In the second game of an important series against the Rockies, the Dodgers send Ted Lilly to the mound to face Jhoulys Chacin. On the face of it, this appears to be a pretty nice pitching matchup given Chacin’s history (ERA under 3.62 last two seasons), however 2012 hasn’t been quite as kind.

In four starts this season, Chacin has amassed an ERA of 5.85 and a record of 0-2, having only pitched past the fifth inning in one game thus far. The good news for Dodger sluggers is that Chacin has been particularly susceptible to the long ball, having allowed four home runs already this season. To make things even more concerning for Rockies’ fans, those four starts have been against some of the more lowly offenses in the league, including the Giants, Diamondbacks and Pirates.

For the Dodgers, Ted Lilly has been spectacular. In 20.0 innings this season, Lilly has allowed just two earned runs and nine hits, with his only weakness being the walk – which he has allowed eight of thus far (six in one game).

Los Angeles Dodgers (16-7) at Colorado Rockies (11-11)
5:40 PM PST, May 1, 2012
Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
TV: KCAL
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 52 degrees, cloudy

Rockies Projected Starters:
P: 
Jhoulys Chacin
C: 
Ramon Hernandez
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Marco Scutaro
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Chris Nelson
LF: Carlos Gonzalez
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Michael Cuddyer

Key Bench Players: CF Eric Young, Jr., 3B Jonathan Herrera

For more information on the Rockies, check out our pre-series report.

Dodgers Last 10: (6-4): L @ COL, vs WASvs WASvs WAS, L vs ATL, vs ATL, vs ATL, @ HOU, @ HOU, W@ HOU.
Rockies Last 10:
 (5-5): W vs LA, vs NYM, vs NYM, vs NYM, L @ PIT, W @ PIT, L @ PIT, W @ MIL, L @ MIL, @ MIL.

Fun Facts:

  • Matt Kemp is just 4-for-26 against Chacin in his career with eight strikeouts. Likewise, Troy Tulowitzki is also 4-for-26 against Lilly with 10 strikeouts.
  • In four starts against the Dodgers last season, Chacin was 3-1. In 26.0 innings, he allowed just 17 hits and five earned runs while striking out 21.
  • Like Chacin, Lilly also found success against the Rockies in 2011, going 3-0 in four starts. In 23.2 innings, Lilly allowed 14 hits, seven earned runs and struck out 25 batters.

Keys to a Dodger Victory:

– Look to go deep
In two starts this season at Coors Field, Chacin has given up three home runs. This could be a good spot for Dodgers like Kemp and Ethier to keep rolling, or for guys like Loney and Rivera to get back on track.

 Lilly keeps rolling
An ERA under one doesn’t last long, especially in Coors Field, but the Dodgers’ success thus far is based largely on the success of guys like Lilly, Capuano and Billingsley thus far. If he can keep forcing batters to swing and miss, the Dodgers offense will surely get him the run support he needs.

– Focus on the division
While a game in May against a divisional opponent in fourth place can feel meaningless on the surface, it’s games like these that determine who hangs a divisional banner in October. The Rockies are definitely capable of making a run at some point and the Dodgers need to be able to capitalize on the run they’re on while it lasts.

Best-Case Prediction: Dodgers 9, Rockies 3
Worst-Case:
 Rockies 4, Dodgers 2

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