The Colorado Rockies will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first of three on Friday night.
The Dodgers were the favorites in the division before the season. The Rockies weren’t far off. Surprisingly, though, as we sit here on June 29th, both teams have to look up in the NL West standings. Coming into Friday’s game, the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-37) find themselves in second place, 3.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Colorado Rockies (39-42) have dropped to fourth, 8 games out of the NL West lead. With both retaining hope of a push, the three game series this weekend could be pivotal for both as we approach the All-Star break. The Rockies will send lefty Tyler Anderson (4-3, 4.62 ERA) out to the bump to face off against fellow southpaw, Rich Hill (1-2, 5.30 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for the game is set at the Colorado Rockies +148 and the Los Angeles Dodgers -158. The over/under on runs scored is set at 7.5.
The Colorado Rockies have been pretty disappointing this season, and if they want to avoid being sellers at the trade deadline, that is going to need to turn around fast. Even after a 9-8 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, they have still lost four of their last five games. To try to turn it around, they will be sending Tyler Anderson to the mound. On the season, Anderson is 4-3 with a 4.62 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and opponents are hitting .259 against him.
In 85.2 innings pitched, he has 77 strikeouts versus 30 walks. While the walks are higher than he would like, the real issue is the fact that he is allowing an average of one hit per inning. Despite the shaky numbers on the season, his last three starts have been a bit more encouraging. In those three starts he has thrown a combined 19.1 innings, allowing 6 runs and striking out 16. He will have to continue to pitch well to tame the Dodgers’ lineup.
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Offensively, Nolan Arenado continues to be a force. On the season he is hitting .308/.393/.584 with a .977 OPS. He has 19 home runs, 56 runs batted in and 53 runs scored. Arenado has also hit pretty well against the Dodgers’ Rich Hill. In a small sample size, he is 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 runs batted in. Chris Iannetta has also had success against Hill, hitting .250 (in 12 at bats) with 2 home runs.
Thus far, Rich Hill has not had the season that he was hoping to. Constantly plagued by blister issues, Hill has only made 8 starts this season. In those starts, he is 1-2, with a 5.30 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and opponents are hitting a whopping .271 against him. One of his biggest issues has been the home run ball as he has allowed 8 already in only 35.2 innings. In his last start against the Mets, Hill went 5 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. The Dodgers are going to need better outings from Hill in the second half if they hope to overtake Arizona.
Offensively, the Dodgers have some players who have had success against Tyler Anderson. Cody Bellinger is 2 for 4 with a home run, Matt Kemp is 3 for 6 with a home run, and Justin Turner is batting .556 in 18 at bats with a home run and 5 runs batted in. One of the most surprising players this season for the Dodgers has been Max Muncy. On the season, Muncy is hitting .266/.410/.615 with a 1.026 OPS. He has 17 home runs (including one on Thursday against the Cubs), 35 runs batted in only 169 at bats. Between Muncy and Matt Kemp, the Dodgers have gotten good offensive contributions, especially while Cody Bellinger was struggling to start the season and Justin Turner was on the disabled list. With both of those players back and playing better, it just lengthens the Dodgers lineup all the more.
In this game, I really like both offenses and I really don’t like either pitcher. With that in mind, Tyler Anderson has pitched better recently than Rich Hill so I give the edge to the Rockies. Plus, with an uplifting win over the Giants on Thursday, it may give them a little momentum going into the weekend. Ultimately, this might be a slugfest, but my pick is with the Rockies. Take them +148 on Friday.