The best NL West teams will meet for the first time in 2017 when the Rockies start a three-game series against D-backs on Friday at Chase Field. The D-backs won the series, 10-9, in their 19 matches last year.
Kyle Freeland of the Rockies comes off the best opening of his short career, throwing seven scoreless innings in the win over the Giants on Sunday. With an effective two-knuckled straight that Freeland commanded in the lower part of the zone, the southpaw was able to generate weak contact constantly. The rookie has allowed just one homer in 21 2/3 innings and has pitched at least six innings in two starts.
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The D-backs are undefeated in the four starts made by Robbie Ray this year – all against L.N. West.
• Freeland generated 12 roulettes in his last opening. The rookie continues to show a skill that could help him a lot at Coors Field, as his roulette percentage of 62.9 is the best among 132 Major League pitchers who have put at least 50 balls in play so far. Opponents have .273 slugging on roulette against Freeland.
• Ray’s average speed slowed slightly this year, from 94.8 mph to 93.2, but remains a scorer, averaging 11.4 for every nine innings. When they hit him, they make it hard – average exit speed of 91.5 mph, the third highest coming on Thursday, but overall he has been able to avoid putting the ball in play. Only 13.9 percent of its pitches have ended with the ball in play, according to Statcast.
• Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon has a 12-game winning streak, two to tie the longest in his career, which was last season.