The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres and they keep fighting for the top spot in the NL as they trail the Atlanta Braves by two games.
The Dodgers head to the Denver, Colorado to face the Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies are third place in the NL West with a 65-73 record and are 11.5 games behind the Dodgers.
While, the Rockies have a losing record, they’re still very good offensively. They’re ranked fourth in slugging percentage and fifth in batting average and rank third in the NL with 600 runs scored.
Every game from here on out is important and the Rockies will come out swinging, so the Dodgers must prepare for three competitive games. Luckily for the Dodgers they do not have to face the talented Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, both won’t be in the lineup this afternoon against Clayton Kershaw.
Here are the keys to the series:
1. Slow down Michael Cuddyer
The Rockies have a good offense and although their record does not show it, they’re capable of scoring some runs. Cuddyer is currently leading the team in batting average and on-base percentage. Cuddyer is hitting .328 and his OBP is .389 and has been productive in 12 games against the Dodgers.
Cuddyer is hitting .261 with four home runs and 15 RBIs and without their two stars in the lineup, he’ll lead the Rockies offense.
2. Starting Pitching
The Dodgers will have three pitchers that have been doing great as of late. They begin with the potential NL Cy Young recipient, they follow with Ricky Nolasco,and end with the potential Rookie of the Year, Hyun-Jin Ryu.
If they continue pitching like they have, the Dodgers are in great shape. Playing at Coors Field can tax a bullpen, so it’s important for the Dodger starters to go deep into the game.
3. Fundamental Baseball
Coors Field and the altitude might have an effect on the Dodgers, so they must take advantage of any Rockies’ mistakes and minimize their own through out the series. They must try and play flawless baseball on the road in front of hostile crowds as one mistake can be the difference in a game.
The Dodgers will win two of three against the Rockies and begin the six-game road trip off on the right foot as they look to continue their hot play.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Matt Kemp’s rehab assignment.