The Padres enter the weekend slotted in third place in the NL West standings with a 21-17 overall record and they currently sit three games behind the division-leading L.A. Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Rockies are trying to erase a slow start to the season and they enter with a 17-20 record after winning just four of their last 10 games. Can Colorado get back on the winning track at home against an improving Padres’ team on Saturday?
Lucchesi struggling to regain 2018 form
Second-year left-hander Joey Lucchesi is scheduled to toe the rubber at Coors Field on Saturday for his eighth start of the season. Following a promising rookie year in which he posted an 8-9 record to go along with a respectable 4.08 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 130 innings of work, Lucchessi has struggled to regain the form that he showcased last season. The 25-year-old has allowed three runs or more in four of his last five starts and he’s walked at least two batters in five of his seven outings. Last time out, Lucchesi gave up three runs on five hits in five innings of work in a no-decision at home versus the L.A. Dodgers. He’s been a victim of a .333 BABIP early on and has stranded only 66.8 percent of his baserunners so far this season, but the Padres want the young lefty to continue to attack the zone earlier in counts. The Padres’ lefty enters with a 3-2 record to go along with a 5.00 ERA through seven starts this year.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 16, 2019
Lucchesi has faced the Rockies once already this season, taking the loss after surrendering five earned runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He went 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four starts versus the Rockies last season and owns a 1.50 ERA in two career starts on the road at Coors Field.
According to Baseball Savant, the current Rockies’ roster is batting .261 in 75 plate appearances versus the Padres’ lefty. StatCast data projects Colorado for an expected batting average of .230 and an expected slugging percentage of .389 heading into Saturday’s matchup.
Gray gets the call after last start postponed
Colorado is scheduled to counter with right-hander John Gray, who had his last start postponed due to inclement weather. The Rockies elected to skip Gray’s last turn in the rotation as a result, but he comes in riding a personal three-game win streak despite coming off two of his poorest outings of the season. Gray has surrendered 10 earned runs over his last two starts, spanning 10 ⅓ frames, but Colorado still emerged with road victories over the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers in those matchups. The 27-year-old hurler comes in with a 3-3 overall record to go along with a 4.22 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) so far this season.
Enjoy this slo-mo video of Nolan Arenado’s snow homer. pic.twitter.com/JcirAsgyhS
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 9, 2019
Gray has already made one start against San Diego this season, limiting them to just one run on three hits in seven innings of work in an 8-2 Rockies’ victory on April 16. Last season, Gray was 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA in five starts versus the division-rival Padres and he is 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 13 starts against them dating back to the 2016 season.
According to Baseball Savant, the current Padres’ roster is batting .261 in 121 plate appearances versus the Rockies’ right-hander. StatCast data projects the Padres for an expected batting average of .276 and an expected slugging percentage of .453 off of Gray heading into Saturday’s matchup.
- Padres are 1-4 in Lucchesi’s last 5 starts.
- Padres are 3-14 in Lucchesi’s last 17 starts vs. National League West.
- Padres are 1-5 in Lucchesi’s last 6 road starts.
- Rockies are 5-2 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.