Series Preview: Colorado Rockies (15-14) at Chicago Cubs (15-10)

In Series Previews by berselius80 Comments

The Cubs face the Rockies again, just a week away from their trip to Coors. At least the weather will be better this time. The Cubs took two of three in Coors, but came away from the series minus one MVP after an errant pitch caught Bryant on the helmet. I don't expect the Cubs to retaliate in this one, but I would imagine that Nolan Arenado might be a little nervous in his first few PAs anyway.


Team Leaders

Since I did this already for the last series, I'll copy over the teams' 2017 numbers here.


  • OBP: Kris Bryant (.409)
  • ISO: Ian Happ (.261)
  • HR: Anthony Rizzo (32)
  • R+RBI: Rizzo (208)
  • wRC+: Bryant (146)
  • BSR: Bryant (4.8)
  • DRS: Jason Heyward (18)
  • SP K/9: Jose Quintana (10.46)
  • SP BB/9: Quintana (2.24)
  • SP FIP: Quintana (3.25)
  • RP FIP: Carl Edwards Jr (12.75)
  • RP BB/9: Brandon Morrow (1.85)
  • RP FIP: Morrow (1.55)
  • WAR: Bryant (6.7)


  • OBP: Chuck Blackmon (.399)
  • ISO: Nolan Arenado (.277)
  • HR: Blackmon/Arenado (37)
  • R+RBI: Blackmon (241)
  • wRC+: Blackmon (141)
  • BSR: Blackmon (2.0)
  • DRS: Arenado (20)
  • SP K/9: Jon Gray (9.14)
  • SP BB/9: Chad Bettis (2.14)
  • SP FIP: Gray (3.18)
  • RP K/9: Wade Davis (12.12)
  • RP BB/9: Chris Rusin (2.08)
  • RP FIP: Jake McGee (2.93)
  • WAR: Blackmon (6.5)

Injuries, transactions, vengenace pacts, etc.

The Rockies have a relatively long injury report, including DJ LeMahieu, who missed the weekend's games with hamstring tightness, and Carlos Gonzalez, who is working his way back from a hamstring injury of his own that required a DL stint. Former Cubs Chris Rusin and Zac Rosscup are both on the DL, and two of the three pitchers the Cubs are facing in this series (Freeland and Anderson) had to leave starts early due to health issues (hit on foot by line drive and irregular heartbeat, respectively).

The Cubs are back to full strength with Zobrist off the DL and Bryant in the lineup. Now if only Rizzo would start hitting like Rizzo. I guess Eddie Butler is still on the DL but I'm not sure if that counts towards 'full strength', early season success notwithstanding.

Pitching Probables

Projected K/9, BB/9, ERA listed for each pitcher.

Monday: Kyle Freeland, LHP (6.52, 3.40, 4.84) vs Jon Lester, LHP (8.83, 2.64, 3.72), 6:10 PM CT

Freeland was a breakout rookie for the Rockies last year, at least by Rockies standards. A 4.10 ERA for a rookie who pitches half his games at Coors is not bad. He doesn't strike too many out but instead relies on generating a lot of ground balls. He was hit in the foot by a comebacker in his last start but should be good to go in this one. Both of these guys did not pitch in the previous matchup between these teams.

Tuesday: Jon Gray, RHP (9.29, 2.92, 4.14) vs Kyle Hendricks RHP (7.90, 2.27, 3.66), 7:10 PM CT

The Cubs were all over Gray at Coors, scoring seven runs on eight hits and three walks and striking out just once in five innings. He bounced back with an eleven strikeout game against the hapless Padres offense, but hopefully the Cubs can keep the hits coming. Hendricks had an adequate three run, five inning outing at Coors, but most importantly has not issued a walk in each of his last two starts.

Wednesday: Tyler Anderson, LHP (8.10, 3.41, 4.51) vs Yu Darvish, RHP (10.89, 3.07, 3.43),  1:20 PM CT

Anderson performed fairly well against the Cubs in the last series, picking up a win after allowing two first inning runs, including a double from Contreras that was inches away from a home run. He crusied the rest of his outing and left in the seventh. He left his last start in the second inning due to dizziness and shortness of breath, but the trainers didn't think it was too serious, and were just being cautious. Still something to watch out for, especially since teams are probably extra vigilant after what happened with Danny Farquhar.

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  1. SK

    Sorry, but before moving on to the Rockies series, I just wanted to savour that Craig Counsell “I Hate My Life” image one more time.

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  2. Senior Rockies Correspondent Berselius

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    CF Almora
    2B Baez
    3B Bryant
    1B Rizzo
    C Contreras
    RF Zobrist
    SS Russell
    LF Happ
    P Lester

    Sounds like Freeland has big splits.

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  3. Author

    Rice Cube,

    You have been banned from Obstructed View. Please submit a punchcard deck that spells out your acknowledgement in ASCII hexadecimal.

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  4. cerulean

    I watched the replay of the Blackmon thing. “Clearly with intent,” the Rockies announcers say. Then Lester walks their best player because he can’t find the strikezone. I call bullshit. Not because Lester wouldn’t retaliate, but because you do that with two outs and no one on base.

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  5. Senior Rockies Correspondent Berselius

    Gragh, I forgot that I would be blacked out in this series.

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  6. cerulean

    After reading this, I think the draft should go like this:

    (AL/NL best/worst record go first)

    1/2 WC loser
    3/4 Worst Record
    5/6 Just missed WC
    7/8 Second worst
    9/10 Third worst
    11/12 Two teams back of WC
    13/14 Fourth worst
    15/16 Fifth worst
    17/18 Three back
    19/20 Sixth worst
    21/22 Seventh worst

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  7. dmick89


    I’d rather just sign him this offseason if the Cubs really want him. Machado may get traded, but I feel confident saying the odds of him being traded to the Cubs is close to zero.

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  8. Rizzo the Rat

    Lester allowed zero earned runs, but didn’t look good. Shaky command and too many sub-90 fastballs.

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  9. Perkins


    I’m in the same place (though I’d prefer the Cubs sign Harper), but I do look forward to the torrent of BN articles about any scrap of a Machado to Cubs rumor.

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  10. Rizzo the Rat

    Seventh inning stretch guest conductors continue to make me feel better about my own singing ability.

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  11. Perkins

    Pretty sure ESPN just showed a shot of Alvin talking to Tom Ricketts in the bleachers. I assume it was about how the $10 ticket lottery is an insult to their best customers.

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