April 11th, 2019
The Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants meet for the first game of their series at Oracle Park. The two NL West teams have struggled in the young season and are hoping to right the ship with a series win. The Colorado Rockies (3-9) have lost five straight and nine of their last 10 after starting the season with a pair of wins. The Rockies were slated to finish their series against the Atlanta Braves Wednesday, but inclement weather forced the game to be postponed, sparing them for the time being of the possible home sweep. The San Francisco Giants (4-9) are coming off a series loss to the San Diego Padres and have lost six of their last eight.
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The Rockies will hand the ball over to Jon Gray. The right-handed pitcher was supposed to start in the series finale against the Braves, but with the postponement, Gray will get the series opening start. Gray has struggled this season, picking up a loss in both of his starts for an early season ERA of 5.68 and a WHIP of 1.26. In his last start, Gray gave up five earned runs off eight hits and one home run in 6.0 innings of work. His first start was much better, going 6.2 innings deep and giving up three earned runs off five hits and one home run, but striking out 10 batters along the way. It should be noted that Gray has never won in San Francisco, going 0-2 in five career visits.
The Rockies, which are looking for a return trip to the playoffs, need more from their bats. Trevor Story has provided most of the team’s offense in the young season, with a team-high four home runs and nine RBIs, though the shortstop is only batting .209 and has struck out 13 times. Nolan Arenado has been consistent, batting .277 and notching six RBIs, and Charlie Blackmon has added four RBIs while batting .273.
Taking the mound for the Giants is Jeff Samardzija. The righty has not recorded a decision this season, collecting a 2.79 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. In his last start, a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Samardzija pitched 4.2 innings, giving up three earned runs off six hits and one walk while striking out four batters. Samardzija did pitch better in his first start of the year, a 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres, when he pitched five innings and gave up no earned runs.
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The Giants will look to Brandon Belt to continue his power hitting with his team-leading three home runs and eight RBIs, and Brandon Crawford, who leads the team with his .289 batting average. The Giants will also be looking a boost from centerfielder Kevin Pillar, who despite playing in only eight games this season leads the team with nine RBIs.
The Colorado Rockies go into this game as the slight favorite, but with both teams struggling in the first half of April, this is looking to be a pretty even matchup.