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Series Preview: Rays take the HR derby to Coors.

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The Rays potent offense heads to the home run happy confines of Coors Field

Colorado Rockies Photo Day

For those who love the long ball and offense in general this series could be entertaining. The Rays offense and pitchers are sure to give plenty of opportunities for fireworks. The Rays enter play tonight with a one game winning streak and will look to build off their four homer performance yesterday in the park where pitching goes to die.

The Matchups:

Monday: Drew Smyly vs Tyler Anderson

Tuesday: Blake Snell vs Tyler Chatwood

Wednesday: Chris Archer vs Jorge de la Rosa

Rockies send out two starters who have put up good results.

Tyler Anderson is a 26 year old rookie left handed pitcher that has made six starts in the majors. The results have been pretty impressive. In six starts he’s pitched 35.2 innings of 3.03 ERA and 3.33 FIP ball. His 8.07 K/9 and 1.51 BB/9 have been really good. His 17.4% HR/FB rate is high, but somewhat expected when you make four of six starts at Coors. Right handed batters have had much more success as they have hit .286/.313/.468 and .330 wOBA.

Tyler Chatwood has had a pretty great year by ERA as he has a mark of 3.29. His FIP is pretty solid at 3.93. But I have no idea how he’s able to accomplish that with an extremely low 5.55 K/9 and an unimpressive 3.39 BB/9. He hasn’t allowed many homers and that definitely helps. He has a 58% ground ball rate which is fourth in MLB among qualified starters behind Marcus Stroman, Carlos Martinez, and Jaime Garcia. His .276 BABIP likely isn’t real as Coors is his home park, but if somebody can succeed it’s probably somebody with a heavy ground ball profile.

Jorge de la Rosa has been roughly a replacement level veteran pitcher this year. He sports a 5.50 ERA and 5.25 FIP. He will give you plenty of opportunities as he has a 4.19 BB/9 and allowed a 17.9% homerun per fly ball rate. Rays right handed bats should have the opportunity to feast on the left handed pitcher. He has allowed a .296/.383/.505 .383 wOBA line to right handed batters.

Who had Boone Logan as best LHP in the Rockies bullpen?

The Rockies relievers are right in the middle of the pack as they are 15th in fWAR. They have combined for a 5.00 ERA and 4.27 FIP. Coors does them no favors, so keep that in mind when looking at their lines.

In a somewhat surprising development Boone Logan has been their best performing lefty out of a pen that includes former Ray Jake McGee. Logan has posted a 2.84 ERA and 1.78 FIP. He has been sheltered from righties as 65 of the 98 batters he has faced have been left handed. While he’s been better against left handed batters he hasn’t been bad against right handed batters as they have hit for just a .185/.333/.222 line and .243 wOBA.

Young right handed pitcher Carlos Estevez has stepped into the closers role while Jake McGee was on the DL, but hasn’t given up the role since McGee’s return. Estevez has a 4.18 ERA and 3.93 FIP. He boasts a 29.6% K-rate, but has had his problems with walks as he’s walked 10.5% of batters faced.

Nolan Arenado is really good at baseball.

The Rockies have a team line of .271/.334/.456 line, but due to Coors Field that only comes in at 92 wRC+. The first thing you think of is homers with the elevation at Coors, but the massive outfield causes for a ton of extra base hits and cheap singles. You have to play back and allows a lot of singles to fall. If a ball gets in the gap it’s a potential triple from all but the slowest guys.

DRS absolutely loves the Rockies defense as they come in at +25 and tied for fourth highest total in the league. UZR doesn’t love them as much as they only come in at +1.2 UZR, but is still above average. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Nolan Arenado is the Rockies equivalent to a young Evan Longoria. He is a beast with the glove and at just 25 years old he is a bat you can build a team around. He is hitting .289/.363/.564 126 wRC+ for the year with 23 homers. The big development has been that he has walked 10.1% in plate appearance up from approximately 5% during his first three years in the majors.

Carlos Gonzalez is enjoying a healthy season and it is showing in his bat. He is batting .316/.365/.546 and 124 wRC+ with 19 homeruns. He crushes righties at a .337/.396/.562 and 137 wRC+ clip. The Rays will throw two lefties, so they should be able to avoid most of the damage from CarGo.

Trevor Story was the darling of the league for the fist week of the season as he hit seven homeruns in his first six games in the majors. Since then he has been roughly a league average bat as he’s hit .254/.329/.488 with 14 additional homers. He’s a below average defender at short, but the bat will definitely play.

When you are looking to trade starting pitching a trip to Coors isn’t ideal.

Luckily the trip to Coors comes after the all star break and you were able to shield your two most likely trade candidates in Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi from Coors. Obviously what scouts see matters more than stats, but it’s probably safer to take that risk out of play.

The Rays pitchers will bat and according to Blake Snell this will be his first time batting in a game scenario in around six years. Please bring the DH to the national league. I don’t care for seeing a pitcher flail around in the box and have a potential injury while batting or on the bases. I know some people like pitchers batting and that’s fine as this is only my opinion.

After a four homerun outburst yesterday afternoon the Rays bats could look to continue to put some big numbers on the board. They face two left handed starting pitchers and the Rays offense has been second best in baseball against them as they have hit .270/.342/.458 and 117 wRC+.