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Series Preview: Colorado Rockies @ Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers return home to face a team that is statistically one of the worst offenses in the league but have won 10 of 13

Colorado Rockies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

After taking 2 of 3 games against the New York Mets to salvage the end of their road trip, your Milwaukee Brewers are back home for a long 10-game homestand, starting with four games against the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies still seem to carry the reputation of a scary offense for some people, but that wasn’t really the case last season, and it’s definitely not the case this season.

Heading into play on Sunday, the Rockies had a team wRC+ of 68, third-worst in the majors and second-worst in the National League, behind only San Francisco. As a reminder, 100 is average, so by that measure the Rockies have been extremely below average offensively. Using another measure, the Rockies are one of four major league teams to have a negative team WAR at this point in the year, tying for worst in the majors with -0.4 fWAR.

Things may be starting to turn around, though. Colorado comes into this series at 13-15 after taking 2 of 3 from the Braves in Atlanta over the weekend. They’re 10-3 in their last 13 games after starting the year 3-12.

Probable Pitchers

Monday, April 29th - 6:40 p.m. CDT
TBD vs. Zach Davies

This will likely be Kyle Freeland, who is scheduled to come off the injured list after a blister on his pitching hand. Freeland has a 4.23 ERA/3.68 FIP in his first 5 starts this year, with an ERA+ of 120 and 30 strikeouts and 10 walks in 27.2 innings.

Tuesday, April 30th - 6:40 p.m. CDT
German Marquez vs. Jhoulys Chacin

The staff ace agreed to a team-friendly extension earlier this year and has pitched like an ace, with a 2.54 ERA in his first 6 starts that’s only that high due to one bad outing on April 9th in which he allowed 5 runs in 5 innings against the Atlanta Braves. Marquez pitched a gem against the Brewers last August in Miller Park, allowing just 2 runs on 3 hits over 7 innings, striking out 9.

Wednesday, May 1st - 6:40 p.m. CDT
Antonio Senzatela vs. Chase Anderson

Senzatela’s season got off to a late start, with his first start not coming until April 15th. It was a good one, though, holding the Padres to 1 run on a solo home run over 6.2 innings. He gave up a total of 7 runs over 11.2 innings in his next two starts, against strong offenses in Phildelphia and Atlanta. He held the Brewers to 2 runs over 5 innings in Game 1 of the NLDS last year.

Thursday, May 2nd -12:10 p.m. CDT
Jon Gray vs. Brandon Woodruff

The hard-throwing Gray was expected to take the leap to ace-level pitcher last year, but was hit extremely hard and even found himself getting sent down to the minors to figure things out. While he finished the 2018 season with a 5.12 ERA, he was much more effective in the second half, although a poor finish to the year meant he was left off the playoff roster. He seems to have rediscovered his form this year, though, with a solid start to the year before giving up 5 runs in 4.2 innings in his last start against the Braves. Prior to that, he had a 2.78 ERA in his first 5 starts.

Previous Meeting

You may remember that the Milwaukee Brewers swept the Colorado Rockies in the 2018 NLDS, including a combined four-hit shutout in the series-clinching game at Coors Field, thanks to 4.2 innings from Wade Miley, an out from Corey Knebel, an inning from Joakim Soria, 2 innings from Corbin Burnes, one out from Jeremy Jeffress, and the final two outs from Josh Hader.

After allowing the Rockies to score twice in the 9th inning of Game 1, the Brewers would hold the Rockies scoreless for the next 19 consecutive innings. While the Brewers’ offense struggled for much of the postseason, it didn’t matter in that series.

Player to Watch

Nolan Arenado was the one to kick off the extension frenzy this winter, but it’s been Trevor Story carrying an otherwise bad Colorado offense. After going 2-for-4 on Sunday, Story is hitting .300/.366/.555 with a team-high 7 home runs.

You may remember that Story hit 7 home runs against the Brewers alone last year, hitting .333/.387/1.222 (slugging, not total OPS) in 7 regular season games against Milwaukee and driving in 18 runs. Four of those 7 home runs game during the three-game series in Miller Park in August.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs