Colorado and Arizona were projected to be the bottom two teams in the NL West this season. The Diamondbacks is complying but the Rockies are contending. The Snakes are -114 favorites on MLB odds for Wednesday's series finale with a total of 9.
What You Need To Know
If the Rockies take a lead into the ninth inning in this one, they won't be able to use closer Adam Ottavino. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday. Ottavino took over as the closer very early in the season when LaTroy Hawkins struggled in his first few outings. Ottavino has been fantastic with no runs allowed and just three hits in 10.1 innings (10 appearances) with a win and three saves. Veteran John Axford takes over for now and got the save in Monday's series opener against the Diamondbacks. Rafael Betancourt is another option to close if Axford pitches multiple days and needs one off.
Do the Rockies have staying power to stick with the Dodgers and perhaps Padres in the NL West? Doubtful. The pitching staff as usual is a problem as Colorado has one of the worst ERAs in the NL. They are going to hit, though. Unheralded second baseman DJ LeMahieu leads the majors in batting average. A Rockie has won the NL batting title each of the past two years: Justin Morneau last year and Michael Cuddyer (now with the Mets) in 2013. Outfielder Corey Dickerson also is off to a good start with Colorado, leading the team in homers and RBIs. Just think when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez get going -- if they stay healthy.
Arizona's pitching staff has been slightly worse than the Rockies' thus far, although rookie starter Archie Bradley has been great. Offensively, Jake Lamb leads the team with a .414 average but hasn't played since April 18 due to a foot injury. He's on the disabled list and likely out another two weeks. His injury has opened a spot at third (most nights) for touted Cuban prospect Yasmany Tomas, the team's big-money offseason acquisition. Tomas hasn't exactly been the second coming of Jose Abreu yet, hitting .235 without an RBI entering Tuesday.
Right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-1, 2.92) starts for Colorado. Don't get fooled yet by that strong start as Lyles did the same thing last season, got hurt and then faded. So maybe if Lyles stays healthy he's for real. Last time out at home against San Diego, Lyles had his best outing, lasting a season-best 6.2 innings and allowing one run and six hits, striking out four and walking two. He has been much better at Coors Field this season with a 1-0 record and 1.42 ERA than in two starts on the road, where Lyles is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He has yet to face Arizona in 2015. Last year, he made three starts against the Diamondbacks and was 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA. He allowed 19 hits, including a homer, and struck out five in 16.0 innings. Mark Trumbo is 4-for-12 with three homers and seven RBIs career off Lyles. Paul Goldschmidt is 3-for-9 with a double, RBI and two walks. Aaron Hill is 2-for-10 with an RBI. Colorado is 1-7 at sportsbooks in Lyles' past eight starts as an underdog.
It's righty Josh Collmenter (1-3, 3.65) for Arizona. He has had back-to-back quality starts. Collmenter had the first complete-game shutout in the majors this season on April 17 at the Giants. He followed that by allowing three runs and six hits over six innings in a loss to Pittsburgh last time out. Collmenter is 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA in three home starts. Last year he made three starts against Colorado and didn't get a decision with a 4.42 ERA. In 18.1 innings, he allowed 18 hits, two homers, and struck out nine. Gonzalez is 5-for-12 with two doubles, two homers and three RBIs off him. Tulowitzki is 4-for17 with two doubles and a homer. Nick Hundley is 5-for-11 with a double, homer and three RBIs. LeMahieu is 0-for-10. Arizona is 4-0 in Collmenter's past four as a favorite on the MLB odds.
MLB Picks: Take Arizona and the 'under.' with your MLB picks. The 'under' is 6-0 in his past six as a home favorite and 12-3 in his past 15 overall at home. The Diamondbacks have won four straight Collmenter starts at home.