The showdown between the top two teams in the National League West this weekend has been as lopsided as the current standings in the division, with the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers winning the first two over the second-place Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers have now won five straight and have opened up a 12-game advantage over the Rockies in the division standings.
Not that this hasn’t been a competitive series, with the Dodgers needing walk-off homers in each contest to earn the victories. In an effort to complete the sweep, Los Angeles will send rookie Kenta Maeda to the mound, while Colorado will counter with Antonio Senzatela. The Rockies are now tied with St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot in the National League, so they need as many wins as they can muster going forward.
The moneyline for this contest has the Colorado Rockies +185 and the Los Angeles Dodgers -210. The over/under for the game has been set at 9.
Needing A Victory
The Rockies turn to Senzatela to try to snap their two-game winning streak. The right-hander has won three of his last four starts, including a win at Arizona last week in which he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run. On the season, Senzatela is 6-5 with a 5.09 ERA, but he’s been pitching better of late, as his ERA was as high as 6.21 late in May. Senzatela isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, recording only 40 in his 70 2/3 innings this season.
Charlie Blackmon has been very good since coming off the injured list two weeks ago, hitting .426 with eight home runs, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored in 14 games. He sets the table for the rest of the Colorado lineup when he’s going well. The Rockies’ best hitter, Nolan Arenado, has been dealing with a bruised left big toe and missed the opener of this series, but he was back in the lineup Saturday. Arenado is hitting .325 on the season, with 19 home runs, 62 RBI and 57 runs scored.
Continuing to Cruise
Maeda has a nice 7-4 record with a 3.87 ERA, but he’s a bit of late, dropping his last two decisions and not getting past the fifth inning in his last three starts. He’s allowed eight earned runs in 14 1/3 innings in those three starts, despite only allowing eight hits. This will be his 15th start of the season, and he’s struck out 77 and walked 26 in 76 2/3 innings of work.
The Dodgers have offense aplenty this season, with different players coming through each night. On Saturday, it was Alex Verdugo, who had two home runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the 11th inning. But all talk about Los Angeles begins with Cody Bellinger, who is putting together a sterling campaign that will likely have him in the running for the National League MVP award. Bellinger leads the Dodgers in batting average (.353), home runs (25), RBI (61), runs scored (61) and hits (95), powering Los Angeles to the best record in baseball.
Dodgers Win Again
The pitching matchup in this one is probably the closest of the series, but that likely won’t lead to a Rockies win. The Dodgers are on a major roll right now, and the offense seems to be hitting on all cylinders. Los Angeles adds another game onto its enormous lead in the National League West. I’m going with the Dodgers -210.