ago, but an appearance from Tigers Porcello wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for this start.
The Rockies haven’t announced a starter for either game in this series yet. It looked like German Márquez was going to be the guy for this series opener, which would have been bad news for Boston as the righty is the best pitcher in Colorado’s rotation by a long shot. However, he was placed on the injured list just minutes before I wrote this paragraph. I have no idea who is going to start in his place.
8/28: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. TBD, 8:40 PM ET
As I said, the Red Sox have both of their true starters getting the nod in this series which means Rodriguez will be able to take the mound on Wednesday. The southpaw has been rolling of late, getting over a little bit of a rough patch in late-July/early-August to come back extremely strong in his last two outs. He’s pitched a combined 14 1⁄3 innings and has not allowed a run over those outings. Of course, those starts came against the Orioles and a Fernando Tatís Jr.-less Padres lineup, so this will be a much bigger test. Rodriguez has had some success of late pitching more to contact, and that style will truly be put to the test against this Rockies lineup in this park. He did face off against Colorado earlier this year, allowing five runs over six innings with ten strikeouts and a walk.
Once again, the Rockies have yet to officially announce a starter for this game. This time, we have a better idea of who will get the start since it would represent Peter Lambert’s turn in the rotation. They obviously could shake things up, but he seems like the smart bet. The righty is in the midst of his first season in the majors, having been called up in June. He’s been in the Rockies rotation since then, and it’s been a struggle. Lambert has a 6.40 ERA with a low strikeout rate and more walks than you want, a horrible combination when you also consider the BABIP tendencies at Coors.
Notable Position Players
Nolan Arenado is probably my favorite non-Red Sox player in baseball. I am a man who loves third base defense and just about nobody flashes the leather at the hot corner quite like Arenado. He adds big power to that with high contact rates to make him an annual NL MVP candidate. That said, he’s having a bit of a down year with his BABIP down below .300 for the first time in three years.
Charlie Blackmon has been the Rockies best hitter this year, working around a below-average walk rate with a below-average strikeout rate combined with huge power.
Trevor Story has been the best Rockies player this year by fWAR (marginally over Arenado). He plays a mean shortstop and hits for more than enough power to make up for his higher-than-average strikeout rate.
Ryan McMahon can hit for some power and draws a ton of walks, but he’ll either need to take a big leap in the power department or cut back on his strikeouts if he wants to make the leap.
Daniel Murphy is somehow only hitting .286, which is wild considering he has always been one of the best high-average hitters in the game and is now in Coors. By wRC+, this has been the worst offensive season of his career.
Ian Desmond strikes out way too much and doesn’t draw walks at a high enough rate to make up for it.
Yonathan Daza has only been up for 64 plate appearances, but he’s yet to have an extra-base hit.
Tony Wolters is behind the plate for his defense, but his offense drags his value way down thanks in large part of his nearly nonexistent power.
Carlos Estévez is not Charlie Sheen. Instead he has emerged as one of the top relievers in this rough Colorado bullpen. The righty has solid strikeout and walk numbers for a late-inning arm but has fallen victim to the long ball.
Wade Davis was just recently taken out of the closer role as he’s having a dreadful year with his strikeouts way down and his walks way up. All of that has led to a 7.51 ERA and a 5.25 FIP.
Jake McGee has solid control and has put up a 3.60 ERA that looks good, but he doesn’t miss many bats and has given up a ton of homers this year.
Jon Gray broke his foot last year and is going to miss the rest of the season, a major blow to this Rockies rotation.
Kyle Freeland has disappointed after emerging in 2018, and he’s currently down with a groin strain. He should be back within a week or so, though.
Raimel Tapia was placed on the IL yesterday with a hand injury. He shouldn’t miss much more than the ten-day minimum.
David Dahl has been out pretty much all month with a high ankle sprain but he should be able to return shortly after rosters expand.
Brendan Rodgers was a top prospect heading into 2019, but he went down with a torn labrum about midway through the year that cost him the rest of the season.
Scott Oberg underwent surgery to dissolve a blood clot. He’ll miss the rest of the year.
Tyler Anderson underwent knee surgery in June and at this point it’s probable he’ll miss the rest of the year.
Chad Bettis underwent hip surgery last week that will cost him the rest of this season.
Weather shouldn’t be an issue for this series in Denver.