Jon Gray (1-2, 5.23 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (0-0, 5.21 ERA)
The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers are in business at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. It’s a big time series between two of the better teams in the NL West. The Rockies had the lead in the NL West, but most people thought that was going to be short lived, including myself.
The Dodgers have since taken over in the division with a five-game lead over the Rockies. How quickly things can change in baseball. The Padres are now up on the Rockies as well. San Diego is up on the Rockies by a game, so in the blink of an eye, the Rockies have gone from first to third.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is on a massive tear and is carrying the Padres on his back. He might be able to make the Dodgers look over their shoulders for a minute, but the Padres need to surround Tatis Jr. with some additional talent before they are taken seriously. The Dodgers might be looking at Tatis Jr. as a future Dodger, though.
It would be in the Padres best interest to sign Tatis Jr. to an extension and not allow another team a chance to sign him. They have a centerpiece player that can win a lot of games for them. The Dodgers aren’t going to be worried, though. They’re always going to attract star players and they have Mookie Betts in their arsenal for over a decade.
Betts is neck and neck with Tatis Jr. in the MVP race. He’s hitting .294 with 9 home runs as of Friday morning. Tatis Jr. currently has the better numbers with a .312 average and 12 long balls. However, the Dodgers are leading in the most category, which is wins and losses. Walker Buehler hopes to put the Dodgers in the win column on Friday night.
He and Ross Stripling have been the weak points of the rotation. While the rest of the rotation has been excellent, Walker and Stripling have been unable to get on track yet. Meanwhile, former Dodger, Kenta Maeda, was just 3 outs away from a no-hitter for the Twins recently. Jon Gray is expected to hit the hill for the Rockies opposite Buehler. Head below for our free Colorado Rockies v. LA Dodgers pick for August 21, 2020.
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Colorado Rockies vs. LA Dodgers Prediction:
There is some pressure on Walker Buehler tonight at Dodger Stadium. He has been a reliable member of the rotation since 2018 as a sophomore. However, his third season as a full time pitcher in the majors has been problematic. Buehler recorded an ERA of 3.26 and 1.04 WHIP, a season after he was flawless with an ERA of 2.62 and 0.96 WHIP in 2018.
He goes into Friday with a 5.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 2020. Buehler has given up five home runs in four games. He must be better at keeping the ball in the field of play if improvements are going to be made to his numbers.
Buehler most recently gave up 6 hits and 4 earned runs through 4.2 innings versus the Angels on August 15. He’s allowed at least 2 earned runs in each one of his four outings in 2020. Buehler faces a Rockies that has scored an average of 5.4 runs per game this season for fifth in the majors.
Fortunately, Buehler won’t have to deal with the Rockies at Coors Field, though. Look for Buehler to put forward a better effort in this one than what he did against the Angels, but questions still remain regarding his current form.
Jon Gray has an even tougher assignment on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. He will be up against the top ranked Dodgers’ offense, which has scored 5.59 runs per game for first in the major leagues. Gray has conceded 20 runs to the Dodgers in 141 at-bats. He’s been struggling recently with 14 earned runs yielded in his previous three starts.
The Giants, Rangers, and D-backs, all rather mediocre offenses, scored a total of 18 runs with Gray on the bump for 16.1 innings. Overall, Gray has a 5.74 ERA through five games, up from his career ERA of 4.51. Gray preferred pitching at Coors Field as opposed to the road last year. He notched a 3.46 ERA at home compared to a 4.22 ERA on the road. In 2018, Gray posted a 5.34 ERA on the road. There should be at least ten runs up on the scoreboard at Dodger Stadium in this one.