The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Colorado Friday for game two of a four-game set with the Rockies in a National League West showdown! The Dodgers took game one last night 8-5, by scoring seven runs in the games final three innings, including three runs in the ninth inning. Wade Davis got pounded for three runs in just a third on an inning of work for Colorado as his unlikely struggles continue this season. Davis now has 5.51 ERA on the season after averaging an ERA of under two runs in the last four seasons.
With the win, the Dodgers pulled into a tie for first place in the division with the Arizona Diamondbacks and are now three and a half games ahead of third-place Colorado. These next three games couldn’t be bigger for the Rockies as if they get swept, it just might signal the end of their run this season. August isn’t the time to be digging yourself into deep holes if you want to still be playing come playoff time.
Starting tonight for the Rockies is Jon Gray (9-7 4.73 ERA), and for the Dodgers, it is Kenta Maeda (7-7 3.73 ERA). The Rockies are -113 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at ten and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
After starting his season very slow, Jon Gray has pitched very well recently. In July, Gray made three starts and went 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA. He started August out on the right foot as well as he pitched eight innings and allowed just one run and picked up the win in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers. The most interesting take away from these four great starts has been the fact that he has pitched at least seven innings in each game. Something he did only four times in his first seventeen starts of the year.
Kenta Maeda is a bit of the opposite of Jon Gray this season. Maeda pitched very well through the seasons first three months but has slipped up some recently. In his last three starts, Maeda has pitched sixteen innings and has allowed thirteen earned runs. He has seen his ERA swell all the way from 3.13 to where it stands now at 3.73 during that rough patch.
I love what the Dodgers did at the trade deadline. They picked up some major power in the infield when they acquired Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles and Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins. Machado has been solid in his twenty games with the Dodgers as he is hitting .280 with an on-base percentage of .366. He has also chipped in two home runs and five RBI.
While the Machado story has been a decent one, Brian Dozier has been absolutely tearing the cover off the ball since heading out west. Dozier has played eight games with the Dodgers is slashing a very impressive .308 with an on-base percentage of .438. He has hit three homers and has nine RBI. Nine RBI in eight games is just the type of boost they were hoping to get when they brought this guy in at the trade deadline. If Dozier and Machado can keep hitting, I don’t see any way this team doesn’t find a way to win this division.
This is a close game. Jon Gray has been pitching really well over the course of the last month, and Kenta Maeda has been struggling. But I always try and look at the big picture more than a small sample size of results. And the big picture tells me Maeda is the better of these two starters. And even if you can make the case that this starting pitching matchup is a wash, and I could buy that, you won’t be able to convince me that this Dodgers team isn’t the significantly better squad.
Surprisingly, the Rockies have struggled at home all season long and entering play today are just one game above .500 at Coors Field. The Dodgers? They have the second most road wins of any team in the National League this season. I think the Dodgers are just too good to pass up on getting to back them getting dog money.
The Rockies have lost seven out of their last nine games and are starting to slip out of contention. I see that run continuing tonight as I think this Dodgers lineup will just be too much to handle tonight for Colorado. We saw what this mighty Dodgers lineup could do last night late in the game, and I expect to see more of those fireworks tonight. Give me the Los Angeles Dodgers as small road underdogs tonight in game two from Coors Field!