Padres Series Preview: Padres Head to Coors Field to Battle Rockies One Last Time

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

The 2016 MLB season is winding down to the last few series of the year. The San Diego Padres will face the Colorado Rockies for the last time in 2016 this weekend.

The three-game set will be played at the hitters sanctuary which is Coors Field. The Rockies and Padres have really provided great games throughout this 2016 campaign. We have seen shutouts, blowouts and a little bit of everything in between with these two teams.

The Friars have actually had the edge throughout the season going 9-7 against the Rox. The Padres offense has exploded at Coors Field to no surprise. In six games in Denver the Friars have managed to score 46 runs against the Rockies. I feel like the Friars do have a strong chance at taking this series. Based on recent performances they should have no trouble doing so.

The Rockies are coming off being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, while the Padres are of course coming off sweeping the San Francisco Giants. The Teams would split a four-game series at Petco Park recently, so I would say that they are evenly matched opponents. An exciting series is surely what is anticipated at Coors Field this weekend. Hopefully the teams can live up to it and score some runs and hit some bombs.

Pitching Matchups

Pitching is of course irrelevant when it comes to Coors Field. You can have the best pitcher in baseball come in and give up five runs on a good day. The pitchers must rely heavily on their offense when they do play in Denver. However, some pitching matchups do have potential in this series. It’ll be worth taking a closer look at them. The first matchup will be between a former Rockie in Christian Friedrich and the “Road Cy YoungTyler Chatwood. Christian Friedrich has actually looked great in his recent starts. The lefty seems to be pitching better than ever after having surpassed his innings limit on the season. In his last three starts he has held a very nice 2.92 ERA. Another factor to consider is that Friedrich has completely dominated his former team this season. In two starts against the Rockies, Friedrich has only allowed one unearned run in 13 innings of work. He has also only allowed four hits, four walks and has struck out 19 batters in those starts. I would have to say that Friedrich and the Padres definitely have the edge especially coming up against Tyler Chatwood. The young Chatwood has been amazing this season…on the road that is. Chatwood’s home/away splits are about as ridiculous as Wil Myer’s are. The thing is Chatwood has found his success away from Coors Field, to no surprise at all. This guy would be a Cy Young candidate if he didn’t have to pitch half of his games at Coors. His numbers on the road, amazing. Tyler is 7-1 with a 1.77 ERA and has only allowed 17 runs away from Coors. Well that all changes at Coors Field, Chatwood is 4-8 with a 5.67 ERA and has allowed 49 runs. Friedrich and the Friars should really be starting off this series with a W.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The second game of the series brings another very interesting matchup. Veteran, Edwin Jackson will take on rookie Jon Gray in the second game of this series. I feel a real slug fest coming in this game. Edwin Jackson has been up and down this season, at times looking amazing at others looking pretty catastrophic. I feel like Jackson will without a doubt struggle in his next outing. The biggest factor to leave me to believe this is his numbers at Coors Field. You expect any pitcher to have “bad” numbers at Coors Field well Jackson’s are just abysmal. In six games at Coors Field Jackson has gone 0-2 with an ERA of 12.00. That is the highest ERA the German-born pitcher has had in any ballpark throughout his 14 year career. If the Padres are to win this game I do not expect Jackson to be a factor in their victory. The Rockies won’t have a consistent pitcher either in Jon Gray. Gray has had his moments throughout the season especially against the Padres. But he would actually struggle the last time he would face the Padres. Gray would give up six runs against the Friars in just two innings. That would be at Petco Park as well, so the Padres should be able to get to Gray once again. Unlike Tyler Chatwood Gray has actually fared a bit better at Coors Field than on the road. Even so his numbers are not to impressive at all besides his win loss record. Gray is 6-2 at home due to some heavy run support, his ERA is an unimpressive 4.82 at home. It is hard to say which offense will prevail in this game. I do feel like this will be a great one to watch with plenty of runs to go around for both teams.

The finale of the series will bring a potentially good pitching matchup. Jarred Cosart and Chad Bettis will face off to finish off this series. Cosart would start off his Padres career quite well but he has been hit with the plague of inconsistency as of late. Cosart has been awful in his last three starts posting an ERA of 7.11 with only six strikeouts and a record of 0-2. On the other hand Chad Bettis has been great in his last few outings. Bettis is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.25 in his last four starts. Bettis has had a high ERA at Coors Field at 4.70 but his offense has helped him to get a 6-2 record in Denver this season. This matchup can really go either way, we could be seeing a great pitching  duel or just a plain slug fest between the two teams. I’m leaning more towards the pitching duel at the moment, I do feel like both pitchers will be on point to finish off this series. The pitching matchups in this series could prove to be totally irrelevant. But we do have some nice matchups in this series, I expect at least one interesting pitching duel in this series. One thing that is guaranteed is that we will have some excitement in this series. Make sure to tune in and enjoy the games Friar faithful.

Players to watch

Nolan Arenado

Arenado is one of the best players in the MLB, to some people he may even be the best. He is a top class hitter and defender, the 25-year-old is the complete package. He is at a very healthy .296 BA on the year with 37 homers and 121 RBI as well. He also is on pace to yet again win another gold glove award with his Brooks Robinson like type of work with the glove. Arenado is the modern-day “Human Vacuum Cleaner”. It really is a shame that this is the last time we will see him face the Padres this season. That alone is one main reason to keep your eye on Arenado in this series. Overall Arenado has actually not done the best against the Padres this season only batting .218 on the season. However, the all-star has managed to hit three home runs against the Padres throughout this 2016 season. I expect Arenado to at least tally up one more home run against the Friars in this series. Keep a close watch on this MVP candidate in this series.

Charlie Blackmon

Charlie Blackmon is currently on fire, “Chuck Nazty” just had one of the best weeks of his career. This past week the bearded outfielder would go 10-25 with two doubles, a triple and four home runs. That is just unheard of, Blackmon has been a really underrated player this season. He has been killing the league and unfortunately the Padres as well. Blackmon does only have a .211 BA against the Pads this season, but don’t let that number fool you. Charlie has had two doubles, four home runs, 10 RBI, and eight walks against the Padres this season. This series will also be played at Coors Field which is always a plus for any batter, especially anyone in the Rockies lineup. Despite the fact that Blackmon actually does have 17 homers on the road and 10 at Coors, I do expect him to add to the tally in this series. Keep your eye on Blackmon in this series at the plate, in the outfield or on the bases you never know when he will strike.

Ryan Schimpf

It seems that Schimpf is a shoe in to be in the players to watch nowadays. Well the guy really deserves to be on here, I mean he’s opening eyes everywhere. Schimpf is so fun to watch out there I mean how do you expect for a guy of his size to have so much power. He really reminds me a lot of Brain Dozier who now sits on 41 home runs on the season for the Minnesota Twins. Well Schimpf in limited playing time and less height has already managed to hit 19 home runs. That is very impressive especially considering that he has to play half of his games at Petco Park. The main reason why Schimpf is on here is because we are yet to see Schimpf at Coors Field. I just can’t wait to see what he can do out in the mile-high city. I expect at least two bombs in this series for the “Jumbo Schimpf”. Hopefully Schimpf can perform and the Padres can hopefully keep up their winning ways. Make sure to tune in we should see some exciting baseball in this series. Go Padres!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.
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