The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers kick off a very important three-game series on Friday night in Coors Field. The two teams will play six times in the final month of the season beginning with this game. These six matchups will likely decide the winner of the National League West Division.
The Colorado Rockies have won five straight games to take over first place in the division. The Rockies hold a 1.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers entering the weekend. The Arizona Diamondbacks are also close behind, trailing Colorado by just two games. The Los Angeles Dodgers are -145 over the Rockies in the series opener.
Kershaw Starts For Dodgers
Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw will make the start against the Rockies on Friday night. Kershaw is 6-5 with an impressive 2.40 earned run average this season and has been pitching really well of late. The lefty has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four outings, despite only earning one win in these starts. Kershaw might need to go the distance in this game as Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen will miss this series due to health concerns.
Matt Kemp continues to have an incredible bounce-back season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kemp delivered the game-winning hit in two straight games last week for LA, and leads the team with 74 runs batted in. Newly acquired Manny Machado has belted nine home runs and driven in 24 runs since being acquired in late July. The Dodgers offense will need to show up in a big way in this series.
Trevor Story Heating Up
Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is getting hot at the right time for the division leaders. Story belted three home runs for the Rockies on Wednesday night including a 505-foot blast that is the farthest home run hit this season. Story now leads the team in batting average, home runs, and RBIs after trailing Nolan Arenado for much of the season.
Young right-hander Jon Gray will oppose Kershaw in the series opener. Gray is 11-7 with a 4.70 earned run average this season and hasn’t lost a decision since June 12. The former first-round pick is quickly emerging as the ace of the Rockies starting rotation. He will look to keep the ball in the ballpark against thehomer-happyy Dodgers team.
Dodgers Close The Gap
Friday night’s game should be a great pitcher’s duel on paper, but Coors Field is known to be a hitter’s park. The Rockies offense has been on fire of late, but facing Kershaw is always a tough task. Colorado is hoping that Gray can match him pitch for pitch in this game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were supposed to be the team to beat in the National League, and they still have time to get there. The Dodgers need a win to put some pressure on the Rockies, and they need their offense to step up. I’m betting they will, and the Dodgers will take game one on Friday night. Bet LA -145 over the Rockies in the series opener.