Colorado comes into this series 15-13 at home (21-10 on the road) while the Indians are 17-12 on the road (12-14 at home). The reason for the Rockies’ struggles at home is the same reason they always struggle at home: Coors Field is a weirdo. A mile-high in thinner air, baseballs have a history of leaving the stadium at record-setting paces.
This season, the Rockies are one of the more surprising teams in the league led by perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado and outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who have each been worth more than 2.0 fWAR through the first three months of the season. At 36-23 they lead the National League West by a game over the Los Angeles Dodgers and they are just three losses worse than the NL-best Washington Nationals. They are coming off a 2-1 series win against the San Diego Padres.
Tuesday, 8:40 p.m. ET: Mike Clevinger (RHP) vs. Antonio Senzatela (RHP)
A big reason the Rockies have found at least some success in the thin Colorado air is becasue they have assembled a staff of groundball pitchers, including 22-year-old rookie Antonio Senzatela.
Senzatela has induced groundballs 46.5 percent of the time this season, but he’s gotten that number to near 60 percent in the minors, so he might be getting even better. The Indians should not have much to fear from his strikeout stuff, but he’ll rarely walk anyone.
Mike Clevinger is basically the complete opposite. He quietly has a 3.10 ERA on the season through five starts, with a 27.8 percent strikeout rate and 12.2 percent walk rate.
Wednesday, 3:10 p.m. ET: German Marquez (RHP) vs. Trevor Bauer (RHP)
German Marquez has had a handful of outstanding starts this season, allowing one or fewer runs in four of his eight starts. Unfortunately, he also allowed five or more three times. His last outing was one of the bad ones against the San Diego Padres when he allowed six runs over five innings. Even still, he struck out a season-high nine batters.
Trevor Bauer’s last start was just 1.2 innings, but it wasn’t because of ineffectiveness or a bloody finger. No, this time it was rain. In his last “real” start, he struck out a career-high 14 Oakland Athletic batters and walked just one. In his last five starts, he’s walked two or fewer batters each time out. Dare I say Trevor is turning a corner?