Game time: 4:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-RM, SportsNet LA, MLB Network
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Dodgers -240, Rockies +195
Season record (entering Saturday)
Rockies: 59-69 (4th place, NL West)
Dodgers: 81-48 (2nd place, NL West)
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Rockies - Dodgers preview and analysis
Recent form (entering Saturday)
Rockies: 7-3 in last 10
Dodgers: 8-2 in last 10
A round of applause for the Colorado Rockies.
If at all for one night, they’ve thrown a wrench into everything and made things more salivating.
The Rockies took the first game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night with a 4-2 victory in L.A. on a rare night the National League West could’ve gone topsy-turvy for a bit.
With the San Francisco Giants losing to the Atlanta Braves on Friday, the Dodgers missed a golden opportunity to move up in the division standings. Los Angeles remains 2.5 games back of the best team in the NL due to a rare loss.
The series will conclude with an afternoon matinee on Sunday. At the time of writing, Game 2 on Saturday night has just begun.
Charlie Blackmon got things rolling in the top of the first with a two-run home run. Will Smith and Trea Turner homered in the bottom of the third to tie it 2-2, but a homer from C.J. Cron in the sixth was the difference-maker. Elias Diaz, who was the only Rockies player with multiple hits, added a homer in the ninth for insurance.
It was one of those rare homers-only days that worked out well in the Rockies’ favor. There were only 13 combined hits, six from the Dodgers, and three of them were from Smith, who batted eighth on Friday. Mookie Betts returned to the lineup and went 1-for-4 in the three-spot.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland pitched a solid game (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 strikeouts) to better the five-pitcher game courtesy of the Dodgers bullpen.
The Dodgers were coming off a three-game sweep Thursday of the San Diego Padres, knocking their arch-rivals further down the pecking order in the playoff picture. The offense has quieted a bit having scored at least five runs in the last eight games entering Saturday, but it’s L.A.’s pitching that has carried the Dodgers this far; Max Scherzer, Julio Urias and Walker Buehler may be the most dominant three-man rotation in the league.
And yet the world waits on pins and needles for the return of ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw to see what may come of it.
Antonio Senzatela is expected to take the mound for his final start of August for the Rockies. The right-hander carries a 2-9 record with a 4.42 ERA and 1.39 WHIP into this matchup. He has not won a start since June 2 against the Texas Rangers; he’s lost four of his next 10 decisions and has gone to the sixth inning in all but one start in August. He will follow the outing from Jon Gray on Saturday.
The Dodgers have not named a starter to follow David Price’s outing from the finale. But there is growing belief that Urias, the team’s leader with 14 victories, will throw the first pitch of the ballgame Sunday afternoon.
Integrating Betts back into the lineup will bolster the Dodgers’ lineup in due time. While the Rockies have been a pest of an out against tough teams, it should be expected that L.A. at least bounces back in this finale. Dodgers win 5-2.
The under is 51-41 when the Rockies are an underdog this season. At +175 to +250, the over is 33-30 but the Rockies are 9-27 (-9.4 net games on the money line).
The Dodgers have cleaned up as favorites when the line is -150 or higher, going 61-28 (+6.5 net games).
Rockies: LF Raimel Tapia (toe, day-to-day)
Dodgers: SP Clayton Kershaw (forearm, 60-day IL, bullpen session next week)
Players to watch
Rockies: It has been a tear in August for C.J. Cron. On Aug. 1, he was batting .237. A .385 clip this month has him batting .273 with nine homers and a staggering 30 RBI. Amazingly, the Rockies are 12-10 in August. He’s been carrying that group all month.
Dodgers: It’s about time for Max Muncy to get going again. The Dodgers’ leader in homers entered Saturday in a five-game hitless streak and seven of his last nine. His last homers came Aug. 18 when he hit two against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Connor Joe (R) LF
Brendan Rodgers (R) 2B
Trevor Story (R) SS
C.J. Cron (R) 1B
Elias Diaz (R) C
Ryan McMahon (L) 3B
Taylor Motter (R) RF
Garrett Hampson (R) CF
Antonio Senzatela (R) P
Trea Turner (R) SS
Max Muncy (L) 1B
Mookie Betts (R) 2B
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Will Smith (R) C
Cody Bellinger (L) CF
Chris Taylor (R) LF
Billy McKinney (L) RF
Batting average: Raimel Tapia (.288)
Hits: Raimel Tapia (114)
Home runs: C.J. Cron (23)
RBI: C.J. Cron (73)
Stolen bases: Raimel Tapia (19)
Wins: German Marquez (11)
Saves: Daniel Bard (20)
ERA: German Marquez (4.02)
Batting average: Justin Turner (.281)
Hits: Chris Taylor (121)
Home runs: Max Muncy (28)
RBI: Max Muncy (76)
Stolen bases: Chris Taylor (13)
Wins: Julio Urias (14)
Saves: Kenley Jansen (28)
ERA: Walker Buehler (2.02)
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