Opposite dugout: Rockies offense trying to carry club to first .500 finish since 2010

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

Record: 60-67

Last 10 games: 4-6

Who to watch: 3B Nolan Arenado (.286/.356/.567 with 34 HR, 108 RBIs), 2B DJ LeMahieu (.344 /.416/.501 with 10 HR, 50 RBIs), CF Charlie Blackmon (.318/.378/.531 with 21 HR, 60 RBIs), RF Carlos Gonzalez (.313/.361/.544 with 23 HR, 80 RBIs), LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 5.07 ERA), LHP Boone Logan (3.11 ERA with 22 holds)

Season series vs. Nationals: 2-1

Pitching probables:

Aug. 26: RHP Jeff Hoffman vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASN2
Aug. 27: LHP Jorge De La Rosa vs. RHP A.J. Cole, 1:05 p.m., MASN2
Aug. 28: RHP Chad Bettis vs. RHP Reynaldo Lopez, 1:35 p.m., MASN2

Inside the Rockies:

Not much has changed for the Rockies since they took two out three against the Nationals at Coors Field last week. The offense is one of the best in the National League, leading the Senior Circuit in runs, hits, RBIs, batting average (.273), slugging percentage (.456) and OPS (.793). The poor pitching staff is holding the offense back and the main reason why the Rockies are fighting for their first .500 finish since 2010 instead of their first postseason birth since 2009. But to be fair, those offensive numbers dip on the road.

Since last week's meeting, the Rockies are just 2-4, including taking two of three from the Cubs in Denver. But they are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers in Milwaukee, where the high-powered offense was held to just seven runs. So maybe the Nationals can tame this lineup in our nation's capital.

Nolan Arenado still figures to be Daniel Murphy's biggest challenger for NL MVP this season. The Rockies third baseman leads the league with 33 home runs and 108 RBIs, while slashing .286/.356/.567. Brace yourself for more slash lines because they are ridiculous. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu is slashing .344 /.416/.501 with 10 homers and 50 RBIs; center fielder Charlie Blackmon slashes .318/.378/.531 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs; and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez has a .313/.361/.544 line with 23 longballs and 80 RBIs.

Rookie Jeff Hoffman, 23, will make his second career start to open this series for the Rockies. His major league debut? All he had to do was take on the Cubs. The right-hander took the loss after pitching four innings and giving up seven runs (six earned), one walk and one home run while striking out two. Veteran lefty Jorge De La Rosa takes on the Nationals for the second time this season in Saturday's matinee. He pitched six innings, giving up six hits, four runs and four walks while striking out four in a no-decision against the Nats last week. He gave up home runs to Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos in the Nats' 5-4 victory. De La Rosa is 8-7 with a 5.07 ERA on the season, but is 3-0 with a 4.70 ERA in four career starts at Nats Park.

At 10-7 with a 5.29 ERA, right-hander Chad Bettis gets the call for the Rockies to close out the season series between these two teams on Sunday. Last week, Bettis pitched just three innings, giving up five hits, two runs and one walk with one strikeout while taking the no-decision in the Rockies' 6-2 win over the Nationals. In his one appearance at Nats Park, Bettis gave up five hits and two runs in two innings of relief in 2014.

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