The Diamondbacks took a step back in the National League Wild Card race over the weekend, losing three out of four games at home versus the division-rival San Francisco Giants. After winning Sunday’s series finale, Arizona enters the week 4.5-games back of the Chicago Cubs for the final postseason spot in the National League. Getting back into postseason contention will be an uphill battle, as they open up a three-game series versus a Rockies’ team that has won four in a row. Can the Diamondbacks get back on the winning track versus the Rockies on Tuesday night?
Ryan McMahon breaking out in second half
Despite their recent success, the Rockies remain out of postseason contention in the National League, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few bright spots down the stretch for Colorado. Ryan McMahon has been one of those bright spots for the Rockies, especially since the All-Star Break. The 24-year-old second baseman has flashed signs of an impending breakout in the second half of the season. He’s hitting a healthy .293 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in 116 at-bats since the break, compared to just .256 with seven home runs in 238 at-bats prior to the Midsummer Classic.
Just a 453-foot homer from Ryan McMahon 🚀
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) May 4, 2019
Left-hander Kyle Freeland is scheduled to toe the rubber for the Rockies in Game 2 of their series on the road at Chase Field. The 26-year-old has struggled for the better part of the season, taking a major step backwards after last season’s breakout campaign. Freeland is 3-10 with a 7.09 ERA in 19 starts this year, but he’s shown signs of improvement over his last three starts. The Rockies’ lefty has completed six innings in back-to-back starts for just the second time this season last time out against these very DBacks. In that outing, he managed to escape with a no-decision despite allowing five earned runs in six innings of work.
Freeland has made three starts in total against Arizona this season, going 0-1 despite posting a 10.80 ERA in 15 combined innings of work. He was 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA in his previous eight career starts versus Arizona. According to Baseball Savant, current DBacks’ hitters own a .299 batting average in 118 plate appearances off the Rockies’ lefty heading into Tuesday’s contest.
Young looks to rebound vs. Rockies
Even if Arizona doesn’t make the postseason in 2019, the franchise still has a very bright future ahead of them. All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte was named as the DBacks’ biggest surprise of the season by MLB.com’s Richard Justice. The 25-year-old took a major step forward in 2019, posting career-highs in nearly every major hitting category in his third season with the Diamondbacks. Marte is hitting .320 with 25 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .949 OPS this season, while his current WAR (5.6) ranks fourth in the MLB among position players.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 20, 2019
Arizona is expected to counter with rookie left-hander Alex Young versus the Rockies on Tuesday night. Young enters with a solid 3.98 ERA and a 4-3 overall record through his first nine career MLB games (eight starts), but he enters the week having lost three straight decisions after starting the season 4-0. Things have been particularly hard on the rookie as of late, as the 25-year-old has been roughed up for nine runs in a combined 8 ⅓ frames over his last two starts. Young surrendered a season-worst five runs in five innings of work in his last outing versus the San Francisco Giants, but he hasn’t gotten any run support during his current three-game losing streak. Over his last three starts, Arizona has scored a grand total of zero runs, while being outscored 14-0 during that span. Tough to win with that kind of run support.
Young made his home debut versus Colorado earlier this season, turning in his best start to date with six scoreless, no-hit innings in a 5-3 DBacks win on July 7. According to Baseball Savant, current Rockies are hitting .299 in 118 plate appearances off the DBacks’ rookie heading into this matchup.
- Rockies are 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Rockies are 0-7 in their last 7 Tuesday games.
- Rockies are 0-4 in Freeland’s last 4 road starts
- Diamondbacks are 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Diamondbacks are 4-1 in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Diamondbacks are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.