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Not so tough away from Coors: Phillies vs. Rockies series preview

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Will the Rockies still have the Phillies number away from Coors Field?

Philadelphia Phillies v Colorado Rockies
Is Charlie Blackmon a product of Coors Field?
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Phillies have not fared well when playing in Coors Field the past two years. Fortunately, this weekend’s series against the Rockies will take place in the much friendlier confines of Citizens Bank Park.

Colorado Rockies

Record: 20-22, fourth place in National League West

The last time they met

As mentioned, Coors Field has not been kind to the Phillies. The Phillies dropped three of four games when they visited Colorado last month.

Since then?

The Rockies have mostly treaded water, going 11-9. That hasn’t been enough to gain much ground in the West after getting off to a disastrous start (3-12) to the season.

They’re better away from home?

That series against the Phillies aside, the Rockies have actually been better away from home. They’re only 9-11 at Coors, as opposed to 11-11 on the road.

But it’s not thanks to their hitting

The Rockies may win more on the road, but their hitters definitely don’t seem to enjoy leaving home since their team batting average is just .217 outside of Colorado. Take them out of Coors Field, and the Rockies are no more than an average at best offensive team.

The biggest beneficiary of his home city’s thin air is Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon might hit like a superstar at Coors, but he’s been rather anemic with the bat on the road. His OPS is a measly .556 and he’s only managed one home run.

On the other hand...

David Dahl: Ryan Braun 2.0?

Speaking of guys who play well against the Phillies, David Dahl put up a slash line .375/.444/.563 in the four games against the Phillies last month. Sadly that’s actually worse than what he did last season when he put up an astonishing .444/.474/1.222. The good news is that Dahl has traditionally been much weaker on the road where his OPS is more than .200 points lower than at home. So maybe we won’t have to watch him pull a Ryan Braun on the Phillies this weekend.

Retirement home for the Washington Nationals?

Apparently, when former members of the Washington Nationals get old, they move to Colorado. Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy, and Mark Reynolds have all found their way onto the Rockies’ roster, although none of them are doing all that well. Combined, they’ve put up -1.0 bWAR.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies
Ian Desmond isn’t having a great season
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jean Jean the Rockie hitting machine

Jean Segura has had a good week with the bat, and that seems likely to continue this weekend. His career OPS against the Rockies is .962 and he has nine home runs in 42 games against them.

Scheduled pitchers

Jon Gray might have pitched well against the Phillies last month, but I have doubts that he can repeat that performance. After all, this is the guy who led the National League in runs allowed last season. Being away from Colorado hasn’t helped him much this season, as he’s been knocked around in both of his last two road starts.

Game two will be started by Antonio Senzatela, who was the losing pitcher when the Phillies won their game at Colorado. Considering how poorly the Phillies have played there, that doesn’t say much for him. Then again, nothing he’s done this season says all that much about him.

The finale goes to Kyle Freeland. Freeland opened some eyes in 2018, going 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA, finishing fourth in Cy Young Award voting. I suspect he won’t get nearly as many votes this season since his ERA has almost doubled.

Just like home

A reminder that according to the Denver Post, the Rockies should feel right at home this weekend:

Prediction

The Phillies had a shaky week, so it’s not great timing for the Rockies to come to town. The Rockies’ record may not look great, but that’s largely due to their poor start to the season. And while their offense may take a step back on the road, they’ve still been able to win games. Armed with a few guys who typically kill the Phillies, I see the Rockies winning two out of three.