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Brewers (24-44) @ Rockies (28-38) series preview

The Brewers face the Rockies again for the first time since the first series of the season where Colorado swept Milwaukee.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies swept the Brewers in the opening series of the season and went on a prolonged hot streak. As is always the case in the early season, everyone decided they didn't actually suck and were magically really good. And as always, the truth will out. The Rockies are now 28-38. While that might be better than the Brewers, it's still pretty bad.

The major strength of the Rockies has always been a potent offense. That hasn't been true this season. They rank 27th with an 88 wRC+ (just ahead of the Brewers' 76 wRC+). wRC+ is park adjusted which dings them for playing half their games in Coors Field. Their .322 wOBA is 4th in baseball. But that's till light compared to past years. Their road wOBA is .293 which again shows they rely heavily on their park to aide their offense.

The major weakness of the Rockies has always been a terrible pitching staff. That at least hasn't changed this year. They rank dead last in team fWAR for pitching. They also have the worst ERA and FIP of any team and their xFIP is second worst to the Rangers. It sucks for them they have to pitch in Colorado, but they've been pretty bad on the road too.

Offensive Spotlight

Among their regulars Nolan Arenado has arguably been the best. That said, he's not been an offensive juggernaut. He is slashing a respectable but not great 278/311/551 (.362 wOBA, 114 wRC+). Clearly he's bringing the power, but his AVG/OBP is just okay, even a little weak. I had to wonder how much of that slugging Coors Field is responsible for, so I checked. Turns out his road SLG is higher this year. So his power is for real. He's a ridiculously good defender at third base and that slash line is fine. Altogether it makes for a very valuable player.

Pitching Match-Ups

Friday June 19, 7:40 pm CST: Taylor Jungmann vs Jorge De La Rosa

De la Rosa seems to have regained his strikeout ability, but it's come with an increased walk rate. By FIP and xFIP he's been reasonably successful with it, but his 4.91 ERA doesn't reflect that success.

He throws a fastball (92-94), cutter, change-up, and sprinkles in some curve balls and sliders.

Saturday June 20, 3:10 pm CST: Kyle Lohse vs Chad Bettis

Bettis has spent half this season in AAA and half with the Rockies. Overall in 7 starts at the major league level he's been pretty successful. He has a 3.74 ERA, 2.92 FIP, and 3.67 xFIP. He's done it by striking batters out at around at league average rate, walking batters at around a league average rate, and keeping home runs down (0.42 HR/9). Seems like a good chance that HR/9 is going to rise before too long.

He throws a fastball (90-92), curve ball, change-up, and cutter.

Sunday June 21, 3:10 pm CST: Matt Garza vs Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin has also split time between AAA and MLB but he hasn't been successful in either place. His 5.14 ERA, 4.71 FIP, and 3.90 xFIP suggest while not effective, he's been somewhat unlucky too. Though that's due to poor peripherals combined with a high 1.29 HR/9.

He throws a fastball (87-89), cutter, change-up, and sprinkles in some curve balls and slider. It's pretty much the same pitch mix as Jorge de la Rosa, but a poorer version. It's interesting that they're both lefties too.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs