Rockies looking to keep bats hot

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There’s a very interesting three-game interleague series set for this weekend when the Colorado Rockies travel to the newer iteration of Yankee Stadium for only the third time in franchise history.

The rare matchup will mark a meeting of two of baseball’s highest-scoring teams. Of course, the Yankees and Rockies are typically among the usual suspects in that discussion throughout any given season, and that’s for a variety of reasons.

Colorado plays in the friendliest park for hitters at Coors Field, where they average a whopping 6.67 runs per game. By comparison, the team that ranks behind them in runs scored at home, the Atlanta Braves, is putting up nearly a full run less (5.77) per contest.

While the Rockies are scoring more than two runs less (4.24) per game on the road, they should still benefit from going to another hitter-friendly venue in the Bronx. New York averages 5.10 runs per game at home, ranking fifth in the American League, but their 79 homers in front of Yankees faithful is more than any AL club. Overall, the Bronx Bombers are churning out 5.61 runs, placing them third in MLB.

So, two obvious offensive-heavy behemoths going at it that are set to take part in a trifecta of games with high totals attached. Let’s take a look at the probables and see how they measure up.

Kyle Freeland vs. Masahiro Tanaka (Friday): Without question, Freeland has been one of baseball’s most disappointing pitchers, if not the most disappointing. After all, he went from receiving Cy Young votes only a year ago to being demoted to the minors. Freeland just made his return to the Colorado rotation last Saturday, lasting only four innings and surrendering five runs.

On the other end of the spectrum is Tanaka, who has continued to provide a steady hand for the Yankees in a year where they’ve dealt with so many injuries. Tanaka will be in his place of comfort, being 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA in eight starts at Yankee Stadium. For his career, the right-hander’s ERA at home (3.34) is more than a half-run lower than it is on the road (3.92), but even he may not be enough to keep this one under the total. OVER

Antonio Senzatela vs. James Paxton (Saturday): When the Yankees acquired Paxton via trade this past offseason, the hope was that they were getting a perennial AL Cy Young Award contender. While Paxton has definitely displayed that ability, he’s also been one of the many injury victims on this roster, something that has led to inconsistency from the southpaw.

But Paxton looks like he’s getting in a groove, having allowed no more than two runs in five of his last six assignments. Paxton’s last three starts have clocked in as quality ones, too. He’s very reliable when healthy like he is right now.

Senzatela has generally been the opposite of that, as evident in his 5.79 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, and the fact that he’s barely accumulated more strikeouts (52) than walks (43). Like most Rockies starters throughout history, Senzatela has been considerably better on the road and may hang in there enough while Paxton shines. UNDER

German Marquez vs. CC Sabathia (Sunday): If there’s one pitcher more than any other that benefits being away from Colorado, it might be Marquez. Not just because he had a career-worst showing his last time out — when he recorded only eight outs and was lit up for 11 runs at Coors — but his career ERA on the road (3.64) is vastly better than what it is at home (5.16). He should be very determined to atone for his recent awful performance.

Sabathia has registered opposite home-and-road splits compared to his counterpart, being 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA and .214 batting average against in his seven Bronx starts. On the road, opponents are hitting .295 off Sabathia, sticking him with a 5.84 ERA away from New York. While he’ll be working from home, the Rockies can hit lefties (.785 team OPS) and get to Sabathia enough to tack onto the damage done against Senzatela. OVER

Last week: 0-3

Season: 23-24

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