The San Diego Padres are coming off what was perhaps their best series of the 2016 season as the Friars won two out of three games at Dodger Stadium. Let’s remember that this was the same team that outscored the Padres 25-0 in the opening series. Not this time though.
All components worked out for the Padres for the most part in this series. For the Dodgers to get a win it took their ace Clayton Kershaw to get a complete game shutout. Now the Padres come back home to Petco Park to take on the Colorado Rockies for a three-game series.
The last time these two teams faced each other a total of 48 runs were scored, 32 of those runs coming from the Padres. Now that series was at Coors Field so the altitude definitely played a role. Now these two teams will face in the pitching fortress which is Petco Park. Even though the games will be played at Petco Park I still expect quite a few runs to be scored in this series.
The N.L. West is quite an interesting division as only three and a half games separate the last place team to the team in first. The Padres should be able to win this series against the Rockies and shake things up in the division.
The pitching matchups are why I believe their will be quite a few runs scored in this series and also why I believe the Padres should take this series. The pitching matchups totally favor the Padres.
James Shields looked magnificent in his last start. Shields pitched seven innings and only allowed a run against the San Francisco Giants. Shields is yet to win a game this season mostly due to the run support not being there. I am sure that he will get the win Monday against the Rockies.
In game two we have Andrew Cashner going who is coming off his worst start of the season. Cashner would only go two and two-thirds innings and allow six runs to cross the plate against the Giants. If we lose a game in this series I definitely think game two will be that game.
In game three we have the man with all the excitement surrounding him that stays as calm as Arnold Palmer golfing, Cesar Vargas. Cesar has looked impressive in his first two starts of his MLB career only allowing a run in 10 and a third innings of work. “El Calmado” should not have a problem dealing with this Rockies lineup and should be able to get his first MLB win.
The pitchers going for the Rockies are quite young and inexperienced in Jon Gray, Eddie Butler, and Tyler Chatwood. The only one who has a bit of experience and could prove to cause some problems for the Padres is Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood has looked quite sharp this season with a 2.73 ERA in five starts.
Players to watch
This guy was signed pretty late into spring training and I bet many teams are regretting not signing him. Raburn has been fantastic for the Rockies batting an astonishing .371 BA. Raburn also has four dingers to add to it. Raburn doesn’t always start for the Rockies with Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Gerrardo Parra in the outfield, but he is worth mentioning. If he gets a chance to start a game or pinch hit, watch out.
Reynolds has always been known as that guy that can get you a bunch of homers but will probably strike out like a billion times and bat like .200. Well not this year Reynolds is managing to hit over .300 in this early campaign. Reynolds is always a dangerous bat at the plate which can make you pay for your mistakes. James Shields, and a few relievers like Carlos Villanueva should be cautious when facing Reynolds in this series.
Derek Norris has been abysmal at the plate to start this 2016 campaign. Norris is just batting .150 and has started most games behind the plate. Norris should definitely not struggle against the caliber of pitchers he will be facing. If Norris is to struggle against these Rockies pitchers, Andy Green should definitely think about who should be starting most games behind the plate. I do hope that Norris can have a nice series and bring himself above the Mendoza line soon.
Cesar “El Calmado” Vargas
I can’t be the only one who is really excited to see this kid on the mound again. Right now he is the Friar that I am most looking forward to seeing out there. How can you not be exited about Vargas? He has just looked dominant on the mound. The thing that gets me the most excited is how calm and composed he is on the mound. It’s like if he’s pitching against some of his lifetime friends out there. Almost like a dad throwing pitches to his son. The difference is Vargas does not get rocked out there, he’s only given up a run so far. Vargas has also made some great batters like Joc Pederson, Kolten Wong, and Adrian Gonzalez just look silly up at the plate. I just can’t wait to see him on the mound Wednesday. This will not be a simple task though as the Rockies do have a stacked lineup with the likes of Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, and more. From the first batter you face to the number eight hitter, all are capable of going yard off of any pitcher. I think Cesar will be able to prevail against the Rockies and hopefully get his first MLB win.
Carlos Gonzalez vs James Shields
Cargo has quite the impressive mark vs James Shields. Gonzalez is 9-25 against “Juego G” with two walks, two doubles, and three home runs. The last time these two faced each other was earlier this season at Coors Field. Cargo would get his third career homer off Shields. This matchup is especially dangerous as Shields has struggled with the long ball this year. Hopefully James can get the best out of Carlos this time around.
Matt Kemp vs Tyler Chatwood
Kemp has had success in just eleven at bats vs Chatwood. Kemp has gone 4-11 with a walk and a homer. Kemp has been one of the best players for the Padres this season and hopefully can get Cesar Vargas some run support against Chatwood on Wednesday.
How will the N.L. West look after this series?
The N.L West is one interesting division. There are three teams tied for first place with records at .500. The Rockies at 12-12, and the Dodgers and Giants at 13-13. The D-Backs are then in fourth with a 12-15 record and the Padres in last with a 9-16 record just three and a half games out of first. The Giants will face an easy opponent in the Cincinnati Reds who are one of the worst teams in MLB. The Dodgers will have an inter-league series and face the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. This can be an interesting series which can really go either way. The D-Backs will have a tough task and face the Marlins at Marlins Park. The Marlins are coming off winning seven of their last 10 games and are looking quite good. Then finally we have The Rox and Pads which I think the Pads definitely have the upper hand. It’ll be very interesting to see how the division will look after this series. Hopefully everything can work out and we see the Pads at least not in last place.