Opposite dugout: Poor pitching has held back Rockies' powerful bats

Rockies-circle.pngManager: Walt Weiss (4th season)

Record: 56-62

Last 10 games: 2-8

Who to watch: 3B Nolan Arenado (.282/.354/.556 with 30 HR, 93 RBIs), 2B DJ LeMahieu (.331/.405/.477 with 43 RBIs), RF Carlos Gonzalez (.323/.371/.568 with 23 HR, 79 RBIs), RHP Chad Bettis (10-6, 5.27 ERA), LHP Boone Logan (2.86 ERA with 20 holds)

Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (3-3 in 2015)

Pitching probables:

Aug. 15: RHP Max Scherzer vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa, 8:40 p.m., MASN
Aug. 16: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP Chad Bettis, 8:40 p.m., MASN2
Aug. 17: RHP Stephen Strasburg vs. RHP Jon Gray, 3:10 p.m., MASN

Inside the Rockies:

The Rockies, while out of contention at 56-62 and in third place in the National League West, are still a dangerous team to face at this point in the season. With a powerful lineup and the Rocky Mountain air, they can score runs and a lot of them. How many and how, you ask?

Colorado's offense leads the National League in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. But they only rank second in on-base percentage, so they're not all that. Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who tied Bryce Harper for the most home runs in the NL and lead the league in RBIs last year, is on pace be the league leader in those categories again this season, with 30 homers and 93 RBIs so far. Arenado is joined by second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who is slashing .331/.405/.477 with 43 RBIs, and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who has 23 homers with 79 RBIs while slashing .323/.371/.568.

Trevor Story was probably the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, but his first campaign appears to be cut short with a thumb injury that required surgery to repair a torn UCL. That's a shame for the Rockies, as the shortstop had 27 home runs and 72 RBIs into August. However, fellow rookie David Dahl has stepped up to fill Story's absence as best he can, slashing .342/.388/.570 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in just 20 games.

So with all that offense, how are the Rockies a third-place team? Well, for all the stats they lead the league in offensively, they rank near the bottom in pitching. Colorado's staff has the NL's third-worst ERA and second-worst batting average against, and that's about as good as it gets.

Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will be the first of the that staff to take the mound in this three-game set. De La Rosa started the season 1-4 with an ERA up to 11.41 over his first six starts, but has worked back to a 7-7 record and 5.25 ERA. He is 5-2 with a 3.71 ERA in 10 starts against the Nats over his 11-year career. Right-hander Chad Bettis has been sort of a bright spot for the Rockies this year, posting a 10-6 record, albeit with a 5.27 ERA. Since July 7, Bettis is 4-0 with a 3.98 ERA over seven starts with the Rockies going 6-1 over that stretch. He has only made two relief appearances against the Nationals in 2104, giving up seven hits and two runs over 2 2/3 innings. And as for a bright spot for the future, the Rockies have rookie righty Jon Gray on the mound for the series finale. After his Aug. 2 start against the Dodgers, Gray was 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA. But after getting roughed up by the Marlins and Phillies in his last two starts, he comes into this start at 8-6 with a 4.55 ERA. Over those two starts, Gray gave up 15 runs (14 earned) in just eight combined innings. This will be his first meeting against the Nationals, his third straight start against an NL East opponent.

Harper talks his way into lineup, helps Nationals ...
Nationals blow out Braves 9-1 to complete winning ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/