Rockies need big effort

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Well, due to yet another batch of pitching changes and even some COVID-19 involvement, the picks from last week’s column were all nullified, leaving us without a decision for the entire week.

That’s OK, though. There’s an NL West rivalry series emanating from LA this weekend that looks like it can dodge any potential changes to the matchups.

The L.A. Dodgers sure don’t want to experience any change whatsoever, seeing as how they currently own baseball’s best record at 26-10. They also hold a 4.5-game lead for first place in the West, as they continue to shoot for their eighth-straight division crown.

This weekend they’re hosting the club that currently resides in third-place at press time. While the Colorado Rockies are 8.5 games back, they are still very much involved in the postseason picture, even occupying one of the two Wild Card spots at the moment. Let’s try to figure out how this series plays out when they get together.

Friday

Antonio Senzatela vs. TBD: This was the spot in the Dodgers’ rotation previously occupied by Ross Stripling until the right-hander was dealt just days ago to the Toronto Blue Jays. In the interim, look for Los Angeles to roll with a bullpen game (similar to what they did for a doubleheader game last week), possibly opened by Caleb Ferguson again. Considering the Dodgers’ bullpen boasts the lowest ERA in the league (2.04), they can be trusted over a full ballgame.

Senzatela will try to keep up with whatever group of relievers he encounters. The fourth-year right-hander doesn’t normally match up well opposite the Dodgers (7.04 ERA, 1.83 WHIP against them for career) but this is a new-and-improved version of Senzatela, one that is 3-1 with a nifty 3.32 ERA in seven starts. UNDER

Saturday

Ryan Castellani vs. Tony Gonsolin: It took a little longer than anticipated but Castellani finally endured his first real bashing at the hands of Major League hitters his last time out. That poor outing saw him lag only two innings and surrender five runs to the second-place San Diego Padres. Expect more similar showings from the rookie to come soon.

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Meanwhile, Gonsolin has been residing at the other end of the spectrum, solidifying his spot on a strong pitching staff with impressive pitching. In fact, he’s allowed only a single run across his four starts, spanning 17.2 innings. He’s overdue for a regression, though, and just a slight crackle in the armor could be the difference in regards to this total. OVER

Sunday

German Marquez vs. Julio Urias: If you’ve been tracking Marquez throughout his career, you know right away that he carries some of the most distinct home-and-road splits of any starter. Fortunately for the right-hander, he draws an assignment on the road in this one, where he’s notably been better throughout his career (3.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) compared to at hitter-friendly Colorado (5.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP).

His counterpart, Urias, has experienced opposite results in 2020, pitching better within the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine (2.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) than in his outings away from LA (5.40 ERA, 1.71 WHIP). He’s actually looked pretty polished overall this year and we’ll count on him continuing that upward trend. UNDER

Last week: No record

Season: 3-1

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