Wednesday night will feature a matchup of NL West versus NL East when the Colorado Rockies (47-53) take on the Washington Nationals (53-46) at Nationals Park. These two teams will actually play a doubleheader on Wednesday, but this article will focus on the nightcap between the two teams. For the Rockies, they have taken a bit of a plunge, lately having gone 3-13 in July including an 11-1 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday.
For Washington, they have gone 11-5 in the month of July and find themselves just 5.5 games back of the Braves and sitting in the first Wild Card spot. The pitching matchup for the evening game will feature Kyle Freeland (2-7, 7.62 ERA) going for the Rockies against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin (7-5, 3.40 ERA). First pitch for this contest is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.
At the time of this writing, the moneyline and over/unders had not been set, so make sure to check the lines prior to first pitch.
By The Numbers
On the offensive side, Colorado has been the stronger of the two teams, but it does come with a catch. They currently rank fourth in the majors averaging 5.47 runs per game. The catch is the home/road split. At home, they average 6.64 runs per game, while on the road it is just 4.29. For Washington, they rank 14th at 4.93 runs per game (4.91 at home).
On the pitching side, it is Washington with a significant advantage. They rank 13th in the majors with a 4.32 staff earned run average (4.45 at home). For the Rockies, they fall to 29th in the league with a 5.52 ERA (4.21 on the road).
When you put it all together, Washington holds the edge over Colorado in run differential. The Nationals rank 12th in the majors with a +37 run differential, while Colorado ranks 20th at -37.
Rockies Trying To Halt Slide
The Rockies have been falling hard this month, and they have fallen so hard that there are rumblings that they could even be sellers at the deadline with names like Charlie Blackmon possibly being on the block. For his part, Blackmon has been a ton this year for the Rockies. He is hitting .318/.364/.601 with 21 home runs, 60 runs batted in and 74 runs scored.
Generally speaking, offense hasn’t been too much of a problem. In addition to Blackmon, Nolan Arenado (22 home runs, 76 runs batted in), David Dahl (13 home runs, 56 runs batted in), Trevor Story (22 home runs, 58 runs batted in), and others can generate some runs. Unfortunately for Colorado, though, it has not translated to wins lately.
On the pitching side, the Rockies definitely have some work to do. They have struggled as a staff this season, although the stats on the road are significantly better than at home. One player who has struggled this season, though, is Kyle Freeland. On the season, Freeland is 2-7 in 14 starts with a 7.62 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and opponents are hitting a whopping .297 against him. In 67 1/3 innings, he has allowed 83 hits, 57 earned runs, 17 home runs, and has struck out 58 versus 28 walks. In his last start, he allowed five runs in four innings to the New York Yankees.
Corbin Looks To Keep Nationals Rolling
While the Rockies have been falling, the Nationals have been rising in their performance over the last month or two. While the Wild Card is nice, the Nationals would still like to make a run at the division and will turn to Patrick Corbin in the second game to try to get that done. On the season, Corbin is 7-5 in 20 starts with a 3.40 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and opponents are hitting .232 against him.
In 124 1/3 innings, Corbin has allowed 107 hits, 47 earned runs, 14 home runs and has struck out 144 versus 37 walks. In his last outing, a 4-3 loss to the Braves, Corbin went five innings, allowing eight hits, two walks, and two earned runs while striking out five.
On the offensive side, Trea Turner had himself quite a night on Tuesday. The shortstop hit for the cycle and finished 4 for 5 with two runs and two runs batted in. On the season, Turner is hitting .286/.343/.494 with eight home runs, 25 runs batted in, 42 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in 255 at-bats.
Aside from Turner, Anthony Rendon is having a heck of a season. The third baseman is hitting .316/.399/.603 with 20 home runs, 69 runs batted in and 71 runs scored. Throw in players like Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, and others, and this is a pretty deep lineup that can score runs throughout.
Nationals Keep Rolling
There are a couple of things at play in this one. First, it is hard to ignore how much better ball the Nationals are playing these days. Colorado can’t seem to get out of its own way, and Corbin has shown he can shut them down. Earlier this season, Corbin threw six innings of two-run ball against them. Furthermore, Kyle Freeland has looked like a shell of the pitcher that he was from a year ago. He has had a tough time figuring it out this season, and for a pitching staff that generally struggles, the Rockies needed him to be better. When you have a lineup with Arenado, Blackmon, Story, and Dahl, anything can happen, but for my money, I am taking the Nationals in the second game of the doubleheader.