The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the final leg of their nine-game road trip with the series opener against the Colorado Rockies. L.A. last faced the Colorado during the Opening Series, when they lost two of three at Coors Field.
The Dodgers offense rallied late to force extra innings against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night in a 5-3 win in 11 innings despite going 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers have been carried by their incredible starting pitching.
Their starters collectively hold a 2.62 ERA, which leads all of Major League Baseball. A big reason for that has been the resurgence of Tyler Anderson, who makes his return to Colorado, where he spent the first four seasons of his career.
Anderson started 71 games for the Rockies with a record of 18-24 to go along with a 4.69 ERA and 4.47 FIP.
However, Anderson’s time with the Dodgers has been the best run of his career. In 13 games (11 starts), he is 8-0 and holds a 3.00 ERA and a 3.29 FIP, both of which are career-best marks. Much of Anderson’s success has come from his increase in changeup usage and a decrease in his four-seam fastball.
Anderson sits in the 94th percentile in chase rate, 93rd percentile in average exit velocity, and 91st percentile in hard-hit percentage. His changeup has an MLB-best .101 batting average allowed and is tied for first with a -11 run value.
The Rockies counter with Chad Kuhl, who enters with a 3.95 ERA over 68.1 innings pitched. During the month of June, he is 0-3 and has allowed an opposing batting average of .310 with a 1.82 WHIP.
Kuhl has not faced the Dodgers this season, but his peripheral metrics such as 33rd percentile in chase rate, and 45th percentile in whiff rate, don’t bode well to quiet the L.A. offense in a hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Despite the Dodgers’ recent struggles with runners in scoring position, their season numbers still rank near the top in MLB. Their 115 wRC+ on the year trails only the New York Yankees, and their team on-base percentage of .331 is also the best in baseball.
The Dodgers have taken a step back during the month of June, mainly due to the absence of Mookie Betts, and the middle-of-the-order consisting of Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger that continues to tread water.
Their at-bat quality has been there, but the results have not been enough to deepen the batting order and keep the line moving.
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux
RF: Trayce Thompson
DH: Connor Joe
CF: Yonathan Daza
LF: Kris Bryant
1B: C.J. Cron
2B: Brendan Rodgers
SS: José Iglesias
3B: Ryan McMahon
RF: Randal Grichuk
C: Elias Díaz
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