Friday is the start of the weekend, and it is also the start of the series between the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees. This is not going to be an easy series for the Rockies, as the Yankees are one of the best teams in all of baseball. New York was the first team in the American League to eclipse the 60-win mark, doing so in just 93 games. They also have the second-best run differential in the league at +130.
Further adding to the difficulty of this series for the Rockies is that they have been absolutely terrible in July. So far this month, they are an abysmal 2-10, with the only two wins coming against the Reds. Meanwhile, coming into this game on a three-game winning streak, the Yankees are 8-5 in July.
This season has not been what anyone expected for Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland. Last year, Freeland was terrific, finishing with a 17-7 record with a sub-three earned run average. Freeland finished fourth in the National League in Cy Young voting. But 2019 has been a complete reversal of all the great things he did last year. It was so bad that he was sent down to Triple-A at one point, and he did terribly there as well. In six starts in the minors, Freeland went 0-4 with an ERA of 8.80.
This will be his 14th start in the majors, and his numbers up there aren’t much better. He holds a 2-6 record with a 7.39 earned run average. In his first start up from the minors on July 13th, Freeland went only four innings and gave up nine hits with five earned runs. In half of his starts this season, he has given up five or more runs. Trying to figure out what went wrong with Freeland is the new Da Vinci Code. Much of it can be attributed to Coors Field, where he has a 9.55 ERA. But even on the road, his ERA is over 5.
For the Yankees, J.A. Happ will take the hill for his 19th start this season. Happ has been solid yet again for the Yankees this season, in what will most likely be his sixth straight season with double-digit wins. He currently has seven, accompanied with a 4.93 earned run average.
I know the quality start stat is only if the starter goes six innings or more. But, if you ease up on that and make it only five innings, Happ would have 11 “quality” starts. And if you’re Aaron Boone, with that bullpen, I’m positive you would take five great innings from your starter every time out. The one problem for Happ is his ability to pitch in Yankee Stadium this season. He currently has a 5.98 ERA at home and has given up 13 of his 20 home runs there this season.
Colorado is on a terrible string of luck lately. Kyle Freeland might be one of the worst starters on the planet. It will be interesting to see how he pitches in Yankee Stadium considering his home/road splits. The Yankees might put up 10 runs in this game. Take New York.