After treading water for several years, the Rockies are looking to turn the corner this year after going 75-87 last season. They'll likely score a lot of runs this year, and it's not just a product of Coors Field. Their lineup last season featured a number of dangerous hitters, and they added Ian Desmond in the offseason.
Luckily for the Brewers, Desmond and David Dahl (.315/.359/.500 in 63 games last year) will start the season on the DL and won't see action in this series. However, they'll still have to deal with dark horse MVP candidate Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story. With Desmond and Dahl on the shelf to start the year, we should see plenty of old friends Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra in this series.
Monday, 1:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - RHP Jon Gray (vs. Junior Guerra)
The third overall pick in the 2013 draft, Gray made his full-season debut last year for the Rockies and set a rookie franchise record with 185 strikeouts in 168 innings. Now he makes his first career Opening Day start, which expects to be the first of many. As with most Colorado pitchers, his 4.61 ERA last season is misleading, with his FIP nearly a full run lower at 3.60. With a 95 mph fastball and a very good slider, Gray put up a 9.9 K/9 and 26% K rate in 2016. He does tend to walk his fair share of batters, though, so if the Brewers can be patient they should be able to draw a few free passes, even if the deep counts mean an above average number of strikeouts.
Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - LHP Tyler Anderson vs. Zach Davies
Debuting halfway through last season, the 2011 first rounder had an ERA+ of 138 and a FIP of 3.59 in 19 starts. He'll also strike out his fair share of batters -- he had a 7.8 K/9 last year -- but he also limits the walks. He had more success than rookie Rockies pitchers normally do, thanks in large part to an arsenel that induced a 50.9% groundball rate. Last year, Anderson made a start at Miller Park and struck out 10 over 5 innings.
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. CDT, FS Wisconsin - Tyler Chatwood vs. Wily Peralta
Chatwood missed 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery, but returned in 2016 to put up a 3.87 ERA in 158 innings. That's despite a 6.12 ERA at Coors Field last season. Luckily for him and the Rockies, he performed much better on the road, allowing only 15 runs on the road all year for a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts. Considering Chatwood's stuff, that was undoubtedly lucky and probably shouldn't be expected again this year. His true talent level is somewhere between the home and road splits.
Thursday, 12:40 p.m. CDT, Brewers Radio Network - Antonio Senzatela vs. Chase Anderson
This will be the MLB debut for the 22-year-old from Venezuela. He made it to Double-A as a 21-year-old, but missed most of the season with shoulder inflammation issues, making only 7 starts. Those 7 outings were fairly impressive, though, seeing him strike out 27 in 34.2 innings and putting up a 1.82 ERA. He mainly works on a fastball/slider comination and most scouting types seem to see him more as a future reliever, but the Rockies are giving him a chance to stick in the rotation (while also skipping Triple-A).
For a Rockies perspective of this week's events, check out Purple Row.