Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies have arrived in South Florida to take on the Miami Marlins in a 3 game series starting tonight. The Rockies are 2-5 so far on their road trip, while dropping their previous series to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies will be without the services of their best player in all-star Carlos Gonzalez who is out with a finger injury. Colorado will send Jhoulys Chacin to the hill in search of his 12 win of the season. Chacin has pitched well this season posting career highs in ERA and FIP with 3.24 and 3.16 respectively. In 24 games started this year, Jhoulys has amassed 155.1 innings pitched and struck out 95 while walking 42. Chacin has been aided this season by his newfound ability to keep baseballs from flying over the fence. He has posted a 4.3% HR/FB rate, less than half of his career average and a number that can expect some regression as the season progresses. Chacin last pitched against the Marlins on July 23rd when he gave up 3 runs in 7 innings. Miami went on to win that game by a score of 4-2.
The Marlins will counter with Tom Koehler. Koehler, a rookie, is starting his 17th game of the season. He is 3-8 on the year with a 4.66 ERA and 4.10 FIP. He has struck out 72 through 102.1 innings and has a BB/9 of 3.34. Koehler will look to get through the 6th inning for the first time in his last 3 starts. He has given up 11 runs during that stretch. Koehler projects better as a middle reliever in the future and is currently a stop-gap while more of the Marlins very talented and very young arms continue to get seasoning in the minor leagues. Koehler did pick up a win on July 22nd in Colorado when he threw 7 innings of 1 run baseball in a Marlins 3-1 victory.
The Marlins have a winning record against very few teams this year, but the Rockies are one of them. Also going in Miami’s favor is Colorado’s struggles away from Coors Field. The Rockies have a 23-43 record in away games so far this year. Miami has played better at home than on the road as well.
Bold Prediction: Chacin has pitched well this year and that trend continues. The Rockies get to Koehler early and chase him before the 6th inning. The Marlins are able to rally late though and put some serious pressure on Colorado by bringing the winning run to the plate, but fall short at the end as Colorado wins 7-6.