The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies will cross paths on Saturday night at Coors Field in a critical NL West showdown. It will be the second game of a four-game series with the Padres taking the first game on Friday 10-4.
With Friday’s win, the Padres continue to be one of the hottest teams in baseball. Thanks to a recent seven-game winning streak, the Padres have won nine of their last 11 games. They are now six games over .500 but still four games behind the Dodgers atop the NL West. Meanwhile, they are three games ahead of the Rockies for the second guaranteed playoff spot.
As for the Rockies, Friday’s loss dropped them to 16-16 on the season. Colorado got off to a fast start and looked like a genuine threat to steal the division away from the Dodgers. However, the Rockies have faltered during the second half of August.
They are 5-13 in their last 18 games, a stretch that includes a seven-game losing streak. After winning three in a row against Arizona earlier this week, the Rockies got back to their losing ways, although they would be a playoff team in the season ended now.
The Rockies will have Antonio Senzatela taking the mound on Saturday night. The righty had a dreadful 2019 season but has bounced back nicely this year. Through his first six starts of the season, he’s 3-1 with a 3.96 ERA. Unfortunately, he’s had some problems in two of his last three starts. In his most recent outing, he gave up six runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings against the Dodgers.
On the bright side, Senzatela faced the Padres in early August, delivering six innings while allowing just one run on four hits. The caveat is that most of San Diego’s heavy hitters have had past success against Senzatela. Manny Machado is 2-for-7; Eric Hosmer is 4-for-13, and Will Myers is 8-for-20 with four extra-base hits against Colorado’s starter.
Then there’s Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the best players in the majors this year. Tatis and Machado have been carrying the Padres through their recent stretch with Myers and Jake Cronenworth, both contributing regularly.
And You Would Be?
Lefty Adrian Morejon will be San Diego’s starter on Saturday. The 21-year-old is trying to lock down the final spot in San Diego’s rotation that has been a revolving door for most of the season.
Morejon has started the last two times through the rotation but has only managed to give the Padres a total of 4.2 innings. He pitched three shutout innings against the Rangers in his season debut, only to get roughed up by the Astros in his last start, putting a lot of pressure on the San Diego bullpen.
Both Morejon and the bullpen will face a lineup that can be quite potent at Coors Field. The trio of Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, and Nolan Arenado continues to be as lethal as any in baseball, especially now that Arenado is coming around.
Colorado’s problem has been inconsistency from the rest of the lineup. However, the Rockies have averaged five runs per game over their last four games, showing some signs of life.
Give It a Chance
The Padres starting Morejon at Coors Field creates some uncertainty. However, San Diego’s lineup is red-hot, and they get to hit at Coors Field too. As mentioned, many of their key guys have past success against Senzatela, so he’s not likely to have his strongest outing, ultimately making this a bullpen game for both teams.
Given recent history, bet on the Padres to beat the Rockies on Saturday.