Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dodgers / Rockies Series Preview

Interleague play is over for the time being and it's back to the NL West competition for the Dodgers. Next up is a three game road series against the last place Rockies. The Rockies might be the last place team in the NL West, 11 games behind the Dodgers and 1/2 a game behind the Diamondbacks, but they are the 2nd best last place team in the majors. The NL West is no longer the NL worst, as the division as a whole is only one game under .500. The NL East is now the NL Least, as the division finds itself 10 games under .500. The Rockies haven't been playing all that bad of late. They are 7-8 over their last 15 games and have a decent pitching staff that is keeping them afloat. The Dodgers will be throwing out three consecutive left handed starters (Stults, Milton, Kershaw), all three can be a bit of a grab bag at times.

Team Hitting Arm Range R Error R Overall Fielding SP RP Overall Pitching Team Total
Dodgers 28.4       -4.9 42.6 14.9 6.1 14.0
Rockies -19.0       -7.4 42.7 10.2 5.5 8.0
Dodgers NL Rank 1st 15th 10th 6th 11th 5th 3rd 2nd 7th
Rockies NL Rank 12th 13th 11th 8th 12th 4th 6th 4th 1st

Top Three Dodgers Hitters by 2009 WAR:
1. CF-Matt Kemp 1.9
2. 2B-Orlando Hudson 1.6
3. 3B-Casey Blake 1.4

Top Three Dodgers Starting Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Chad Billingsley 1.8
2. Randy Wolf 1.1
3. Clayton Kershaw 0.9

Top Three Dodgers Relief Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Jonathan Broxton 1.4
2. Ramon Troncoso 0.6
3. Cory Wade 0.3

Top Three Dodgers Fielders by 2009 UZR:
1. CF-Matt Kemp 7.4
2. LF-Juan Pierre 1.4
3. 3B-Mark Loretta 1.0

Top Three Rockies Hitters by 2009 WAR:
1. C-Chris Ianetta 0.8
2T OF-Seth Smith 0.7
2T 1B-Todd Helton 0.7
2T 2B-Clint Barmes 0.7

Top Three Rockies Starting Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. *Ubaldo Jimenez 1.4
2. *Jorge de la Rosa 1.2
3. Jason Marquis 1.0

Top Three Rockies Relief Pitchers by 2009 WAR:
1. Jason Grilli 0.3
2. Manny Corpas 0.2
3. Huston Street 0.2

Top Three Rockies Fielders by 2009 UZR:
1. 2B-Clint Barmes 3.8
2. LF-Ryan Spillborghs 2.2
3. RF-Ryan Spillborghs 2.1

* Denotes a pitcher is pitching in this series.

The Dodgers better not take the Rockies too lightly. The biggest difference between these two teams is the hitting. The Dodgers have the #1 ranked NL Offense and the Rockies the 12th. Fielding and pitching wise the two teams are very similar. The Rockies have three starting pitchers with an 09 WAR of 1.0 or greater, while the Dodgers have two, with Kershaw ready to climb over that threshold. Jason Grilli has been the Rockies best pitcher out of the pen (FIP 3.00, K/9 11.57), more impressively done while allowing a BABIP against of .411. Huston Street has been pretty decent too (FIP 3.95, K/9 10.38), but Manny Corpas has been a bit of a letdown (FIP 3.58, K/9 4.82) especially his K/9 rate which has dropped for the 3rd consecutive year. Corpas, admittedly has been a bit unlucky (BABIP .388). Either way, don't expect the Rockies to be a pushover, as this is a big series for them, as they try to close the gap on the Dodgers big NL West lead.

Last 15 Games, Dodgers: 9-6
Last 15 Games, Rockies: 7-8

Last 5 Games, Dodgers: 3-2
Last 15 Games, Rockies: 3-2

Series Pitching Matchups
G1: E.Stults vs la Rosa
G2: E.Milton vs A.Cook
G3: C.Kershaw vs U.Jimenez

Source for stats: Fangraphs

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