The Colorado Rockies will look to keep pace in the NL West as they begin a two-game interleague series against the Los Angeles Angels. These two teams previously split a two-game set back in May.
At this point in the season, every game is important for Colorado. The Rockies are one game behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West and one game back of the Brewers for the second wild-card spot. Of course, the NL West has three teams within 2.5 games of each other while the wild-card race has five teams within three games of each other. Every win helps the Rockies while every loss costs them ground in the standings, so they can’t afford to take a night off.
The Angels, meanwhile, have once again been relegated to playing out the season. The Halos have lost six in a row, falling five games under .500 and 17.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. Of course, they would no doubt like to put that losing streak to a stop, especially in front of their home fans.
The Rockies will send Jon Gray to the mound Tuesday night. After an up and down first half of the season, Gray has been much better since the all-star break. In his seven starts from the end of June, Gray has lowered his ERA from 5.77 to 4.67, which is a drastic change. He’s once again becoming the ace that the Rockies envisioned him being at the start of the season.
On Monday, Gray will have the benefit of facing an Angels lineup that’s been ice cold over the past week. During their six-game losing streak, the Angels have scored a total of 14 runs. On the bright side, Mike Trout has returned from a wrist injury during that stretch, but he’s the only one in the lineup who seems to be hitting much these days. Moreover, Gray tossed seven shutout innings when he faced the Angels in May, one of his few quality performances the first half of the season.
The Journey Continues
With their rotation once again decimated by injuries, the Angels will look to 31-year old journeyman Odrisamer Despaigne to start against the Rockies on Monday. Despaigne pitched out of Miami’s bullpen early in the season but has become a starter after being traded to the Angels. His two starts with the Halos have not gone well, as he’s allowed eight runs over eight innings, taking the loss in both starts.
If there’s a bright side, Despaigne has good numbers against most of Colorado’s hitters from his time in the National League. That being said, the Rockies are a hot offensive team at the moment. Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, D.J. LaMahieu, and Nolan Arenado are all hitting over .300 over the past week even without the team hitting many home runs during that span.
The Streak Continues
This game is easy to call. Unless Despaigne can turn the tide against a red-hot Rockies lineup, the Los Angeles losing streak is destined to continue. With the way Gray has pitched lately, he should have no problem pitching well enough to win if his teammates can score a few runs for him. Bet on the Rockies to beat the Angels on Monday.